Just shy of his 90th birthday, John E. Berry Sr. of Nichols went home to be with his Lord on Sunday, June 6, 2021 at his home, the same home in which his grandfather lived and passed away. John was a lifelong resident of Nichols, born on the Friedrichsen Farm on June 17, 1931, and one of seven children of Alvy and Waneta (Shoemaker) Berry. He graduated with his brother Raymond also at his side from the Nichols High School in 1950. On June 1, 1962, John married the love of his life, Rose Mary Catlin, and together shared 59 years of marriage.
John worked as a bus driver and mechanic for 35 years for Owego schools where he enjoyed his lunch breaks by playing cards. John loved the land and farmed with his father on the family farm for a number of years. It was a dream come true when in 2002 he bought his grandfather’s farm. His passion for farming endured as he continued to help local farmers with plowing and cutting silage and mowing his 100 acres up until his death. John’s love for farming naturally included tractors. He enjoyed displaying his vast collection of tractors – BN Farmall, Massey Harris and John Deere – in parades and participated in the Rudin’s Old Tyme Farm Days in Owego as a member of the organizing committee and worked at the event driving tractor for hayrides and demonstrated old-time farming techniques.
John was a friendly face to all and enjoyed sharing his time and talents. As a board member of Gibson Corners Church, he also helped fix the furnace and was instrumental in its remodeling. Church played an important part of John and Rose’s life, they treasured the friendships made at the Litchfield United Methodist Church and was a member of the Lounsberry Church, where he loved to sing. Carrying a tune, John enjoyed singing with Clair Brainard and his group, and would often be found strumming the guitar or playing the harmonica. Family reunions at the family farm were special times, too, and often John would always have his harmonica in his shirt pocket.
John loved to hunt, and at the impressive age of 85, he took down an 11-point buck all on his own. John will be remembered for his devotion to his family, companionship to his friends, and commitment to his community.
He will be greatly missed by his loving wife of 59 years, Rose Mary (Catlin) Berry; his children: Lee (Kimberly) Berry, John Berry Jr., Colleen (Scott) LaPar; special grandchildren: Benjamin, Jesse, Justin, Brian, Brittany and Morgan; his brother: Fred (Kathie) Berry; sisters: Lois (Bud) Waite, Ruth Quinn; his sisters-in-law: Donna Berry and Martha Berry; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Walt (Connie) Beers, Patty (Jim) Kent. Several nieces, nephews, cousins and their families also survive. John was welcomed into heaven by his parents; his siblings: Lloyd Berry, Bob Berry, Raymond (Lucille) Berry; his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Jack Quinn, Jerry (Marjorie) Catlin, and Dorothy Temple.
Family and friends are invited to attend a period of visitation on Friday, June 11 from 10-11 a.m. at the Sutfin Funeral Chapel, 273 S. Main St., Nichols. A celebration of his life will follow at 11 a.m. at the funeral chapel. John will be laid to rest in the Nichols Cemetery.
Memories and condolences may be shared by visiting his guest book at www.sutfinfuneralchapel.com.
Those who wish may kindly consider a memorial contribution to the Litchfield United Methodist Church, c/o Brett Rogers, 2758 Litchfield Road, Sayre, PA 18840 or the Lounsberry United Methodist Church, c/o Maryann Cronk, 201 Neiger Hollow Road, Barton NY 13734 in loving memory of John E. Berry Sr.