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Theodore J. Berry M.D.

1918 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Theodore J. Berry M.D. Obituary
Theodore J. Berry, MD

Naples, FL

Dr. Theodore J. Berry, age 98, passed peacefully on July 14, 2016 at his home in Naples, Florida. Dr. Berry is survived by his devoted wife of 39 years, Theresa Matzura Berry, his four children, eleven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Originally from Bryn Mawr, PA, Dr. and Mrs. Berry have been full time residents in Naples, Florida for the past 17 years.

He will be remembered by his children Candace Berry Stringer (Henry) of Berwyn, PA; David Berry of Dunedin, FL; Jeffrey Berry (Maureen) of Bryn Mawr, PA; Rebecca Berry Clement (Colin) of Paris, France; Theodore Berry (Helen) of Birchrunville, PA passed in 2008; his grandchildren: Matthew Stringer, Rebecca Stringer Plimpton, Thaddeus Stringer, Brian Berry, Lauren Berry Shellberg, Meghan Berry, Katie Berry, Caitlin Berry, Jessie Berry, Lucas Berry and Ben Berry; and by his great-grandchildren: Theodore Plimpton, Walter Plimpton, Charlotte Stringer and William Stringer.

Theodore Berry was a skilled physician, a published author, an international educator, a champion athlete, and an accomplished photographer and artist. Above all, Ted was best known for his ability to converse and connect with anyone, whether a Main Line scion, a medical colleague, a blue collar worker or an Olympic athlete. He had the rare gift of being able to relate to everyone.

Ted Berry was a prominent physician at the Bryn Mawr Hospital for 45 years. He served as Chief of Staff and retired as the Director of Medical Education. He was affiliated with The University of Pennsylvania and lectured extensively, including speaking at Oxford University in London. He was the personal doctor and friend to many families along the Main Line of Philadelphia. Dr. Berry provided free medical care for the Augustinian priests at Villanova University and for the nuns at Notre Dame Academy for many years. He served as a medical advisor to the Villanova Track and Field team for decades.

Born in West Philadelphia on June 2nd, 1918, Ted was the only child of Jesse Berry and Esther Harkin Berry. He graduated from West Catholic High School in 1935, attended Cornell University and graduated from LaSalle College in 1939. He attended Jefferson Medical College and graduated in 1943 with numerous academic awards including membership in the Alpha Omega honor society. An outstanding athlete, Ted played on the baseball, basketball and track and field teams at LaSalle College. He was a talented pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league baseball organization. Throughout his life, Ted was avid golfer, and shot his age from age 69 to age 90.

Ted volunteered to enlist in the U.S Navy immediately after graduating from Jefferson Medical College to serve in WWII. He was Lieutenant and Chief Medical Officer on the USS Cabildo from 1943 to 1945, serving in active combat duty in the Pacific Theater. Dr. Berry led a medical triage team that liberated American and Dutch soldiers from prisoner of war camps in Japan. After the WW II, he married Virginia Boykin of Mobile, Alabama. Together, they raised five children in Villanova, PA.

Ted authored three books. He wrote a biography in 1982 about his lifelong friend Jumbo Jim Elliott, the famed Track & Field coach at Villanova University, entitled "Jumbo Elliott: Maker of Milers, Maker of Men." He wrote an internationally acclaimed medical book in 1964 about the hand as a tool to aid diagnosis entitled "The Hand as a Mirror of Systemic Diseases." He was the primary author and editor of a history book in 1993 about the Bryn Mawr Hospital entitled "A Country Doctor's Dream."

Although Ted's life's work is now done, his mark can still be found in many places. The name Theodore J. Berry can be seen on golf trophies at the Philadelphia Country Club; on a plaque in a wing at the Bryn Mawr Hospital dedicated in his name by Dorothy Dorrance Hamilton; at the bottom corner of his many paintings hanging in his house in Naples, Florida; and on the front covers of the books he authored. Above all, Ted Berry's signature is indelibly embossed on the hearts of his family and friends who were elevated by his rare combination of intelligence, energy, creativity and great sense of humor. He will be missed and often remembered, but never forgotten.

In lieu of flowers, donations made in Dr. Berry's name to the Bryn Mawr Hospital Foundation ( will be gratefully accepted.

Services will be held at the Calvary Cemetery, Gulph Road and Matson Ford Road, West Conshohocken, PA at a date TBD.
Published in Naples Daily News on July 20, 2016
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