Barbara Berry

October 2, 1924 - June 13, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitations


Tuesday, June 14, 2016
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM EDT
Holy Spirit Parish
2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Map

Services


Wednesday, June 15, 2016
10:00 AM EDT
Holy Spirit Parish
2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Map

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

God's Kitchen
303 S. Division
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 224-0217
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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Although some view being a mother as mundane work with little reward, nothing could be further from the truth in the mind of Barbara Berry as she considered being a mother to be both her highest calling and her greatest blessing. She was guided by her unwavering faith, and it was also her faith that was the reason for the joy in her heart. Barbara was kind, gracious, and genuine in the way she treated others, and everyone would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. A devoted mother, she was filled with unspeakable joy to witness her family tree blossom to include grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Deeply loved, Barbara will be forever missed.

The 1920s brought us some of the most exciting days we have ever seen as WWI left America recognized as a world leader and poised for greatness. Innovation was booming, which brought forth countless advancements such as radios, washing machines, and new horizons explored within the world of flight. Amidst this exciting time was the year 1924 when William and Alice (Shuart) Hennells announced the birth of the healthy baby girl they named Barbara Anne on October 2nd. Born in Detroit, Michigan, she was raised in the family home in Belleville as the oldest of seven children. Her father was a manufacturer's representative who later became the owner of a manufacturing company while her mother was a homemaker.

In many ways Barbara experienced a typical upbringing. She attended local schools including Belleville High where she played the clarinet in the band and the marching band. Barbara was very social and had many friends. Her love for being social continued into her adult life as she attended class reunions until just a few years ago. After graduating at the top of her class in 1942, Barbara attended secretarial school for a year and then began working as a secretary at Ford Rotunda.

New and exciting changes were in store for Barbara when she met the young man of her dreams as he picked up his sister, Elaine, who was one of Barbara’s coworkers after work. Interestingly, they had attended elementary school together years earlier, but it was after meeting through Elaine that Charles decided that he was very interested in meeting Barbara. Since she was very busy, he did need to ask a few times before she found a free night. All along he just thought she was playing hard to get! Their first date led to more dates, and after a couple of years the sweethearts were married on May 8, 1948, in Belleville. The newlyweds had a memorable honeymoon as Charles’ sister set them up with her fancy car while his uncle let them use his cottage on Black Lake.

The newlyweds returned home and initially rented an apartment. Charles worked as an independent manufacturer's representative while Barbara stayed home as she soon found herself expecting. Together Barbara and Charles welcomed eight children including Charles, Cynthia, Cheryl, Terri, Barbara, Thomas, Joan, and Judith into their hearts and home. After their first two children were born, the couple moved to Grand Rapids where they settled into their first home at 909 Northlawn NE. When that home became too small, the Berry family moved to their home at 231 Edison Park NW. Barbara exemplified what it means to be a mother. She was giving, even selfless, and she loved her children unconditionally as well. She was always worried about her children, and as a highly spiritual person she regularly prayed for her children. In addition to caring for their family, Barbara also worked as a secretary for her husband’s business, taking care of the books and sending out paperwork in addition to answering the phone.

Throughout her life Barbara was a bustle of activity and a woman of many interests. She was a charter member of Holy Spirit, and she was very spiritual and prayerful in her everyday life. Barbara was an outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed fishing with her husband, and together they loved taking trips to Drummond Island and Mackinac Island. They also took day trips to Duck Lake, Half Moon Lake and Townsend Park for picnics and swimming with their children. Together Barbara and Charles also liked canning meat and vegetables. She liked reading the newspaper every day and kept up with current magazines as well, and she also worked on crossword puzzles. Barbara’s family appreciated her love for cooking, and among her specialties were her German potato salad, her beef roast, zucchini and banana bread. When it came to her own favorite foods, she never could resist chocolate. Barbara had her own creative flair and did ceramics and enjoyed sewing, and she also played cards and went square dancing during her younger years. She always liked Lawrence Welk and big band music, and she treasured the friendships she had with close friends the Reens, Markowskis, Johnsons, and Murphys, as well as their neighbors, the Fagans, with whom they went to Drummond Island.

Life was not without times of trial for Barbara. She was deeply saddened with the death of her husband in 1999 after he suffered with a lengthy illness, but she was grateful to be able to remain in her home. Barbara was independent and active for a number of years despite suffering with macular degeneration. Over time she became unable to drive, but she found ways to adapt as she used magnifiers to continue reading and also listened to books on tape. In 2013, Barbara moved to Lincoln Square, which she loved as it gave her access to more activities that she took full advantage of. Whether it was parties, dress up days, or a variety of other things, she was was more than willing to be a part. Sadly, last week Barbara developed pneumonia and was unable to recover.

Through the life she lived each day, Barbara Berry was a blessing to everyone she met. She has been described as classy yet fun-loving, sympathetic and wise with an outgoing personality that drew others near with ease. Barbara lived to be a mother, and even as her children had families of their own she always worried and wanted what was best for them. She will never be forgotten.

BERRY- Barbara Anne Berry aged 91, of Grand Rapids, passed away on June 13, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband Charles and daughter, Cheryl; and sister, Joy (Arthur) Hill. Barbara is survived by her children, Charles Henry III(Carole) Berry, Cynthia (Joseph) Fleury, Terri (Howard) Hansen, Barbara Wisniewski, Thomas Berry, Joan (Ken) Schwallier, and Judith (Robert) Hinman; son-in-law, Daniel Kurek; 19 grandchildren and their spouses; and 20 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are her siblings, William P. (Shirley) Hennells, Ransom (Judith) Hennells, Thomas (Elizabeth) Hennells, Betty (Melvin) Sanders, and Alice (Byron) Burt; many nieces, nephews and special friends at Lincoln Square and the Holy Spirit Card Group. She was considered a Mom and “Sweet” Grandma by all that met her. Barbara was active in the Holy Spirit Altar Society and Young Spirits. She hosted many card parties and served as an Election Volunteer for many years. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 AM on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at Holy Spirit Parish, 2230 Lake Michigan Dr. N.W. Interment in Holy Cross Cemetery. Friends are invited to greet the family from 5-8 PM, with a Rosary at 7:30 PM, on Tuesday at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW and for one hour prior to Mass at church. Contributions in her memory may be made to God’s Kitchen. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to archive a memory, photo, or sign the guestbook.

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