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Obituary for James Berry

James  Berry
“Fair Winds & Following Seas”

James F. (Jim) Berry, Jr. of Thomaston, passed away Friday, September 12, 2014 at his home surrounded by his family after a valiant battle with cancer.
Jim will always be remembered for his unending sense of humor and his storytelling. He was always ready, willing and able to lend a hand to his family & friends as well as strangers. His legacy will live on through his children, grandchildren and the many other people whose lives he touched.
Born in Waterbury on October 24, 1936, Jim was the eldest son of James F. Berry, Sr. and Georgette (Courtot) Berry and resided in the Waterbury area. He graduated from Crosby High School in 1954, where he met his wife of 37 years, Karen A. (Harders) Berry who passed away, May 1st, 1994.
A US Navy veteran, Jim enlisted in the US Navy in November of 1955 and was on active duty until July 1, 1975 at which time he transferred to the Fleet Reserve of the US Navy until July of 1983.
NRTC, Waterbury, CT: November 1953 to November 1955
NAVERECSTA, Brooklyn, NY November 1955 to December 1955
NAVRADSTA, Imperial Beach, CA December 1955 to July 1956
HDQRTS ASA Fort Devens, MA July 1956 to September 1956
NCS Port Lyautey, Morocco October 1956 to December 1959
NSGA Fort G.G. Meade, MD January 1960 to February 1961
DET 28 Karamursel, Turkey May 1961 to May 1963
NCS Cheltenham, MD June 1963 to June 1966
NSGA Edzell Scotland, July 1966 to July 1968
NCS Philippines, August 1968 to February 1970
NSGA Fort G.G. Meade, MD March 1970 to April 1970
NSGA Winter Harbor, ME April 1970 to May 1972
NSGA Hanza, Okinawa, July 1972 to June 1975
Upon his retirement from active duty from the US Navy in 1975, he became a talented cabinet maker and carpenter for the remainder of his life.
He was active as a Scout Leader, Assistant Scout Leader and District Training Committee in the Boy Scouts from 1971 to 1977. He was a member of the Northfield Volunteer Fire Company 1978 to 1985 where he served as a lieutenant and Junior Fire Company Advisor.
In his spare time, he enjoyed telling jokes, woodcarving, woodworking, camping, watching John Wayne movies and being surrounded by his family and friends.
Jim is survived by his 2nd wife Debbie Berry of Thomaston, his children from his 1st marriage, Kathleen Berry of Thomaston, Michael J. Berry Sr. and wife Teresa of Northfield, Linda Quinn and husband Timothy Sr. of Thomaston and daughter, Kirsten Legendre of Northfield. He also leaves his step-sons, Francis VanOrmer and wife Kathleen of Litchfield, Christopher VanOrmer and wife Emily of Machias, ME, Matthew VanOrmer and wife Christina of Torrington and Benjamin VanOrmer of Torrington. His two brothers, George Berry and wife Carol of Waterbury and Patrick Berry of Wolcott. His 18 grandchildren;
Katie, Michael Jr., Christine, Kimberly and Matthew Berry
Beth McLellan & husband Ryan, Timothy J. Jr. and Danielle Quinn
Jessica, Sarah & Rebecca Legendre
Joseph, Andrew and Thomas VanOrmer
Elayna VanOrmer
Marissa, Lilianna and Isabella VanOrmer
He also leaves his Mother-in-law – Sallie Smith of Northfield, Sister-in-law – Ellen Owens & husband Dale of Manassas, VA, Brother-in-law – Gerald Smith of Northfield, Brother-In-law – Jim Smith & wife Marylou of Baltic, CT, Brother-in-law – Jeff Smith and wife Kathleen of Canton, CT and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Calling hours will be on Sunday, September 14, 2014 from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Rowe Funeral Home, Litchfield. Funeral services will be held at Saint Anthony of Padua Church, Litchfield on Monday, September 15, 2014 at 10:00 am with burial to follow at the Northfield Cemetery, Northfield. For more detailed information please go to

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Northfield Volunteer Fire Company, 12 Knife Shop Road, Northfield.

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