Walter Francis Berry passed on to be with his family members in heaven on Thursday, January 17, 2019, at the age of 93.
Walt was born on April 4, 1925 in Saco, Maine, to Herbert Nelson Berry and Stella (Hayes) Berry. A child of the Great Depression era, his folks packed up the family from Maine and headed West in search of employment. They settled in St Johnsbury, Vermont.
Walt was to have been a graduate of St. Johnsbury Academy Class of 1943, but as many young men and women of the time, he answered a call of service to his country and enlisted in the US Navy. He served during World War ll aboard the USS Alaska (CB1) in the Pacific Theater. Walt was extremely proud of his service and could recount many tales of his time aboard ship during the war. A dream of his was made possible on June 13, 2013 when he traveled to Washington D.C with his granddaughter Kara aboard an Honor Flight. He was part of a contingent of WWII veterans who viewed the Memorials in D.C. and took part in a special service. He was also a lifetime member of VFW Post 3041 in Lancaster, N.H.
After the war Walt returned to Vermont, East Concord specifically, and began his almost 42-year career with Gilman Paper Company, later Georgia Pacific Paper Corporation. He first worked on the paper machines and then in maintenance as a piper, and finally as an electrician. He retired in 1987.
It was also shortly after he moved to East Concord that he met and fell in love with a young woman named Nila Sreeter. They began their life together, marrying on October 9, 1949.
Walt was an avid deer hunter and a die-hard brook trout fisherman. He was extremely proficient at both of these activities. More material for those stories that he loved to share with folks. Walter cherished his time at two of his favorite places on earth “The Welcome Inn,” family camp on Miles Pond, and “The Far Side” deer camp on Victory Hill.
Walt’s other hobbies and interests included golfing, travelling to Florida with Nila, and other family members for a late winter break from cold New England winters, tinkering on mechanical objects, working on the two camps, storytelling, swimming, family gatherings, and being a fixture at The Mooselook Restaurant with his “coffee crew.” He was extremely active his entire life and was quoted as saying more than once ” If you stop moving, you will seize up.” True words he lived by.
Walt is survived by his three children, Brenda Stone (companion Tim Shufelt) of Groveton, N.H.; Barbara Olden (husband Norm) of Concord, Vt.; and Timothy Berry (companion Sue Shute) of East Concord. Grandchildren, Shawn Olden; Karen Thomas ( husband Rob); Jaimie Olden ( companion Brandon Welch); Kendra Bell ( husband Russell); Kara Lufkin (husband Kevin); Michael Berry; and Raynah Berry. Great grandchildren, Bailey Olden; Cassidy Olden; Brady Olden; Tyler Thomas; Tara Thomas; Ashtyn Chadburn; Mason Welch; Sophia Bell; Curtis Bell and Madilynn Berry; and numerous nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his parents; his wife Nila (Streeter) Berry; his three siblings, James Berry; Herbert Berry; and Madeleine Woods. A granddaughter Dawn Marie Olden, and a great granddaughter Nila Dawn Bell.
Memorial visiting hours will be held Wednesday, January 23rd, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Bailey Funeral Home in Lancaster. A memorial service will be held Thursday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at the East Concord Methodist Church. Reverend Gerry Piper, pastor of the Springfield United Methodist Church will officiate along with Reverend Stephen Berry of East Brookfield, Vt. Burial with military honors will be held in the spring in the Overlook Cemetery, East Concord.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the East Concord Methodist Church, C/O Georganna Dow, 125 Dow Drive, Lunenburg, VT 05906 or Riverside Rescue, 236 Riverside Ave, Lunenburg VT 05906.
Please go to www.baileyfh.net for more information or to send an online condolence.