Mr. William F. Berry, age 80, of Canton, MO passed away, Monday, May 2, 2022, in the Lewis County Nursing Home at Canton, MO.
Bill was born January 29, 1942, in Mishawaka, IN a son of Herman J. and Mildred E. Downey Nash. Mildred later remarried Leland W. Berry who adopted Bill at an early age. Bill married Lois Beth McConnell in Kirksville, MO on December 22, 1962.
Bill spent much of his early life in Canton, Missouri. Later he attended NMSU, now Truman State University. His senior year he was the Student Body president.
He moved back to Canton with his wife, Lois, in 1968. He developed an award-winning Canton RV
Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Concert Bands. Rarely did one of his competitive events result in any other award than an A rating or first place. He was very proud that he never took a chaperone on school trips. If a student missed the bus they could find their own way back home. In this way he taught personal responsibility and accountability. He connected with his students on an individual level, each have unique experiences. He was so much to so many. He made band cool.
Berry also served as the school theatrical director for several years. He coached golf, tennis, basketball and was one of the first teachers to tackle learning and teaching computer skills.
Bill and Lois were both very active community members. They participated in local theatrical productions and civic events.
In 1977 while Bill was away at a yearly band leaders convention Lois and their two children, Matt and Kelly visited with Kae and John Parker. The Parker’s had taken the previous summer to live in Alaska. Lois and the kids decided living in Denali Park Alaska it would be an amazing adventure for their family. Months later they began a journey which ended up lasting close to 30 years. Both Lois and Bill became licensed tour guides, and tour bus drivers in Denali National Park. The world opened up through this exposure to fellow park employees.
Suddenly they had friends who spent winters in far off lands like Nepal and Antarctica.
Bill and Lois acquired a curiosity to explore other parts of our planet. They visited many American National Parks, the Yukon Territory, Mexico and South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique.
Bill and Lois happily retired to their beloved home base in Canton in 1994.
Bill’s mottos: ‘Veni, Vidi, Velcro’ — I came, I saw, I stuck around. Let’s live on the planet as if we intend to stay. Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be fully explained by stupidity All perspectives hold some truth none contain the complete truth.
Survivors include his wife Lois of Canton, daughter Kelly Berry (Abraham) Vorster of Lake Balboa, CA; son Matthew (Jackline) Berry of Plymouth, MN; grandchildren, Clint Berry, Faith Berry, Willem Roth Vorster and Owen Berry Vorster; great grandchild, Allyanna Berry and niece Kristen (Mark) Hatch. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Karma Crowell.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at the Canton Christian Church with Rev. Robert Morrison and Rev. Mandy Gosik officiating. Visitation will be held Friday, May 6, 2022 from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the Davis Funeral Home in Canton. Burial will be held at a later date in Forest Grove Cemetery, Canton, MO.
The family suggests memorials be made to the Bill & Lois Berry Music Scholarship Fund in care of Davis Funeral Home, Canton, MO.
Online mcondolences may be left at www.davis-fh.com