Reverend William Earl “Bill” Berry, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, went to be with the Lord on January 22, 2019. He was born to the late Evelyn Sheppard and Luther Hartzel Berry.
Bill grew up in Graniteville, SC and at the age of 9 came to live with his legal guardians Lucy and Reginald West. He resided in their home until he graduated from Leavelle McCampbell High School and joined the United States Navy. While on leave at the age of 23, he attended a church service at his beloved St. John's Methodist Church in Graniteville, SC. He sensed God's tug on his heart and surrendered his life to Christ. He was called to preach from St. Luke’s UMC and devoted his life to full time Christian ministry in the US Navy and The United Methodist Church. He graduated from Asbury University and Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He proudly served his country for 21 years in the US Navy, retiring as LCDR in the Chaplain Corps. US Navy commendations include the Korean Service Medal (1 star), Vietnam Service Medal (2 stars) and the National Defense Service Medal (1 star). As a United Methodist minister, he served more than 50 years in ministry with the North and South Georgia Conferences.
Following retirement from The United Methodist Church, he worked for Richmond County Department of Corrections as a Probation Officer, and also worked as a supervisor for DFACS. After retiring from Richmond County, he and his wife, Shirley, enjoyed 18 years directing and leading tours throughout North America.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Betty Berry and Patricia Carrow, and his brother, Walter H. Berry. He leaves to cherish his memories his loving wife of 66 years, Shirley Burton Berry, daughter Lillie Angelyn “Angie” Haywood (Van), Augusta, GA and son William Earl Berry, Jr. (Kim), Poulan, GA, nine grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, and many other family and friends.
A celebration of life service was held at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church on Friday, January 25 with Reverend Mike Cash officiating.
Memorial gifts may be given to Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church, 1330 Monte Sano Ave, Augusta GA 30904 or St. Luke United Methodist Church, 309 Crawford Avenue, Augusta, GA 30904.
Pallbearers were Lt. Dustin Lee Berry, Christopher Burton Berry, William Garrett Berry, William Earl Berry, Jr., David Wesley Haywood, and Michael Christopher Haywood.
Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Rd., Augusta, GA 30907 (706) 364-8484. Please sign the guestbook at www.thomaspoteet.com