James L Berry


image of James L. Berry

James L. Berry

James (Jim) L. Berry passed away on December 23, 2019, in Seattle, WA.

Jim was born in Snohomish WA on April 25, 1924, to James and Grace Berry, the youngest of seven children. Jim graduated from Snohomish High School where he was captain of the football team and also participated in basketball and track. He served in the Army in WW II in the South Pacific campaign. Jim graduated from St Martin’s College, where he also played basketball and was a member of the track team, and received his teaching certificate from Central Washington University. He met the love of his life, Frances (Fran), while she was teaching in Olympia, and they were married in 1949, spending 70 years together prior to her death in November of this year. Jim spent his career teaching and in administrative roles while also coaching athletic teams, retiring as an elementary school principal in the Auburn School District.

Raising six children with Fran was his priority along with living his Catholic faith. Jim was an active member in his Catholic Church communities throughout his entire life. He most recently attended St. Joseph Catholic Church in Seattle. Prior to that he spent many decades serving at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Belfair and at Holy Family Catholic Church in Auburn as a member of the Parish Council, Knights of Columbus, a Eucharist Minister, and a lector. Fran and he distributed communion to the home bound as well.

Jim loved sports and until several years ago, could be found playing basketball with his grandchildren or watching a football game with his family. He especially loved to watch Notre Dame, UW and WSU. He also enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s school activities and sporting events.

Summer vacations were always a highlight. Jim made the wooden car top carrier for the station wagon that he’d pack full with a tent, sleeping bags and all the provisions for the many camping trips his family took around the state. The family also took several cross-country excursions, always by car, and in their later years, Jim and Fran enjoyed several trips abroad. Jim had a lifelong interest in history, so there were always lots of historical site visits.

Upon retirement, Jim relished living on Stretch Island, Grapeview, WA with Fran where many wonderful times with family and friends were spent on the beach and around the dinner table. He could be found most every day puttering in his garage or in the yard as well as shoring up the bulkhead along their waterfront. He spent the past several years in Seattle near his family at Fred Lind Manor Assisted Living, where Jim and Fran received excellent care from the loving staff.

Jim is survived by his six children, Debby Berry, Jim Berry, Jeff Berry, Sue Mauck (Warren), Maureen Berry, Laurie Blattner (Joe), eight grandchildren, Ty, Andy, Kayla, Stefanie, Jeff, Jr, Sam, Will, Alex, six great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly. He will be deeply missed.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 1171 NE Sandhill Rd in Belfair, WA on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 10:00am. Remembrances may be made in memory of Jim Berry to Prince of Peace Catholic Church.

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