WILLIE RAY BERRYMAN
1934 - 2021
{ "" }
Share
Share WILLIE's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share

Willie Berryman, 86, of Fort Worth, TX passed away on January 10, 2021 from an unexpected medical condition in Fort Worth, TX. He was born on September 22, 1934 in McKamie, Arkansas. In 1942, Willie migrated with his parents and four siblings from McKamie, Arkansas to El Centro, California with their dreams of finding a better future. The family settled in a small one-bedroom house on the eastside of town. As a young boy, Willie enjoyed the outdoors of fishing, hunting, riding his bike, and playing sports. He began working as early as 8 years old, helping his parents in the cotton fields of Arkansas. As he grew older, he continued working in the fields pitching watermelons in Imperial Valley. Due to his family's limited income, Willie was always looking for ways to earn money. He sought jobs cutting lawns with his grandfather, selling newspapers, and shining shoes downtown in El Centro. Willie was always motivated in doing well for him and his family. Willie attended the historic, segregated Douglas High School in El Centro up until his Sophomore year. In 1952, he and other non-white students integrated to the primary white Central Union High School, before schools were integrated through Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. Initially, Willie was uncomfortable attending a predominantly white school. However, he soon began to acclimate and gain acceptance from the white students and teachers. Willie was an outstanding athlete performing on the varsity football, basketball and baseball teams. However, his true joy was playing baseball. Some thought he might become the next "Willie Mays!" Willie graduated from Central Union High School in 1954. On June 7, 1954, Willie enlisted into the United States National Guard, where he received an "Honorable Discharge" on June 6, 1957. In June 1954, Willie was employed by the El Centro Post Office. He became the first African American letter carrier in El Centro. Willie was well-liked by his customers, where it was not uncommon for him to receive gifts, especially during Christmas. He served as Union President of the National Association of Letter Carriers, where he presided for six years. Willie served under nine postmasters and witnessed many changes in the postal service industry. In 1989, he retired after 35 years of dedicated service. Willie is quoted as saying, "If I had to do it over again, I would definitely choose the U.S. Postal Service as my place of employment with no reservations." Willie was a dedicated member of Second Baptist Church in El Centro for 31 years. He served on the church's Board for many years and was often willing to help the church and its members. On October 8, 2000, the pastoral leadership publicly acknowledged Willie's longstanding commitment by naming its fellowship hall, "Deacon Willie Berryman Fellowship Hall". He was preceded in death by his father, Jewell Berryman; mother, Vera (Watson) Berryman; second wife, Orchard (Fontenot) Berryman; and younger sibling, Shirley (Berryman) Bellamy. Willie leaves to cherish his memories his beloved wife, Dorothy Berryman; his children, Debra (Berryman) Morris and Ryan Berryman; grandchildren, Renettra Morris, Heidi (Dante) Soares, Joshua Morris, Lamar (Ruby) Berryman and Ashley (Gerald) Carter; many great-grandchildren, along with Tamiko Berryman and her children. Along with his beloved wife, Dorothy Berryman, he leaves two step-daughters, Sylvia (Stephen) Pigg of Waldorf, MD, Beverly (Wiley) Lane of San Diego, CA, and a host of family members. He also leaves behind his siblings, Floyd (Emma) Berryman of El Centro, Paul (Piccola) Berryman of San Diego, CA, Ruby Berryman (Hundley) of Sacramento, CA, Pauline (Richard) Tobin of Pomona, CA, Johnnie (Carl) Arterberry of Phoenix, AZ and Khalid Berryman of El Centro. Viewing will be held on Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 2 p.m. at Frye Chapel and Mortuary in Brawley. Graveside service will be held on Monday, February 8, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery in El Centro. Gifts/cards/flowers can be sent to Dorothy Berryman, 4129 Yancey Lane, Fort Worth, Texas 76244. For more info. contact Ryan Berryman at (909) 864-2167.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Feb. 7, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Frye Chapel & Mortuary of Imperial Valley - Brawley
Not sure what to say?
7 entries
February 16, 2021
So sorry to hear about Willie passing always so healthy glad you got 31 years in retirement
Wayne and Trish McCollum
Friend
February 16, 2021
Willie you were a good co worker and friend you told us join legion have a place to meet continue that close knit postal family
Wayne mccollum
Coworker
February 16, 2021
Omg!I worked with Willie at post office he taught me how to bring a dry towel in humidity weather and slow down keep from passing out I started in old post office then in 1987 got a new post office his customers loved him when id do his route on vacation he was so likeable so much knowledge and was president of union he would always say here's one for the gripper hip hooray I will miss him now Manuel gone fred Douglas Fred granadas rangel Eddie villa Sergio Larry barber not sure about Joe Macias
Trish McCollum
Coworker
February 16, 2021
Wayne mccollum
Coworker
February 16, 2021
Patricia McCollum
Coworker
February 10, 2021
Condolences to (my classmate) Pauline and all the Berryman Family. God Bless.
Noel Carr
Friend
February 9, 2021
I have known Willie for most of my life. He is such a great person and he will be greatly missed. God Bless you Willie and to your family.
Rita R (DeBerry) Green
Friend
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences