Robert Berry

robert berry pic

Robert Max Berry Sr. of Moscow died January 30, 2016 at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’ Alene, ID . He was 82.

Robert Berry Younger0001

Robert Max Berry Sr.  was born at home on May, 14, 1933 in Spirit Lake Idaho. He was the 5th child of Francis Gardner Berry and Sarah Frances Stith Berry. Dad had 3 sisters, Doris, Joyce and Lorraine and 1 brother Frank. All have preceded him in death. Beloved Son Robert Max Berry Jr. passed away in 1988.

My father graduated from Spirit Lake High school where most of his boyhood was spent. He worked in many different jobs: The Silver mine, Kaiser Aluminum, saw mills, selling Fuller Brush,door to door and as a Singer Sewing machine repairman. But it was his first law enforcement job as a desk sergeant that really stuck with him.

When he was in his early 20’s, he moved to California to live with his brother Frank and his wife. There he attended San Bernardino State college and studied music. He told me about experiencing his first earthquake there. Dad was a very accomplished pianist. He could play anything on the piano and organ. He was also a drummer and played briefly in a jazz band while living in San Francisco. Dad and Mom (Marjorie Irene Becklund) eloped and were married on April 7, 1956 in Superior Montana. They had a 2nd wedding on March 25, 1956 in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Our parents were married for 52 years. Our beloved Mom passed away on March 11, 2009. Dad was never the same after that day. He told me that losing Mom was like losing his right arm.

Dad liked helping people. He graduated from the Washington State Police Academy and went on to WSU and the U of I to study Criminal Justice. He worked as a deputy sheriff and police officer in Washington, Idaho and California for over 25 years. He once had a job in the Marshall Islands in Kwajalein guarding a US Army missile base. He told me that is where he passed his first kidney stone!

In 1975 Dad and Mom took off in their new vocation as Best Western motel inspectors. The job took them to nearly all of the United States and the provinces of Canada. They loved to travel. Dad served as the Lions Club President in Troy, Idaho and Yakima, Washington. He was a Boy Scout leader. He coached little league baseball. He and Mom briefly owned and ran a motel in Yakima. His interest and involvement in politics was highly active. Dad was a staunch Democrat and he was very opinionated about the current political climate, let alone the environmental one.

Not only was he musically gifted, he liked to carve and whittle and made small statues and wooden walking sticks for family and friends. Dad was a storyteller. And if you had a little bit of time to spare, he would have a joke or two for you.

Dad slipped away on January 30, 2016 at Kootenai Memorial Hospital surrounded by family. At the height of his disease, his true character came through. His integrity, grit and bravery at his passing were much like the virtues he possessed as a peace officer. Dad never faltered nor complained but instead continued his struggle to breathe with each beat of his broken heart.

The day of his passing our family went to the chapel to find strength and to make decisions. The Daily Word has been a comfort to my Sister and me so we read the passage for January 30, It read: I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. ~Psalm 32:8

Surviving family members are daughter’s Mickey (Mike) Chamberlain of Moscow, Jackie K. Stirm of Lodi, California. Grandchildren: Davin, Rebecca, Dillon, Austin, Tyler, Spencer, Max III, and Arielle. Great Grandchildren: Liam, Wallace, Veronica and Regan.

Dad and Mom will be inurned at the Medical Lake Veterans Cemetery. A celebration of their lives will occur at a later date.

“You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough” Joe E. Lewis

We love you Dad, way up to the sky and beyond!

2 Responses to Robert Berry

  1. Beverly Bircher Hattan says:

    Bob is my mother’s first cousin! I was so surprised and happy to read his obituary in our local paper!

    My mother was Geneal Agnes Hansen, daughter of Ada Mae Stith Hansen, of the Potlatch, Idaho, area. Mother always talked about “Sarie” and her kids with true happiness in her voice. My sister, Barbara, was a friend to Mickey(?) and they always had fun together. Momma talked about the times she got to stay in Spirit Lake and go see a movie free and eat some popcorn. She was the youngest of six Hansen kids: Sonny, Bud, Dorothy, Pauline, Skee and Tom or General (Geneal). In those days it didn’t take a lot to have fun, become close with your cousins, and go on a big adventure. Mother and all her siblings are gone now. Dorothy, second oldest, was the last to die at 89 years old (and her husband Joe died at 95 years old).

    Teeny came to our farm on several occasions. Once, when both Teeny and Ada were sitting outside in lawn chairs, just talking, my father came out onto the porch. He was 6’2″ and a big man, much younger than they were. Teeny asked Ada who that was and Ada said “that’s my boyfriend.” She would never have said that as she was very shy and proper, so it was so funny to me. You have to laugh at Alzheimer’s, but it’s sad they spent the end of their lives that way.

    I live 10 miles south of Pullman, WA, out in a wheat field (which we don’t own). I would love to hear from any of you and if there is any genealogy, I would love to make a copy of that, as “Mom” as we called our grandmother, didn’t know anything about her family. My number is 509-332-5506 and address is 1901 Union Flat Road, Pullman, WA 99163.

    your cousin Bev.

    • mickey chamberlain says:

      Hi Bev! So glad to connect with you. I love your memories and I too have fond memories of Ada and Gramma Sarah. I didn’t know your Mom well, but I sure knew your Dad. He was a very kind man. I did some nursing work and education at the Clark House while he was there. I was a friend of Barb’s and lost contact with her. Please tell her hi and about Dad. Dad was such a good historian and told me tons of stories about the family. We do have a book called the “Berry book” written by Otto Berry who was related to Dad’s father. And I think I still have pictures of the “Clapps” and they would have been Gramma Sarah’s relatives. Sarah’s daughter Joe passed away 1/29/2015 at the age of 91. Dad was the last to go of his family. We miss him terribly.
      I adored Aunt Ada and was honored to take care of her while she lived at Latah Care Center in Moscow. She did have Alzheimer’s and was what I would call pleasantly confused. Gramma Sarah had Alzheimer’s too.
      Hopefully we can get together and talk about family memories some more. Take care and thank you!
      Mickey Chamberlain~3420 E. Palouse River Drive~Moscow, Id~83843~208-596-8468.

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