Barbara Jean Berry
Barbara Jean Berry, 80, of 2355 N. Maple St., Ashville, passed away Sunday. Oct. 15, 2017, in her home, with her husband by her side, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
She was born Feb. 17, 1937, in Westfield, N.Y., where she was raised by her aunt and uncle, Mary and Allen Pierce.
In July of 1955, Barbara was married to Warren J. Berry and they celebrated 62 years of marriage.
Barbara graduated from Westfield Academy and Central School, where she was an accomplished violinist and artist. Earning scholarships from the YWCA, Bausch and Lomb and the NYS Regents which allowed her to attend Jamestown Community College and obtain and associate’s degree in applied arts. Her earlier work included jobs as a proofreader for Journal Press, the Jamestown Star newspaper and the Jamestown Morning Sun newspaper. Bar-bara wrote a weekly column about horses and other topics for the Jamestown Post-Journal for several years, which developed into writing stories about bird dogs for Sports Afield, New York Sportsmen and stories about fishing for American Walleye and other outdoor magazines. Barbara was a personal friend of H. Bud Riser, publisher of American Walleye magazine, where her sense of humor earned her many feature articles where she also drew her own illustrations. Her most notable fishing story was probably “Things That Go Bump in the Night” one of the earliest after dark walleye fishing “exposes.”
One of Barbara’s magazine articles led to her first book. Considered an accomplished author of young adult books, Barbara had eight books published by Follet, and Bobbs Merrill. Several of her books were published in multiple languages and one was republished by Weekly Reader for 50,000 copies, a record at the time.
Barbara loved horses, cats and dogs. Her Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Peaches and Gunner were both shown in dog shows and AKC retriever field trials. She was also a licensed AKC judge for the junior trials. She and her husband, Warren competed in dog trials in New York, Penn-sylvania, Ohio and the infamous, God forsaken, one lane or less dirt road trials in Drumbo, Ontario! She commented that “there is nothing like the long drive home with a couple of wet gassy dogs in the back of the car.”
Her love of books, writing and words led to the creation of the Barbara Berry’s Book Shop. A mail order, publishing, Internet and retail sales company selling old and rare, hard to find, old favorite and reprint books around the world. With as many as 250,000 books in stock, hers was one of the largest used book shops in the country and was a popular destination spot for visitors to the area.
She is survived by her husband, Warren Berry; son, Daniel (Barb) Berry of Lakewood; grandchildren: Benjamin and Alexis Berry; nephews: Scott (Anna) Berry, Todd (April) Berry, Steve (Bonnie) Maggio, Tim (Tralee) Maggio, Bruce (Lela) Berry, Charles (Patti) Berry and Paul (Cindy) Worthington Berry; and sister-in-law, Ann Berry. Also to be remembered are her neighbors and friends, Milt and Helen Johnson and their children: Wally, Cynthia, Bethany and Pamela; a decadelong pen-pal from London, England, Nest Rubio; Buddy Johnson who helped train her American Saddle Horse, Mark, at his barn near Gerry, N.Y.; Jane Holiday and Sue and Don-na Delahoy, who were her true friends and helped Barbara learn to ride at the Cowing Road Stable.
She was preceded in death by her American Bobtail cat, Max (Kittius Maximus) who was well known in the rare book business as “Max the Search Cat” and was probably the best cat ever.
And a final farewell to fellow book aficionado and great friend, Laurie Riederer of Maple Springs, who was there in the early days of bookstore and who over 20 years helped make it all happen.
Burial will be at the family plot in Panama Green-wood Cemetery, up near the pond, in Panama. A private service will be held by the family.
You may leave words of condolence at www.lind-funeral home.com.