Dr. Donald Ray Berry
January 17, 2014
Funeral Services for Dr. Donald Ray Berry, 91, of Picayune, Miss., who passed away Friday, January 17, 2014, will be held Saturday, January 25, 2014, at 12 p.m. at Roseland Park Baptist Church.
Visitation will be Friday, January 24, 2014 from 5-10 p.m. at McDonald Funeral Home.
Burial will be in New Palestine Cemetery under the direction of McDonald Funeral Home.
Brother Brad Replogle will officiate the service.
Dr. Berry was a native and lifelong resident of Picayune. As a youngster, he was a farmer, welder, and logger, as well as an avid hunter and fisherman — trades he used and practiced throughout his life, even up until just months ago. He and his brothers and sister worked at the family farm, and at any job they could get, with the money going to their parents for the support of their family.
After graduation from Picayune High School, he joined the U. S. Army Air Corps. His training was completed at Moorehead, Minnesota, during the winter amid several feet of snow and ice. He met his future wife, Theo Marie Larson, when she slipped and fell on the ice. As was the practice, families in the community invited soldiers to their homes on Sundays, and he was invited to her home. After leaving Minnesota, he was assigned to the crew of a B-29 bomber as the navigator and radio operator. He was stationed at several air bases, and was at Tinian, where a crew was chosen to drop the atomic bomb. He has always been thankful that his crew was not chosen.
After the war, he married his sweetheart and moved her to Picayune. They endured many hardships, but he used the GI bill for college, paying his living expenses by logging, welding, and any other job he could get. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with excellent grades, and was accepted to medical school at The University of Mississippi. At that time, Ole Miss Medical School just had the first two years of medical school in Oxford, and the second two years were at LSU. He was an alumnus of Southern, Ole Miss, and LSU. After postdoctoral training and internship, he returned with his wife and children to Picayune, and practiced medicine for 43 years, all the time still farming.
Unlike medical practice today, the general practitioner took care of pediatrics, geriatrics, dermatology, internal medicine, orthopedics, general surgery, gynecologic surgery, and obstetrics. Many of the families in Picayune and the surrounding area have had surgery by him and have been delivered by him. This man was one of a kind, and his life is to be celebrated, as we mourn our loss.
He was preceded in death by: his parents, Archie Leroy Berry and Mamie Elizabeth Weeks Berry; his wife, Theo Marie Larson Berry; 4 brothers, Denver, Dewey, Delton, and Durward; and 1 sister, Christine Berry Jordan.
Survivors include: his children, Dr. Martin LeRoy Berry; Janice Marie Berry, Linda Jenelle Berry Foster, and Dr. Jolene Rae Berry; 13 grandchildren; 25 great grandchildren; his sisters in law, Pauline Kennedy Berry and Erin Stockstill Berry; and many nieces and nephews.
Obituary, register book, and driving directions can be found on the internet page, at www.mcdonaldfh.com
Contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, 2019 22nd St, Gulfport, MS 39501.