UNION — Vern Berry, 83, died with his family surrounding him in his home Thursday, June 24, 2021.

Born Jan. 1, 1938, in Rockport, he was the son of Fred and Mildred Berry. As a child, he attended the one-room South Hope School House, and later attended Rockport High School.

To help support his family, he worked in Massachusetts cutting wood for the turnpike. After a few years, he worked for the Maine Blueberry Association, Union Lime Products, G.F. Payson Inc. and most importantly, he worked for Dragon Cement in Thomaston for 28 years as a heavy equipment mechanic.

As a young man, he enjoyed playing baseball, bowling, golfing, fishing and hunting. Vern loved the game of baseball. Many people that played with him said he was one of the best catchers around.  When his son Bob was ready to play, Vern stepped up and coached Little League, then coached Babe Ruth. He was immensely proud of his players and had several stories of those days.

Later in life, Vern enjoyed riding his motorcycle with his wife. Vern and Shirley, along with some friends, loved to tour the country. So much so that they made it to all states but Washington, California, Alaska and Oregon.

Another passion was his home. After working so hard to provide for his family, he loved the idea of staying home and his family and friends visiting him. When his children walked through the door with grandkids, his face would light up.  The love of his family kept his heart beating strong.

He was predeceased by his parents Fred and Mildred Berry and brothers Edwin (Ned), Glenn and Michael Berry.

Vern is survived by his wife Shirley; sons Robert and his wife Karen of Union; daughters Valerie and her partner Richard Murphy of N.H., and Julie and her husband Michael Brown of Hope; son Gregory and his partner Sonia Bates of Washington; grandchildren Earle Studley, Joshua and Jessica Berry, Shawn and Courtney Berry, Taylor Packard, Caitlin Raye, Nicole Brown, Kelsey Berry, Olivia Brown, Alec Brown; and great-grandchildren Ava Berry, Grady Berry, Alden Berry and Austin Berry.

He also leaves behind his sister Frances (Nan) Upham; sister-in-laws Sue Berry of Harvest, Ala., Jeanette Grinnell and her husband Gordon, Mildred Brooks, Rebecca Ripley, Sally Smith and Linda Upham; brother-in-law David Gushee; several generations of nieces and nephews; special longtime friends Alfred Tolman and John Crabtree.

A private family graveside service will be held Thursday, July 8, at Lakeview Cemetery in Union.  From 1 to 4 p.m., the family would like to invite all Vern’s friends and family to celebrate his life at his and Shirley’s home.

A special thanks to all the doctors and health care workers at Pen Bay Medical Center and Hospice Services, along with Hall’s Funeral Home for excellent care and support given to Vern and his family.

In lieu of flowers, donate to the Special Olympics Maine Bowling Program, 125 John Roberts Road, Ste 5, South Portland ME  04106.

Hall’s of Waldoboro has care of the arrangements.

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