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Wallace Ward Berry

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Date published: 5/7/2014

Wallace Ward Berry

Patiently waiting, the bell finally tolled for me at 10:04 p.m. Thursday, May 1, 2014. Although my health in the last several months hasn't been the best, still I have counted my blessings for a rather long life, a rather good life, and now am very content to cross over the river and be with my family and friends who have preceded me to that Eternal Home hath no end.

I was born on a Saturday, January 9, 1915, in lower King George County. I attended a two-room schoolhouse named Madison. I graduated from King George High School on May 23, 1932, with nine other boys and 10 girls, all of whom now have preceded me. These 19 were all married at least once, except myself, which perhaps gave me the edge in longevity.

I am survived by a nephew, Reginald C. Berry and wife Karen of Lynchburg; two nieces, Judith Ann Barbieri and husband John of Twicherham, England, and Janet Lea Berry and husband Kenneth of Lynchburg. Having lost all of my 16 first cousins, I have been proud of having a host of second, third, fourth, fifth cousins and beyond, which I have loved to hug and have treasured each one of them.

I was predeceased by my brother, Reginald S. Berry; my parents, Leonard and Clara Berry; and perhaps a host of others reaching back to Adam and Eve.

Most of my working-day life was in the hotel/motel industry, being employed first at the old Colonial Beach Hotel, now dismantled, the James Madison Hotel in Orange, Va., and the Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. I retired in 1982, after 20 years with the Holiday Inn family.

One exception, when I spent a year with the U.S. Department of State in Manila, the Philippine Islands in 1946 and 1947. I was there to witness the fulfillment of the dream of those Filipinos when they were granted from U.S. permission to form their own government on July 4, 1946. It was a thrill to see their cheers when our U.S. Flag was lowered in silent respect and their flag raised--thus the birth of a new nation. My military service involved 17 years in the U.S. Army (12 active, 5 in the reserves). Eleven of those years were with the Veterinary Corps in and around New York City and two years in Alaska.

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