Robert Eugene Berry, Sr.
March 11, 1936 – October 4, 2020
Robert was born on March 11,1936 in Scottsboro, AL to Miss Leola McKee, a rare single mother in Rural Depression-Era Alabama. He was delivered at home, with his grandmother as midwife.
His mother married Mr. Fate Berry, a widower with three children: Virgil, Billy, and Lillian. Mr. Fate adopted Robert when he was seven. The family grew with younger sisters Betty (now deceased) and Janie; and brother Lawrence.
The post-war years in Alabama were very difficult. But Leola was an exceptionally strong-willed woman, and she passed that enduring trait on to her son. Throughout his life, Robert never stopped moving forward with his plans, doing things his way, on his timeline. When Robert set out to achieve a goal, it got done. And it got done right.
A carpenter, Mr. Fate taught the trade to Robert. Robert learner quickly and became a very talented carpenter.
In the 1950’s, Robert joined the Air Force, working as a mechanic on F86 Sabres in Europe and spending almost five years there. He was reassigned to Tyndall AFB in Florida to complete the few months left he had to serve.
In 1957, he came home on leave to Scottsboro, where, at a Friday night football game, he met a young lady named Barbara Guffey. He made up his mind right then that he would marry her.
Robert informed the Air Force that he wanted out of his service and took an early termination so he could return to her.
Back in Scottsboro, he worked with his father building homes while trying to convince Barbara to marry him, including enticing her with a brand-new house. Barbara insisted she would not marry him until she became the first person in her family to graduate from high school.
Graduation came the second week of May, and on May 23, 1959, Robert and Barbara eloped and were married in Ringgold, Georgia as Barbara was not legally old enough to marry in Alabama, and Robert did not want to wait any longer. They celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2020.
Robert continued building houses, and Barbara worked at the hospital until their first son, Robert Jr., was born. Soon after, the family moved to Hammond, Indiana. The next years saw Robert start and operate a successful roofing company while being blessed with three more children, Vanessa, Jeffery, and Charles.
In 1972, the Berry family moved to Decatur, Georgia where Robert started Dekalb Roofing Company, which still operates now in the capable hands of Robert Jr. and Jeffery after 48 years.
Upon retiring, Robert and Barbara settled in Cumming, Georgia and began to see the USA by car. They visited all 50 states and every National Park in the contiguous US. He enjoyed the years granted to him. He stopped for nothing. And while he was occasionally called impatient or stubborn, Robert preferred to think of himself as determined and creative. He was an endearing man: likeable, sociable, fun, and trusted. He was an honest business man, an exacting carpenter, an even more exacting boss, and a good family man. He will be missed by many.
His greatest loves were Barbara, his children, his in-laws, and, most of all, his five granddaughters, to whom he was affectionately known as “Poppy”.
Robert passed away on October 4, at home, his final moments in Barbara’s loving embrace.
Robert is survived by his loving wife, Barbara J. Guffey Berry of Cumming, GA. His children: Robert E. Berry Jr. of Decatur, GA, Vanessa L. Berry of Flowery Branch, GA, Jeffery A. Berry of Suwanee, GA, Charles and Lisa Berry of Atlanta. He is also survived by his daughter-in-heart Carol Berry of Alpharetta. Robert aka Poppy is survived by his loving grandchildren: Brittanie N. Berry of Alpharetta, Ashley L. Berry of Boston, Heather Berry Knowlton and husband Michael of Smyrna, Kathryn E. Berry of Atlanta, and Violet P. Berry of Atlanta. He is also survived by his sister Janie Perez and son Jason Perez of Kendall, FL. He is also survived by his brother Lawrence Berry and family of Winchester, TN. Robert is also survived by his Sister-in-heart Glenda Anderson of Lawrenceville, GA. Robert also leaves behind numerous friends in Muirfield, in Cumming, GA.
Condolences may be expressed at www.mcdonaldandson.com.
Arrangements by McDonald and Son Funeral Home, 150 Sawnee Drive, Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 886.9899
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