Funeral services were held Monday, November 15, 2010, at New Hebron Baptist Church in New Hebron, MS for Mr. Laney A. Berry, age 89, who passed away November 12, 2010.
Visitation was on Sunday, November 14, 2010, at Saulters Moore Funeral Home Chapel in Prentiss, MS.
Laney A. Berry was born December 8, 1920. He was the son of Y. G. Berry and Ora Mae Lane. Laney was raised in New Hebron and graduated from Mississippi College with a major in Chemistry and minors in Math and Physics. He was drafted by the Philadelphia A's, but never got to play professional baseball because of WWII. Instead he was excused from the armed services by President Truman and assigned to the Manhattan Project; first in Oak Ridge, TN then on to Hanford, WA. There he worked producing plutonium for the atomic bomb. He actually got to shake Paul Tibbits' hand before his famous mission on the Enola Gay.
He met his wife of 64 years, Yvette Morin, who had come to Hanford from Minnesota. They raised seven children, ran a grocery store, fixed houses to rent, and he still found time to play and excel in softball, basketball (his Rec-Tech team beat the Harlem Globe Trotters in 1948) and tennis. He was inducted into the M.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Mississippi State Hall of Fame for tennis in 1994. He won more than 40 championships in tennis and his highest ranking was #3 in the United States.
God and family were his greatest loves-there wasn't anything he wouldn't do for his family. He never knew a stranger and was always eager to help anyone who needed a hand, a loan, food or just some company. His zest for life was evident in his big smile, firm handshake and positive attitude. He was a self-made man, a tribute to his generation and will be missed by all who knew him.
Mr. Berry is survived by his children, a son, Lupe Berry of Pearl, MS; daughters, Suzanne Rittenhouse of Bellevue, WA, Lynn Pierle of Port Townsend, WA, Beatrice Chavez of Yakima, WA and Tammy Browning of Aitkin, MN; 11 grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife, Yvette; two sons; and a sister.
Online condolences and a guest registry is available at www. saultersmoorefuneralhome.com.