Howard Raymond Berry


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Howard "Rascal" Raymond Berry
October 4, 1938
March 13, 2020
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                                                                                                     A Tribute to my Husband
Howard “Rascal” Raymond Berry
October 4 1938 – March 13, 2020

MY wonderful husband or 43 years passed on at Gosnell Hospice in Scarborough, Maine. He was 82 years old.  Writing his obituary is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  We made it through 10 years of Alzheimer’s, only to have a young man rear end us in April of 2019.  The concussion and injuries traumatically led to hospitalizations, medication changes and finally 2 strokes.

Howard was my soulmate, my partner, my cherished lover and best friend, a joy even in these last years.  We would go to Senior suppers, church, watch favorite movies, listen to Hank Williams Sr. and I would keep him informed and continue to share topics with him.  Often, he would surprise me and say “I really love you Hon.”  That meant so much, when most people forget their loved ones, he never did.  Thank you God, he had a great sense of humor.  The Nurses and Doctors all commented on this retained ability and they enjoyed seeing him.
 For 2 years he had us all believing his middle name was Rascal. Upon applying for our marriage license, he sheepishly admitted it was Raymond. Everyone at City Hall got a big kick out of both of our expressions.  On our belated honeymoon to Morocco a Sheik offered Howard 40 camels and 7 goats for me. When the town bus driver ran over and said, Mr. Berry he is making a bona fide offer for your wife.  Howard gasped and said, I was holding out for Arabian horses!  The kids and grand kids love that story.

Every time we went to the huge Barry Reunions, Howard was the hammiest and could be counted on to be part of any reunion theme. He sang and played, and of course Volleyball and horshoes. He raced the small lake boats with cousins, nieces and nephews.  He always helped set up tents, horseshoes and more.  You could ask him to help with anything.
He never forgot his roots, Michigan Huron native American on his mother’s side and his grandfather’s on his father’s side, hence, the canoeing, fishing and he even had as a boy a black Alaskan wolf given to him by an Uncle.  

He was in the top 500 Archers in the United States.  Howard loved long distance bicycling, that one he did on his own.  When we were in Dallas, TX at my Mary Kay Convention, we took home the top bowling trophy in the husband’s competition.  In his 50s and 60s, we hosted Volley ball games in our back yard twice a week for about 15 years.  Everyone wanted Howard on their team because he was so good.  He didn’t hog the ball and he had lots of patience with the young players making sure that they didn’t get hurt.  Then we would all dive off of our dock (which he and the boys made) and cool off in the river.

Howard also sang with the Downeasters and was in a live video.  Howard led by example with kindness, generosity, integrity and always looking out for the little guy.  We semi-adopted a family of 7, made sure they finished school and obtained good jobs.  He taught them how to build and fix cars, appliances, lawn mowers and more.
Howard graduated from Lansing, Michigan High School and upon graduation, he entered the United States Airforce, studying 9 radar and electronic courses.  He was fond of telling how he got to fly a helicopter and how he and 300 other Airforce men held their own on a base of 3,000 Marines.  Upon his discharge, he went on to study electrical engineering research and development for the space program.  He was proud that he had top security clearance and helped make the chips for the Apollo 1’s mission to the moon.  
During Howard’s first marriage, he found it difficult to commute from out of state jobs at Hamilton Standard, Sprague Electronics and Fairchild Semiconductor.  When Fairchild “downsized”, he had to deliver 100s of “pink slips”.  After this experience, Howard left the corporate world and married me, Barbie.  After getting his feet wet for two years at Castro Convertibles, he and  I established Berry’s Bargain Barn.  Howard was now his own boss and put all of his engineering skills to work on fixing and selling appliances, always with guarantees.  He and Chris Lord also started a side line of fixing all yard equipment, repairs and sales.  His wife joined in the venture and added an exchange library.  People would say to me how can you spend 24/7 hours with your husband, I would grin and say that we are a team with the same principles and liking for people and that he was just fun to be around.  I also said he made me feel needed, cherished, respected and loved.

Howard was a great Dad and had the patience of Job.  He loved dancing with our handicapped daughter, to watch them was to bring tears to my eyes. Howard sang with the Downeaster’s he also hosted and looked out for the Ya Salaam dancer’s as we traveled around New England ding shows.
Howard was predeceased by his mother, Rita May Newton and his father, Floyd Berry of Michigan, his beloved daughter, Debbie Darcy and his adopted son Donny Ward.  He is survived by me, Barbie his gratified wife.  Also survived by daughters; Tammie and her daughters Sabrina and Shelby of Tennessee, Angela and her sons Ryan, Evan and Bryce ( ME), sons; Keith and his daughter Danielle (ME), Brian and his son Garrett and daughter Caitlyn (ME).  Howard will also be missed by his sisters; Alice Lutman and family (ME), Linda White and family (MI), Roberta and family (TX), Jessie (MI), brothers; Chuck and family, Paul and family, George and family. He is also survived by his adoptive clan, Debbie, Jeff, Mike, Jackie, Raymond, Chris, and Paul Grona Modern also special care givers at the John F. Murphy Homes Lynne, Trish, Lisa, and A.J.and our own favorite senior Joanna Sinnett.

Howard was loved and respected by many, especially his wife Barbie.  Even in the last few months he would surprise me out of the blue with “I really love you Hon”.  This was a real treat as most people in their 10th year with Alzheimer’s don’t even know their spouses.  Howard never forgot or stopped loving me.  Just before Howard passed, he was responsive from a major stroke for 6 days.  I was crying but was telling him that it would be all right to go and be with our Debbie.  Suddenly he cupped the right side of my face and with his eyes still closed gently brushed away my tears with his thumb.  He then opened both his eyes and smiled at me with so much love and tenderness.  I smiled back and said with all my heart, I love you too Honey.  That final gift, I will cherish all my life.  He came back down that tunnel to ease my pain and it worked.  My last memory is of his stead fast love and concern for me.
Other special and close friends for nearly 25 years saw in Howard a remarkable father of a special needs daughter.  These were teachers, and care givers of the John Murphy Homes in Auburn. Debbie literally had 4 more Moms, Lynne, Lisa, Trish and AJ.  They all admired Howard’s love and care of Debbie Darcy.

Also my appreciation to MMC Dr. Tisher and her knowledge of medications , Dr. Dobieski of Intermed for his good care of Howard through the years.  MMC Richards Wing 2 who helped maintain that close bond of husband and wife when I could not get in to see him because I had fallen and fractured bones.  Special people at Brentwood Nursing Home, Brenda, Beth, Linsey, Melissa, and the PT and OT department, who helped me get to Howard.  Also the kind people at Gosnell Hospice during those final days and Jeff, Glenn and Julie Ann at Coastal Cremations who are still helping me through tough times especially with Covid 19.  God Bless you all.  In spite of Covid 19, close friends will get together at different times over the summer.  Howard would approve ---- small clusters with people who cared about him and me.



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