Warner R. Berry, Sr., age 90, passed away at the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery VA Medical Center on April 21, 2014. A brief visitation will be held on Thursday, April 24, 2014 from12:00pm to 1:00pm at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home at Highland Colony Parkway. Funeral services will be private. Warner was born in Vanleer, Tennessee to the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Van Berry. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jewel, son, Bobby, and great-grandson, Wesley Berry; also, brother Billy Joe Berry, sisters Eloise Freeman and Dottie Jean Phillips. He is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Laura, son, Chuck (C.B.),...
Warner R. Berry, Sr., age 90, passed away at the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery VA Medical Center on April 21, 2014. A brief visitation will be held on Thursday, April 24, 2014 from12:00pm to 1:00pm at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home at Highland Colony Parkway. Funeral services will be private.
Warner was born in Vanleer, Tennessee to the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Van Berry. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jewel, son, Bobby, and great-grandson, Wesley Berry; also, brother Billy Joe Berry, sisters Eloise Freeman and Dottie Jean Phillips.
He is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Laura, son, Chuck (C.B.), daughter-in-law, Michele, granddaughter, Hope, of Brandon, MS; grandson, Neill (Ashly), and great grandson, Ty of High Point, NC; daughter-in-law, Jan, of Pass Christian, MS, stepsons, Shappley Harris of Flowood, MS and Jeff Harris of Clarksdale, MS. In addition, Warner is also survived by his brother, Tommy (Alice) Berry of Murphysboro, IL, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In December, 1942, Warner enlisted in the Army, where he participated in the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) and took engineering courses at the University of Maine, His studies were cut short due to the impending Normandy invasion, and in late March, 1944, Warner was one of the 1,000 ASTP replacements from New England colleges sent to join the 26th Division of the 104th Infantry, Company "L". For these young men, this event was described as "from campus to foxhole" in a little over 48 hours. Over the next few months, Warner went through strenuous training and maneuvers, and after enjoying a 12-hour pass in New York City, departed on the SS Argentina on August 27, 1944 headed towards Europe.
In Europe, Warner courageously fought in the battles/campaigns of Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe. On November 12, 1944 in Rodalbe, France, he was wounded in battle and captured by the Germans and spent the rest of his military career as a Prisoner of War at Stalag XII. He arrived back home, as he said, in the "good ole USA" on June 16, 1945.
For his service and bravery, Warner was awarded numerous honors and medals, including the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman Badge, Good Conduct Medal, EAME (European-African-Middle Eastern) Campaign Medal, American Theater Ribbon, World War II Victory Medal, and three bronze service stars.
After the war, Warner completed his college education, earning a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee. Warner enjoyed a successful and fulfilling career in the field of engineering. From 1947 - 1951, he taught Civil Engineering courses at Mississippi State University.
In 1951, Warner and his family moved to St. Louis, MO, where Warner was employed by an international engineering firm, Svevdrup and Parcells. During this time he received experience in design of steel mills, industrial complexes, bridges, military test facilities, and major expressway facilities. In 1957, Warner moved his family to Jackson, MS where he began employment as an Assistant Bridge Engineer with the firm of Michael Baker, Jr., Inc. He quickly advanced to the position of Assistant Division Engineer in charge of engineering design and supervision of construction of numerous civil engineering facilities. In 1965, Warner joined Smith and Sanders Inc. as vice-president and chief engineer. His responsibilities included supervision of all engineering projects performed by the firm, including airports, bridges, highways, flood control port and harbor facilities, and water and sewer projects. Post-retirement, Warner served as a consultant with the Jackson office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Soil Conservation Service. Warner was a registered Professional Engineer in Mississippi, serving as President of the Jackson Chapter MS Society of Professional Engineers. He also held memberships in the National Society of Professional Engineers, as well as Phi Kappa Phi and Tau Beta Pi Honorary Societies and the Exchange Club of North Jackson.
Warner lived his life with integrity, courage and kindness, and will be missed by all who knew and loved him. The family would like to thank the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff at the Veterans Administration, and also the family of Jack Williams, whose loyal friendship spanned from 1960 to his death in 2013.
Memorials may be made to the Wilson Research Foundation, 1350 E. Woodrow Wilson Drive, Jackson, MS 39216 (www.methodistonline.org
) or to French Camp Academy, One Fine Place, French Camp, MS 39745 (www.frenchcamp.org