Shirley Berry, 70

Shirley Ann Berry, 70, of Three Rivers, passed away Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 after a nine-year battle with heart disease and cancer.

She was born on Feb. 3, 1939 in Allegan, the daughter of Charles and Maxine (Bensley) Walker.

She attended and graduated from Vicksburg Community Schools in 1957. She then went on to Western Michigan University, where she received her two-year teaching degree and taught in Howardsville. She continued her education and received her BA and MA from WMU.

In 1990 she received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Three Rivers Community Schools. Her love for her students made her life rewarding and happy. She served as principal for a year but missed being on the teaching end of education and returned to the classroom to finish her career. She always found ways to reach out to the good, the bad and challenge them all to become successful citizens.

In 1977 she married the love of her life, David Berry, and resided in Three Rivers, both teaching for the Three Rivers schools for 37 years.

After retirement in 1997 she became very active in community service, assisting with the organization of the local Soup Pot, and Food Pantry Distribution. She was also a very active member of the Ninth Street United Methodist Church for 32 years. A favorite hobby for Shirley was working with ceramics and giving them to loved ones as well as selling them at church bazaars. Shirley always worked by the rule that “it is better to give than to receive”: she was consistent in helping and giving to others her entire life. She cared for both her parents and David’s in their latter years with love and concern for their best health.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Maxine Walker; her brother, Jack Walker; in-laws, Ona and Richard Berry.

She is survived by her husband, David Berry; brother, Charles Walker; sisters-in-law, Vera Walker and Cyndy Walker; five nephews and nieces, Cheri and Jim Houghton, Connie and Rick Miller, Mike and Tammie Walker, Scott and Heather Walker, Melissa and Don Angel. She loved, spoiled and enjoyed the accomplishments of her nephews and nieces along with several great-nephews and -nieces.

The family will receive friends at the Hohner Funeral Home, Friday, Nov. 27 from 3-7 p.m. Services will be held Saturday, Nov. 28 at 11 a.m. at the funeral home with Rev. James Stillwell and Rev. Carolyn Fisher officiating.

Interment will be in Vicksburg Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Ninth St. United Methodist Church. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.

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