Rev. James Willard Berry, 89 of Rainsville passed away Friday, March 27, 2020 at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. Private graveside services were held on April 4, 2020 for immediate family at Mountain View Memorial Gardens with Pastor Stephen Story officiating.
Rev. Berry was born on Monday, November 3, 1930. He graduated from Fyffe High School in 1949 and joined the Alabama Army National Guard while still in high school, enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. There, he received an honorable discharge as a staff sergeant in 1953 and worked in the private aircraft industry before a career with NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. He retired in 1990.
Rev. Berry trusted Jesus as his savior at the age of 23 and served as a deacon in his local church. He graduated from Samford University in 1983, served as associate pastor of First Baptist Church and then as pastor of Hills Chapel Baptist Church.
He is survived by a daughter, Ramona K. Story; son, Kent D. (Nancy) Berry; grandsons, Stephen (Dottie) Story, Daniel (Marian) Story, T.C. (Jayme) Williams; granddaughter, Amanda (Jonathan) Shampine; eight great-grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 59 years, Gay Nell Wood Berry; parents Pat and Polly Berry; five sisters, Emma Estelle Berry Hasty, Novella D. Berry Jones, Ola Mae Berry Smith, Ina Louise Berry, Betty Jean Berry; five brothers, J.P. Berry, L.D. Berry, John Ansel Berry, Calvin Griggs Berry, Grady Donald Berry.
The family requests memorial donations be made to the Downtown Rescue Mission, 1400 Evangel Drive N.W., Hunstville, Ala. 35816.