Betty J. Berry

February 15, 1926 ‒ January 08, 2021

Lucas, Ohio


Betty J. (Pugh) Berry of Lucas, Ohio, age 94, passed away on Friday, January 8th, 2021 at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital after a brief stay.  She was born in Mansfield at the Eleanor Thomas Hospital (now Liberty Nursing Home) on February 15th, 1926 to James (Jim) and Georgia Pugh.

Betty loved life and lived it to the fullest, never wanting to miss anything!

Betty grew up in the Woodland area of Mansfield and attended Prospect, Woodland, Hedges and John Simpson schools. When one of the schools was being built Betty and her classmates had to crawl through a window to get into the school.  She learned to play the piano “by ear” at age three when her brother Bob, four years older, received music lessons at home.  Betty would listen to what the music instructor played and then she would pick it out by ear and went on to play by ear beautifully the rest of her life mostly playing music from the 1920’ and 1930’s but also military, Christmas and religious music and hymns.  She even played on the stage in Branson Missouri in front of hundreds of people.  She loved playing the piano!

Betty went to Mansfield Senior High and when she turned 16 she got a part time job selling shoes at JCPennys close to the square in Mansfield.   After she graduated from Mansfield Senior High in 1944 she attended business college and went to work for Taylor Metal Products as Dick Taylor’s secretary and then for Purdy Construction.

Betty’s father Jim Pugh built the Pugh Cabins, now part of Malabar Farm State Park, in the 1930’s and 1940’s and Betty and her brother Bob helped.  The family traveled to the Cabin on weekends and summers and moved there permanently in 1947.  Her mother’s cousin said Betty just had to go sing in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church choir in Lucas as there were two eligible bachelors singing in the choir and that’s where Betty met Duane Berry.  Betty and Duane fell in love and were married on September 5th, 1948 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and had 62 wonderful years of marriage until Duane’s passing in 2010.  They did almost everything together and were a great couple.

Since Duane was a farmer Betty had to learn how to gather eggs, drive a tractor, bale hay, etc.  They had 5,000 chickens and cleaned and packed the eggs to sell on a regular route to Mansfield groceries, restaurants, to Louis Bromfield, and sent some to New York City.  They later had sheep, beef cattle, and horses.  Betty worked part time as a Monroe Township Clerk and drove the Lucas Rural Mail Route delivering mail for 8 years.

Betty and Duane had a daughter Connie Jean who was born in 1953 with health issues and passed away 19 months later.  Betty and Duane said they were then so fortunate to have a daughter Joan and a son Bob for which they were extremely grateful.   The family was very close and built many great memories of doing things together.

Betty and Duane played pinochle with the same group of friends once a month for 60 years and had so much fun!  They also square danced and even won the “Best Couple” prize at one Malabar Farm Barn Dance.  They spent many evening playing cards as a family with their children as well.

Betty and Duane attended the Congregational Church in Lucas (now Grace Bible) and Betty served as a Youth Leader and trained a girls singing group and Betty also sang in a women’s trio.  Rev. J. Ray Klingensmith was the minister at the Congregational Church and saw so much potential in Betty that he encouraged her to go to college so at age 36 Betty started at Ashland College taking one class at a time while she worked and raised her family.  She worked on her Elementary Education degree and served as the first secretary for the Art Department in the new Arts and Humanities building at Ashland College (AC, now Ashland University).   She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in 1972 from AC and went on to The Ohio State University to earn her Master’s Degree in Counseling in 1973.  She was hired by Crestview Schools and was an Elementary and Junior High School Guidance Counselor for 17 years.  She really loved working with the students and staff where she made many life-long friends.  After a life-threatening stoke, she retired from Crestview in 1990.

Betty and Duane followed Rev. Klingensmith to the East Homer United Church of Christ where she played the organ for 30 years and Betty and Duane sang in a quartet with the Klingensmith’s.  When Rev. Klingensmith passed away Betty and Duane discovered Little Washington Congregational Church in Mansfield close to their home and Pastor Dave Root.  They both really liked this church and became members in 2003.  Betty played the organ and the piano and sang in the LWCC church choir for years.  In fact, she played the piano beautifully at church just three weeks before she passed away.

Betty loved growing flowers and grew them everywhere for years.  She lived in her home in Lucas for 73 years and was able to stay in her home with the help of her children up until she went to the hospital.  She frequently said that she had a wonderful life and was really blessed.  We will all miss her cheerful disposition and personality, her jokes and her!

Anyone who knew Betty always saw her enthusiasm for life, her interest in everything, how she loved everyone and appreciated everything, her love and pride for her children, her telling of jokes, her love of cookies, pies and any desert, her love of playing the piano for others, and her beautiful sparkly sweaters and tops.  So many have commented on how Betty was such an inspiration to them and they just loved her personality and her!  Betty thought the best of everyone and lived as a true Christian!

