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Tom Berryman

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Tom Berryman Obituary
TOM BERRYMAN Tom Berryman was born into a family of immigrants from Wales and Ukraine. His first home was an apartment in Brooklyn, New York. He was the youngest of three sons. Tom's life started when he was born in a taxi cab (ironically, he drove a cab briefly as a young adult). Mother and son were quarantined two days before they could go home. From the stories he shared, the boys were a handful and full of mischief. But Tom looked back on a happy life with his mom, dad, and brothers. With a growing family, Tom's parents decided to buy a house in Bellmore on Long Island. There the boys went to school, the family joined the Methodist Church, and Tom and middle brother Bill sang in the choir. An industrious kid, Tom had a paper route while still very young. Grief struck the family when Tom's oldest brother became ill at age 12. Glyn Jr., "Sonny," spent time in and out of hospitals until he passed away at 14. Tom adored his big brother and kept his memory alive always. A few years later Tom's mother gave birth to a girl, Alice May. The family was thrilled and saw her as new comfort for the child they lost. Three years later, Tom's mother was diagnosed with cancer. The family moved to Lancaster, California, when his father (a machinist in aerospace) requested a transfer. This was partly to leave New York's cold winters, also for Tom's mother to be seen at City of Hope in Los Angeles. The family prayed for her recovery but that was not to be. Tom's father was left with two teen sons and a five-year-old daughter. At age 17, Tom decided to join the Navy (against his father's wishes) to start a career and build his own family. He scored the highest on a local IQ test, and was sent to Los Angeles to be tested again. This time he scored even higher. The Navy offered him a deal: "Give us two years to attend Officer School and do not get married." Since this was opposite Tom's plan he declined. He always said it was the biggest mistake he ever made. Tom was stationed in Memphis, where he met and married his first wife. They had three children, two daughters and a son, all born in Navy hospitals. He was stationed in the Mem-phis area twice, also in San Diego, and later Lemoore, California. He was in the Navy Aviation Division and ran a link-trainer to teach pilots emergency procedures. He also taught Celestial Navigation, operating a small Planetarium for a time. After 20 years Tom was recruited by IBM where he was employed 18 years. He began working on typewriters, keyhole punches, and eventually computers. IBM sent him and his colleagues for regular training to keep up with a fast-changing technology. Tom's last jobs were in technical writing (which he loved), most of it in banking software. He could write anything, collecting information from engineers working on developing new products. Sadly, Tom's marriage failed and, after years being single, he met his second wife, Margaretha Rietvelt from the Netherlands. They were very happily married 35 years, the past 15 retired in Magalia, California, their paradise. Tom loved music! He taught himself to read music. He loved playing his trumpet around Los Angeles, sitting in with small bands. Tom enjoyed sketching and was a wonderful writer. He was a man of many interests, also very civic-minded. Volunteer work after retirement inclu-ded driving cancer patients to appoint-ments through American Cancer Society, serving as precinct manager during elections, serving on the board at his local Homeowners Associa-tion, acting as Vice Commander at the VFW and, most important to Tom, serving as member of the Honor Guard at local veterans' memorial services. Tom was a great husband to Margaretha, who misses him terribly and treasures his memory. Rest in peace Tom Berryman ... you are missed by many. Gone but never forgotten. A graveside service will be held on Thursday, November 30, 2017 at Skyway Memorial park at 10:00 a.m. with a reception to follow. In lieu of sending flowers, donations can be made to the City of Hope or the Hospice House in Paradise. To view obit online and leave condolences for the family please go to NewtonBracewell.Com.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Nov. 29, 2017
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