COLLINS LANDING — William L. “Bill” Berry of Collins Landing East passed away Monday morning at the age of 91 at Samaritan Keep Home, Watertown, after a brief illness.
Bill was born on Sept. 1, 1927, in Auburn, NY, the son of Edgar L. “Ted” and Frances Potter Berry, and first came to the River at the age of five. This was the beginning of his never-ending love of the River. He graduated from Ithaca High School in 1945 and then served in the US Army from 1946 to 1947. Following the service, he graduated from Cornell University in 1949 earning a bachelor’s of science degree in chemistry and graduated from Michigan University in 1955, earning his master’s and a PhD in organic chemistry.
Bill married Jean E. Campbell on Sept. 2, 1950, the love of his life for 68 years, at the First Baptist Church in Ithaca.
He began his career as a chemist for American Cyanamid Plant in Bound Brook, NJ. In 1988, after 33 years with the company, he retired after serving as president of several divisions including Formica Corporation.
Bill was an avid hunter, fisherman, golfer and jogger. He was a supporter of Ducks Unlimited and a member of the Alexandria Bay Rotary Club, being named a “Paul Harris Fellow”. Bill loved the River and spending time on Bilberry Island, which he owned.
Bill also had another hidden talent, a love of cooking and baking. He was brought up in his father’s bakery-restaurant business, the Home Dairy in Ithaca, NY where he had worked through his High School and College years cooking, baking and especially decorating cakes.
He is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Jean, their daughter Peggy Jean (Steve) Hale, Collins Landing, and their son Ted William (Debi) Berry, Middlefield, CT; and six grandchildren, Sara, Russell, Kelly, and Kevin Hale, and Tyler and Janelle Berry. A daughter, Joan Elizabeth, predeceased him in 1961.
Everyone has a story to tell of his or her acquaintance with Bill. Bill’s sense of humor and caring personality has touched so many and will be truly missed be all.
Calling hours will be held 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at Costello Funeral Home, Alexandria Bay. The funeral service with military honors will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home with Rev. Freddie Webb, officiating.
Memorial donations may be made in Bill’s name to River Hospital, (www.riverhospital.org), or PO Box 567, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607 or to the Alexandria Bay Rescue Squad, 110 Walton St., Alexandria Bay, NY 13607.
Online condolences may be made at www.costellofuneralservice.com.