Gary A. Berry (1939 - 2016)

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After a short illness, Gary A. Berry of Seattle, a former Juneau resident, departed this life very peacefully on Sept. 20, surrounded by his family at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle. He was five days from his 77th birthday.

He was born in Cripple Creek, Colo., on Sept. 25, 1939, to Elmer and Katherine Berry. He grew up in Colorado and graduated from Woodland Park High School.

He joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1958 and received his basic training in Groton, Conn. He was stationed in Sitka, where he met the love of his life, Marion Williams. After serving four years, he was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard in Alameda, Calif.

Marion and Gary were married Feb. 17, 1962, and were blessed with two wonderful sons Todd and Ron Berry.

Gary was very active with his boys in Boy Scouts, including serving as their troop leader. Because of his perseverance and his belief you can do anything you want, he became a firefighter for the Mt. View Fire Department with the help of his dear friend Jeff Hunter. Later, he decided he wanted to work with his brother Michael, so he went to Santa Clara County Fire Department, retiring in 1990 after 25 years of service. Throughout his life he truly enjoyed helping and assisting people.

With his brother, he owned and operated a catering/barbecue business Fire Fighters Barbecues, where numerous nieces and nephews, friends and family members worked. In 1992, after 10 successful years with the barbecue business, he sold his part, moved to Juneau and purchased his boat "Andyman," named after a grandson. When people asked him what he did, he was quick to answer with a big smile, "Hunting and fishing, and I do my job well!"

With encouragement from Uncle Pat Moy, he joined the American Legion Sitka Post 13 and held the highest office as Department Commander for the State of Alaska. While in the American Legion he participated in his true passion, working with high school boys at Boys State. Summers were spent fishing with his family and friends, especially his grandchildren.

After living in Juneau for 17 years, Gary and Marion moved to Seattle to be near their sons and grandchildren. Gary cherished all the time he spent with his family, extended family, friends and his closest companion, Duke, who sat with him faithfully every day.

His parents, Elmer and Katherine Berry, preceded Gary in death.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Marion Berry; sons Todd (Kirsten) Berry, Ron (Mi) Berry; and brother Michael (Liz) Berry.
Grandchildren Erin Berry, Alex Berry, Collin Berry, Andrew (Tracey) Berry, Katherine (her mother Julie) Hughes, Kaitlynn (Chase) Armfield, Rachael Nelson, Chelsea Eason, and Blake Eason; sisters-in-law Walleen Williams and Esther Liberty; and brothers-in-law Harvey (Kathi) Williams Jr. and Bill Trivett also survive. His nieces and nephews are Steven (Claudia) Berry, Kristean (Mathias) Björkman, Michelle Liberty, Virgil (Bel) Liberty, Carl Liberty Sr., Sheryl DesBiens, Glenda (Tim) Drevas, Tara (Dale) Hume, YéilYádi Olson, Marsha (Allen) Heilbrun, Nicole (Kevin) Fischbeck, Kimberly (Ty) Brill, Jamie Trivett, Michael (Jennifer) Williams, Harvey (Shana) Williams III, Kevin (Jessica) Williams, Sean (Shi Fen) McRee, Daniel (Kim) Whitson and Daneen Whitson. More than 49 great-nieces, great-nephews, numerous cousins and his adopted grandchildren also survive.

Gary's service was held Saturday, Sept. 24, at Evergreen Washelli Chapel and Inurnment at Evergreen Memorial Park, in Seattle, with military honors by the United States Coast Guard.
Pallbearers were Todd Berry, Ron Berry, Steven Berry, Collin Berry, Andrew Berry, Alex Berry, Virgil Liberty Jr., Michael Williams, Yéil Yádi Olson, Harvey Williams III, Kevin Williams, Sean McRee and Devin Hume.

Honorary pallbearers were Mike Berry, Harvey Williams Jr., Gary Olson, Bill Trivett, Jeffrey Hunter, Laird Jones and Dale Hume.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Oct. 24 to Nov. 23, 2016
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