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Dolores Berkery Obituary

Dolores Mary Berkery, mother, baker, faithful child of God

Dolores Mary Berkery, (nee Smith/Sands) 89, loving mother and devoted wife died Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at Dear Meadows Retirement Community in Philadelphia where she spent the last 4 ½ years. Dolores was a member of the St. Bartholomew Golden Age Club for more than 20 years and served as Secretary for several years. She was a member of the Catholic Daughters – Court of St. Bernadette. She worked at Sears & Roebuck’s main store in Philadelphia on Roosevelt Boulevard for more than 25 years; beginning on the sales floor in the paint department and worked her way up to Unit Control in the Accounting Department. Her shrewd shopping know-how and employee discount enabled her to provide her family with life’s necessities on a very limited budget and if she had a coupon, she’d make the dollar go even farther.

Dolores was well-known for her cooking and baking prowess. Among them was her famous Jewish Apple cake (which was always a hit and usually there weren’t any leftovers after the first slice was made.) Also to her acclaim was her renowned Roast Beef, browned potato and burnt carrot dinners, with brown gravy of course. Family members would wrestle for the burnt carrots first, which often resulted in none of the carrots making it to the table for the meal. Her other best known creation was her version of Southern Fried Chicken, which was flour dredged chicken cooked in a cast-iron frying pan - - fights would break out for the pieces of crispy delicious flour bulbs that fell off the chicken during frying. She could cook for an army which served her well since she had seven children.

As a child, Dolores grew up in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia and attended Nativity of Our Lord grade school and Nativity Business School. She was the daughter of late Margaret L. Hartley and Alfred Sands and the sister of the late Loretta Hartley and Margaret L. Thomas, of Philadelphia and Alexander Hartley of Pasa Robles, CA.

She was married to “her Fran” (Francis P. Berkery) for 56 years until his death in 2000 at the age of 80. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Marianne, who died from Leukemia at age 6 in 1964.

Dolores is survived by her six children, Pat (Elizabeth) Berkery of Philadelphia, Dolores (Johann) Brucker of Warminster, Tim (Carol) Berkery of Philadelphia, Loretta Shales of Bensalem, Terry (Carol) Berkery of Philadelphia and Marguerite (John) Nicolardi of Holland, PA.

Her legacy lives on in her 15 Grandchildren: Brigitte (Ron) Lucas, Dannette (Greg) Barndt, Jason Brown, John (Jen) Brucker, Heather Berkery, Ryan Berkery, Danny Berkery, Jenn (Bobby) Lawson, Michael Shales, Timmy Shales, Terry (Kim) Berkery, Marikay Berkery, Brian Berkery, Marianne Nicolardi and JT Nicolardi…

And her 13 great-grandchildren: Jonathan (Jenn) Berkery and the late Brittney Lyn Berkery-Lucas, Ashlyn Lucas, Jimmy and Chase Barndt, Bryan Berkery and Jake Whiteman, Joey and Robby D’Andrea, Zach and Alyssa Berkery, Katie Jayne Slusarczyk and Rashaun Carmelo Moore…

And her 1 + great-great grandchildren: Sean Patrick and soon-to-be born Declan Blaise Berkery.

Visitation for the family of Dolores will be on Saturday, July 30, 2011 at St. Bartholomew R.C. Church 5600 Jackson Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124, from 9 – 10 a.m. Mass immediately following, Int. at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Cheltenham, PA. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Bartholomew Church would be appreciated.
Published online on 7/28/2011.
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