Richard “Dick” Berry

Richard “Dick” Berry – 83 – of 133 Thacher Street, had a Tee Time at the Pearly Gates Golf Course on June 1, 2018 with his brother and father.  He passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Hornell on October 6, 1934, he was the son of Ralph and Laura (Dunning) Berry.

For nearly forty years Dick was employed by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) as a civil engineer, retiring in 1992.  While at the NYSDOT he was in charge of the weekly football pool!

Dick grew up in the Hornell/Almond area, graduating from Hornell High School Class of 1952.  He loved sports – playing and watching – and did both throughout his entire life.  He starred on St. Paul’s team during his Sunday School Basketball League days, and later played in the YMCA men’s basketball league.  Dick played fast pitch softball for many years, during which time he participated in a game against the “King and His Court,” Eddie Feiner.  Dick grew up in pool halls and was a very skilled good pool player.  He remained active in several area leagues until his passing.

An avid and gifted golfer, Dick had memberships at various courses, including Twin Hickory Golf Club, Hornell Country Club, and Westfield Country Club.  He won numerous tournaments across the state, among them several Club Championships – and Senior Club Championships – over the years.  Dick had an amazing memory when it came to the game of golf.  Not only could he remember every shot from every hole of golf on each course he ever played, but he could recall the shots of all of his co-players.

Dick was known for his incredible luck both on and off the golf course.  He had several (maybe 5?) “Holes-in-One” during his golf days.  He frequently won on his daily purchases of “scratch-offs” at the Convenient Food Mart, and he garnered more than his share of 50-50 drawing winnings at the Hornell Dodger and Hornell High School football games.

As a member of the Hornell Moose Lodge, Dick liked “going to work” every day- playing cards with his buddies.  He also enjoyed meeting his friends for coffee and “bull sessions” every morning around town, at JC’s Café, Billy Schu’s and the Arkport Village Café.

Throughout his life Dick was actively involved in the local community. He was very dedicated to delivering Thanksgiving dinners for Billy Schu’s every year with his co-pilot Dan Sweeney.  He enjoyed attending reunions with his Class of 1952 classmates and was a member of the Hornell Alumni Association.  He volunteered his time coaching in both the Hornell Little League (Masons team with his brother Dan) and Biddy Basketball, even before he had a son of his own.  He was twice Master of the Hornell Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons (F & AM), and was a Scout Master for his son’s Cub Scout Den. Dick was a member of the United Presbyterian Church of Hornell.

In addition to his parents, Dick was preceded in death by his brother, Daniel and wife Mary; his sister Marylin Regan, and an infant brother William Berry.

Surviving are his three daughters, Cindy (Tom) Fitzwater of Hornell, Debbie (Greg) Souchik of Bradford PA, and Barb Berry of Hornell; his son Richard Berry Jr. of Hornell; his grandchildren, Josh (Tammi) Fitzwater, Matthew (Michelle) Fitzwater, Nathan Beam, Shane Beam, Jesse (Hannah) Beam, Johnathan Argentieri, Wyatt Argentieri, Molly Berry and Mallory Berry, Hayley (Chris) Kavalla, and Alexa Berry; 11 great grandchildren (and another on the way); several nieces and nephews, including two special nieces Laura (John) Giglio and Nancy Berry Shearer.  Also surviving are his loving companion of 25 years, Joanne (Hammer) Mastin; Joanne’s children, Jeff (Kathy) Hunt of Florida, Mark (Dawn) Hunt of Addison, and Terri (Dale) Houghton of Savona, and their children and grandchildren.

To honor Dick’s wishes, there will be no calling hours or service.  Family and friends are invited to share in a “Celebration of Life” on Saturday June 9, 2018 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at the Hornell Moose Lodge (upstairs), 66 Seneca Street, Hornell NY.  We will remember and share stories of Dick – both humorous and serious – and a good time will be had by all.  This is the way Dick would have wanted it – everyone having fun and enjoying themselves.  He will be missed!

Dick’s family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions in his name be made to the Hornell Little League, PO Box 74 Hornell NY 14843 or to the Hornell YMCA, 18 Center Street, Hornell NY 14843 or the Hornell Humane Society, 7649 Industrial park Road, Hornell NY 14843.  Envelopes will be available at the “Celebration of Life” on Saturday.

Arrangements are in the care of Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church Street, Hornell, NY.

4 Responses to “Richard “Dick” Berry”

  1. Biff Berry says:

    RIP my friend. You will be missed by all. Maybe not all, but certainly me.

  2. John Heffner says:

    Rich……
    Sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. I had a lot of good memories with him and his brother. RIP Dick.

  3. Jack M Amphlett says:

    I was lucky enough to have been friends with Dick since playing for Masons and the Berry brothers from 1962-1966. I always looked up to Dick. He was a great golfer for sure. I recall playing in the Hornell Men’s basketball league against Dick. Their team had some great golfers on it. Gary Knight and Kevin Creagan were also on his team. Dick loved beating up on us young kids but always did it in fun. I will miss running into Dick and talking about Sports. My condolences to the family.

  4. Christie Hartman-Fortner says:

    I met Mr. Berry a few years ago when he trusted me enough to be his insurance agent after the passing of his current agent and friend, Dan Racalto. Mr. Berry was always very friendly and kind to me and I enjoyed his conversations when he came in, mostly golf related. I was saddened to hear of his passing, my condolences to all of his family.

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