Robert Vaughan Berry, 78, died Wednesday, Feb. 8, at his home in Palm City, Florida, after a short battle with lung cancer. A Montclair resident on and off throughout his life, Mr. Berry was born in Newark and attended public schools in Verona, where he skipped sixth grade, before moving to Montclair and entering Montclair State Teachers' College High School, also known as College High, from which he graduated in 1950. A member of the class of 1954 at Dartmouth College, Mr. Berry was an economics major, a brother of Chi Phi fraternity and a member of the Army R.O.T.C. From 1954 to 1957, he served as a paratrooper in West Berlin, West Germany. Mr. Berry spent his 40-year professional career with Thomas & Betts Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of electrical components and equipment, based in New Jersey and later Memphis, Tennessee. He presided over the growth of the Canadian and European branches of the company, and also set up operations in Asia and Australia. He retired in 1995 as a senior vice president. An ardent golfer from the age of 5, Mr. Berry held memberships at many of the world's most renown courses, including the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (Scotland) and Baltusrol Golf Club, as well as Mid-Ocean Club (Bermuda) and Wentworth Club (England). He was also a member of Harbour Ridge Yacht and Country Club in Palm City. A tenacious advocate for Dartmouth through fundraising, scholar support and mentoring, Mr. Berry also raised funds for the United Way. He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Montclair and, at the time of his death, maintained homes in both Florida and West Orange, NJ. Mr. Berry is survived by his wife of nearly 54 years, Victoria "Fay" S. Berry; his daughter Patricia E. Berry and her husband Mitchell Heisler of Montclair; his son Michael V. Berry and his wife Linda E. Berry of Mount Prospect, IL; and his granddaughters Margaret, Alexandra and Catharine Heisler and Jane and Grace Berry. Mr. Berry was predeceased by his brother David L. Berry. A private interment will be followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 24 at the First Congregational Church of Montclair. Donations in Mr. Berry's memory may be made to the First Congregational Church, 40 S. Fullerton Ave., Montclair; Treasure Coast Hospice (https://www.tchospice.org/donate-online); or the American Lung Association (http://www.lung.org/donate/).
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home