The Rev. Dr. Jack Berry died on May16, 2023, at the age of 95. He was born Sept. 5, 1927, to Paul and Elma Berry in Massillon, Ohio. He lived in Massillon for seven years, Akron for five years and Youngstown for two years when the family moved to Minneapolis in 1941. He graduated from Patrick Henry High School and entered the Marine Corps serving in 1945 and 1946. Upon being discharged with the rank of Corporal, he enrolled in Augsburg College in Minneapolis with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949.
On June 10, 1949, he and LeVerne Westlin were united in holy marriage at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on the northside of Minneapolis. They were blessed with two children, Paul Wilson in 1958 and Christine Marie in 1961.
In the fall of 1949, he and LeVerne moved to Moline, Illinois, where he attended Augustana Lutheran Seminary. He completed a year of internship at First Lutheran Church in Brockton, Massachusetts. He received a Bachelor’s of Divinity degree and was ordained to the holy ministry in Chicago with 59 other classmates on June 14, 1953. He went on to receive A Master’s of Divinity degree on June 1, 1972, and Doctor of Ministry on June 5, 1977, from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
The first church he served was Bethlehem Lutheran in East Hampton, Connecticut. He then went on to serve at Calvary Lutheran on the southwest side of Chicago, Gloria Dei Lutheran and Downers Grove (Illinois). On the first Sunday of June in 1971 he began his 20-year ministry as Senior Pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Fremont and retired on June 19, 1991. In retirement he served 20 congregations on an interim basis that were without a pastor in and around Omaha and eastern Nebraska. For 23 summers he and LeVerne spent May to October on their private Berry Island on Lake Vermillion just south of the Canadian border.
Rev. Berry served in a great many capacities in the Lutheran church and in the communities where they lived, some of which were, Chairman of “Christ Calls Connecticut” an intra synodical evangelism program of all Lutheran church of the Augustana, United Lutheran and Missouri Synods in the state of Connecticut, Board of the South West Y.M.C.A. Chicago, President of the South Chicagoland Augustana Lutheran District, committee for Press, radio and television of the Lutheran Council of Greater Chicago, chairman of the Worship and Music Committee of Illinois Synod, Board of the Welfare council of Greater Chicago serving some 380 public and private social service organizations in seven counties of northeast Illinois and Lake County Indiana, Chairman of the Dupage County Planning Committee,, the Priorities Committee for total development program for the city of Downers Grove, Illinois, chairman of the continuing education committee for the pastors of the L.C.A Nebraska Synod, commission for the statement of Lay Ministry of the Lutheran Church in America, chairman of the constitution committee for the new Nebraska Synod of the E.L.C.A., chairman of the Long Range Planning for the Nebraska, and boards of two colleges one being Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, NE. and the founding committee for the Fremont Low Income Ministry.
Rev. Berry is preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Elma Berry; wife, LeVerne (Westlin) Berry.
He is survived by son, Paul (Shirley) of Indianapolis; daughter, Christine (Carlyn) Solomon of Boulder, Colorado; granddaughter, Krystal of Omaha; great-granddaughters, Diana and Isabella of Omaha; twin sister, Marva Jackson of Minneapolis; three step-grandchildren, Jessica (Kyle) Martindale, Julia (Ryan) Walton and Jerod (Laura) Solomon.
Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at Dugan Funeral Chapel.
A service of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church of Fremont.
Memorials suggested to the Endowment of Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Condolences may be left at duganchapel.com.