Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Parents, widow help build home in memory of 9-11 victim

By John Nolan
The Associated Press

Doug Cherry holds a photo of the home he helped to build in Mexico.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        One of the homes that Douglas M. Cherry intended to help build in Mexico has now been dedicated in his memory.

        Mr. Cherry's father had joined the Youth With a Mission projects two years ago and said his only son wanted to go along. The 38-year-old insurance executive died Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center.

        “He thought it was a great idea and wanted to do it himself,” the elder Mr. Cherry said in one of his few interviews since the terrorist attacks.

        “He didn't make it.”

        In April, Cherry's parents, Doug and Anne, and widow, Sarah, were among a group who sponsored and built a home at Tijuana, Mexico, through Youth With a Mission.

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        They gave the home to an impoverished Mexican couple and their three children in a tearful dedication ceremony that brought together the emotions of the good deed and their loss.

        The late Mr. Cherry was a soccer player and captain of the swim team at Mariemont High School. After college at Ohio Wesleyan University, he began a career in the insurance industry and rose to become a New York-based group vice president with Aon Corp., an international insurance brokerage business.

        His office was on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center's south tower.

        Sarah Cherry brought her husband's remains back to his hometown of Terrace Park.

        His father, a retired salesman who helps build homes in Cincinnati for Habitat for Humanity, said he has been touched by many warm gestures from strangers.

        “They just want to tell us they're thinking of us.” Mr. Cherry said.


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