Kenneth ‘Tuffy’ Berry, 81, of Shelly, Minn., died January 21, 2013 at the Halstad Living Center, Halstad, Minn. surrounded by his children.
Kenneth was born on April 16, 1931 in White Earth, Minn., the son of Myron and Lena (Fairbanks) Berry. He grew up in White Earth and attended school there until the death of his mother at age 12. He then moved to Kenosha, Wis. He came to Shelly the summer of 1949 when his father was managing and pitching for the local baseball team. There he met and fell in love with Irene Tronnes. They were married March 3, 1950 in Grand Forks, N.D. They settled in rural Nielsville, Minn., and then spent several years in Kenosha, Wis. before returning to reside in their remodeled one-room school house. When their home was destroyed in the flood of 1997 they moved to Shelly where he resided until moving to Halstad in Nov., 2011.
Kenneth worked as a construction foreman during the building of the Grand Forks Air Base and also built many area bridges. He worked seasonally for the Crystal Sugar Company for 20 years. During the summer he operated a commercial and residential painting business. He painted many of the churches (including their high steeples) in the region. He deeply loved his family and was a generous man filled with compassion and wit. He will be deeply missed.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents, one sister, Grace Vizenor, and two brothers, Joe ‘Ike’ who died in Dec. 2012 and Gilbert ‘John’ who died in childhood.
Kenneth is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Irene, one son, Ronnie (Renay) Walker, Minn., four daughters, Connie (Ted) Westlund, Strathcona, Minn., Karen (Mike) Smart, Hendrum, Minn., Deb (William) Zaks, Grand Forks, Kathryn (Stan) Koppang, Jamestown, N.D., 14 grandchildren: Lindsey Berry, Abby (Brad) Rakowski, Jason Berry, Tara Herring, Leah (Scott) Walker, Adam (Shauna) Paulson, Chad (Rachel) Smart, Eric (Sarah) Smart, Carrie Smart, Jordan (Amber) Smart, Matthew (Melissa) Hesby, Christopher (Karissa) Hesby, Lydia Berry-Koppang and Zachary Koppang, 23 great-grandchildren, and one sister, Fanchon ‘Dolly’ Maddux, New Braunfels, Texas.
The family would like to thank the staff of the Halstad Living Center, Hospice of Red River Valley and also Dr. Chuck Breen for the loving care they provided our beloved husband, father, grandfather.
Memorial service: 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Fredrikson Valley Funeral Home, Halstad, with the Rev. Frank Cherney of New Hope Free Lutheran Church, Jamestown, officiating. Lunch will follow at the Shelly Senior Center.
Visitation: one hour prior to service.
Inurnment: At a later date at the St. Petri Lutheran Cemetery, Nielsville.
Arrangements with Fredrikson Valley Funeral Home, Halstad, Minnesota