Betty is survived by her two children that loved her very much and are very proud of her: Joan Berry Kalamas (spouse David J. Kalamas who is deceased) of Lucas and is a Professor at Ashland University and Dr. Robert Berry (spouse Lynda L. Berry who is deceased) of Perrysville who is a Chiropractor and has his own Chiropractic practice in Loudonville; three grandchildren Renee Meadows and her husband RJ Meadows of Gallatin, Tennessee, Allen Berry and his wife Stefany Berry of Gallatin, Tennessee, and Jennifer Malinak Kalamas of Plano, Texas; and a great granddaughter Harper Meadows, also from Gallatin Tennessee.  She is also survived by a sister in law Ruth Berry and nephews David Berry, Jim Berry, Michael Hollinger, Brian Hollinger, and Jamie Pugh and by nieces Marilyn Johnson, Cher Cox, Elaine Yildiz, Shirley Jones, Barb Endsley, Cyndy Burt, and Debbie Saks.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband Duane Berry whom she was married to for 62 wonderful years, her mother Georgia M. Pugh, her father James V. Pugh, her brother Robert Pugh and sister-in-law Marnie Pugh, and brothers-in-laws and sisters-in-laws Leo and Mabel Berry, Wilma and Max Maglott, Lyle Berry, Rosella and Glen Hollinger, and Walter and Phyllis Berry.

A Celebration of Life service will be held for Betty on Saturday, January 23rd at 2:00 p.m. at the Little Washington Congregational Church, 2323 Washington South Road (corner of Hanley Rd. and Washington South Rd.), Mansfield, Ohio.  The family will receive visitors from 12:00 (noon) until 2:00 p.m.    For those who don’t feel they can attend this Celebration the family understands.

Betty will be laid to rest at Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Lucas at a separate time.

Memorial contributions in remembrance of Betty may be made to Little Washington Congregational Church, 2323 Washington South Road, Mansfield, Ohio 44903.

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  • Joan, Bob & your families,
    Wow! Your mother was even more amazing than I’d always thought! I just thought she was a wonderful wife, mom, and lovely person! She was so much more than the virtuous person I had concluded in the days of my youth. No wonder (fully and rightfully so) you are so very proud of her! She is the epitome of “The Wife of Noble Character” in Proverbs 31!
    I offer my deepest condolences in your loss and lift your family in prayer for God’s peace and consolation.

  • Dearest Joan and Bob…so blessed to have been born into this family, and greatful for sharing your mom with us. When I think of Aunt Betty, one word that comes to mind is spunk! She truly loved life and her family. In her face you could see the light of Jesus and she was a blessing to all who knew her. Always ready to give an encouraging word, tell a hilarious joke or offer hospitality. I had no idea she had accomplished so many things, and although I am not surprised I can’t help but find myself smiling ear to ear. Was there anything she couldn’t do? Our loss is truly heaven’s gain. Until we meet on that Golden shore for our BIG reunion (with all our loved ones) I will treasure these fond memories. Love,

  • Dr. Bob,
    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. I remember her fondly as my Guidance Counselor at Crestview. She even told me about you when I was having some neck and back issues and that might have been the best advice she gave me. It was wonderful reading about her accomplished life.

  • Everyone should have an Aunt Betty in their life. She gave us love, guidance and joy. So thankful to have so many precious memories.

  • To all of Betty’s family:
    Sincere condolences to you all. Betty was a true joy to work with at Crestview. Her energy and enthusiasm were an inspiration for us. I still talk to others of my envy of her piano abilities. In your grief, remember your pride in her. She was (is) special.
    Rick Burns

  • For Joan and Bob, I am so sorry to hear about the death of your Mother. I have so many memories of her and your Father, from Church events, to bake sales, Lucas Parades, and yes, even the Square Dancing. I am sure you will miss her greatly. Please know that I am thinking of you. Your Mother was a great person to be around and should be an example for all of us.

  • Dear Bob
    We are sorry you lost your Mother..She was a remarkable and busy lady.
    May she rest in peace and sour with the angels.
    Love and God’s blessings to all your family…
    Jim and Joni Goldsmith

  • Dear Bob, Joan and families,
    Our deepest and most sincere sympathies in the loss of your remarkable Mother. She touched our lives every time we met her. No matter how you were feeling before we went in to visit her, we always shined when we left. Her amazing wit, charm and love for people was contagious. She would never let us leave without telling one of her many jokes that lit the whole room with laughter. Precious memories will always abound in our hearts as we were so privileged to have known and loved her. May God grant you with His peace and comfort in the days ahead.
    Love, Mike, Peg and family

  • dear Dr. Berry and family,

    So sorry of your mother’s passing. Whenever I happened to b3 in your office while she was there, sunshine and happiness was around her. We do know our earthly life is temporary and preparation for eternity. These are the difficult times of life as you know. God bless and give you comfort.

    Sincerely, The Arnold’s

  • Bob Joan, and families. You certainly have my deepest sympathy. Your Mother and Dad both were certainly special people. Your Mom was one of a kind. Her zest for life was amazing. Her talents were unlimited. The whole Berry family have been such an inspiration ever since I was a little girl. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. You have so much to be thankful for.

  • Berry family so sorry to hear of your loss of Betty. What a wonderful lady always smiling and telling jokes. She sure loved her card games. God bless your family

  • You did a great job of portraying Aunt Betty & her accomplishments! We will always remember her smile, optimism, & enthusiasm about all life brings! Our heartfelt thoughts are with you both! One remaining thing is, we have great cousins! I’m so grateful I was able to talk with her a couple weeks before. And, yes, we shared a couple jokes! Bet Dad sang his “hello, hello” song when she got there!

  • Dr. Bob,
    sorry to hear about your Mother. I will never forget the first time I met her, she was playing Christmas songs on the piano at the big house at Malabar. She truly made it a party to remember.

  • Dear Dr. Berry and family,
    Our sincere condolences at the loss of your mother and grandmother. You are in our prayers during this difficult time . Sincerely, Rinda and Gary

  • Dear Bob and family,
    Gary and I would like to send our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
    I enjoyed reading and learning about what a very interesting and talented person that your mother was. I can truly understand why your family was so proud of her. I am so glad that I had the pleasure of meeting her and hearing her play the piano at several of the Malabar Farm Christmas events.
    We are sending our thoughts and prayers to you and your family at this difficult time. If there is anything you need or anything that I can do for you please give me call.
    When my grandmother passed a minister (and friend) told me that one of the greatest gifts that God gave us was our memory. I hope that the wonderful memories of your mother will bring you some peace and comfort in the days ahead.

  • Joan, Bob, and family,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. She was such a special person and so dear to my heart. She was kind and caring, with a twinkle in her eye and a lovely smile on her face. I always enjoyed spending time with her and your dad through the years and feeling welcomed as part of the family, as did Dale.
    Treasure what I’m sure is a wealth of wonderful memories.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you,

  • Renee and family,
    So sorry to hear of your grandmothers passing. She lived a full life and so rewarding. Sounds as if she enjoyed each day. I am sure you have many beautiful memories of her. They will always be tucked in your heart. Love and peace for you all. Gail Craig. ❤️

  • Bob, Joan, Renee and Allen – Bob and I have you in our thoughts and prayers in the passing of your beautiful mother and grandmother. She was so gracious, kind, and proud of her family. May God give you peace as you reflect on your love of her.

  • We extend our deepest sympathy to Betty’s family. The community has lost a treasure in many ways. Her contributions to the fiber of Lucas and it’s residents has spanned several generations and we will miss her and remember her in many ways. I will remember her in a pioneer dress at the piano in the big house at Malabar farm. Our prayers go out for your peace.

  • Oh, Betty, what can I say! It was my extreme honor to know you and pick you up for Senior Citizen Breakfast’s at Lucas Elementary! You entertained the breakfast crowd with one or two jokes each month and we all loved you. I absolutely loved to hear you make our piano SING at church. Your talent was remarkable. Thank you for loving my son and daughter -in-law and granddaughters and making sure that they all stayed at the Lucas Schools. You and Charlotte McFarland are rejoicing in Heaven that Mary Fleming’s family became a huge part of the Lucas community. How ironic that Dick and Charlotte were your best friends when my mom and Charlotte were best friends from grade school! A remarkable life for a remarkable lady. Never a complainer, I know Betty, that at times your body ached far more than you let on. Thank you for your contributions to our community. God has his angels at the gates singing the arrival of a faithful servant…….My sincere condolences to Betty’s family. In Christian Love,
    Mary K. Case

  • Dr. Berry and family
    So sorry about Betty passing. I and Delores Scott were friends until Delores passing.
    Betty was a counselor at Crestview with my daughter and sons. She had a gift for music.
    She was wonderful a friend and teacher.

    God Bless.
    Wanda Winters

  • I am so sad not to talk to your mom everyday (almost) we had such a great relationship and i felt like she was my 2nd mom…I will miss the calls & her jokes she always told
    me.. she was a wonderful woman and an angel.. Bob & I loved her with all we have.
    she will be missed & my heart goes out to Bob & Joan and family as she will be missed.
    We have a hole in our heart but i am happy she is now with your Dad.. she had missed him..
    all our love
    Natalie & Bob

  • The world is a better place thanks to Betty who always had a positive outlook on people and the world in general. Some of my fondest memories are as a child going to the farm I wish I could have had more of those experiences but Texas isn’t around the corner. I don’t believe I ever heard a discouraging word from Betty just positive and encouraging words. Betty will truly be missed. Bob and Joan our deepest sympathy and God will ease the pain of your loss.