Margaret Berry, Ph.D.

November 13, 1918August 13, 2019

Margaret Berry, Professor Emeritus, John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio, of Well-Spring Retirement Community, Greensboro North Carolina, died Tuesday, August 13, 2019. The Memorial Mass will be celebrated by Rev. James Duong, Pastor at Saint Benedict’s Catholic Church in downtown Greensboro, 109 W. Smith Street, Greensboro, 27401 at 12:15 pm on Wednesday, August 28. Those who wish to attend the rosary with the congregation please be seated by 11:45am. Parking is available in the Hanes-Lineberry Funeral Home lot across the street. Interment of ashes will follow in Forest Lawn Cemetery, 3901 Forest Lawn Drive. After the internment, the family will receive visitors in the Event Center at WellSpring Retirement Community at 4100 Well Spring Dr, Greensboro, NC 27410.

Holding a St. John’s University Ph.D. in nineteenth-century English literature and a University of Pennsylvania postdoctoral degree in South Asian Studies, Berry taught college and university for 40 years. Her publications include: The Chinese Classic Novels: An Annotated Bibliography of Chiefly English-Language Studies (1988, 2011), named by American Library Association’s Choice among the year’s best reference works; Pegasus Over Asia: Ventures in East-West Literary Analysis (1980, 2011); and Mulk Raj Anand, the Man and the Novelist (1971). In addition to numerous published articles in professional journals, Berry has written two unpublished novels, The Tennis Club and Amaranthine Weed. The University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, the Japan Foundation, the Association for Asian Studies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Berry several grants including the Ford, Fulbright, Danforth, and NDEA awards during her lifetime

Besides traveling to Europe, Berry visited South America, Australia, China, Japan, and India. Offices included presidency of both the College English Association of Ohio and the John Carroll University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, and long service as National Coordinator of Affiliates of the College English Association. After her 1993 retirement, Berry returned to her native Greensboro, where she served as liaison for Harvard University’s Archives for Environmental Science and Public Policy as it acquired the papers of her brother, geologian, cultural historian, and author Thomas [W] Berry. In addition, she became the matriarch of the family with her annual Berry Patch which included the names and addresses of the extended Berry family. For her 100th birthday, nearly 150 family members paid tribute to her caring for each and everyone.

Surviving Dr. Berry is her brother, Thomas Gabriel (Stephanie Eddy); sisters-in-law, Jerry Berry of Charlotte, Rosemary Berry of Greensboro, and nieces and nephews too numerous to name here.

Besides her parents, Elizabeth and William Nathan Berry, Sr., founders of Berico Fuels, she was preceded in death by brothers, Jack (Jessie), Frank, MD (Polly ), Jim (Mary Elizabeth), Joe (Jean), Benedict, Steve; sisters, Merse (Sr. Mary Elizabeth, Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul), Katherine (Richard Fuller), Ann Louise (Sr. Zoe` Marie of Maryknoll Missioners), Teresa Kelleher (Leo “Boots”) and sister-in-law, Ginny Berry.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Thomas Berry Foundation, c/o Professor Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, Yale University or to Green Mountain Monastery, Greensboro, VT c\o Sr. Gail Worcelo.

Hanes Lineberry North Elm Chapel is assisting the Berry family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at


  • A Memorial Mass

    Wednesday, August 28, 2019

  • Interment following the mass

    Wednesday, August 28, 2019

  • Gathering of Family and Friends following interment

    Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Margaret Berry, Ph.D.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Maria Shine Stewart

May 23, 2020

I was searching the names of my cherished professors today and found that Dr. Berry, a graduate faculty member at John Carroll University, died on my sister's birthday and was interred on mine this past year. She was an original. I took her Victorian literature class in the early 1980s. She was a vigorous editor! I had never had more than an occasional comma added by previous teachers. Dr. Berry saw the potential for leaner prose -- everywhere.

It was only after I worked as an editor that I understood most of what she was doing, and I got the courage to finally tell her that when we spoke at my graduation, M.A., Class of 1985.

We would all live in a different world (1) if Dr. Berry could have taken that red pen to leases, tax forms, and other materials in the public eye; and (2) if her capacity to explore and above all appreciate literature both east and west could catch on.

I will never forget her dignity and poise and the sparkle in her blue eyes. I wish all who knew her, family and friends, deep condolences. And I hope some new scholars look up her work.

Sister Claire Edwards

August 30, 2019

Margaret (Sister Margaret Ann) taught English Literature, music and other subjects at St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg, Md. when I was a student from 1954 to 1958. I was fortunate to be in her classes and in the glee club. Later, from 1959-1960 she instructed me and the Seminary Sisters (Novices) at St. Joseph Provincial House in music, choir, and Old and New Testament. Her brilliance, spirituality, approachability, example and encouragement led to my 60 years as a Daughter of Charity. Thank you, dear Margaret. May you have eternal rest in His love.

Stephen Dunn

August 26, 2019

We owe so much to Margaret....her unique relationship with Thomas that promoted awareness of his work and genius ... her indomitable energy and discipline curating his oeuvre ... her great loyalty to friends... and especially her lively and gentle joy in living.
We won't forget such enrichment from our very dear friend.
Stephen Dunn, CP
Toronto. ON Canada

Rita Welty Bourke

August 23, 2019

That Margaret "died peacefully at dusk," feels so right. I can well imagine that she might choose that time of day.
I shared word of her passing with my college class (St. Joseph's College, Emmitsburg, MD, 1964). Many of us had "Sister Margaret Ann" our freshman year. The memories poured in.
Max Gillespie told how Meg Fuller, her roommate freshman year, regaled her with stories about the Berry family. An English major who suffered from those "I stop here" notations on her papers, Max remembered attaching an aspirin to a paper, hoping to relieve the headache she was sure to get when she got it back. Margaret loved it.
Because I attended college on scholarship, I was heartbroken when I got a paper with that awful notation on the fourth line. But it made me a better writer. The same with Margaret's admonition to write so that a fifth grader could understand.
Karen remembered her from choir: "She could make us sing louder and better than I could ever have imagined."
I remember Margaret bouncing into class one spring morning, so excited to have noticed that when trees first begin to bud, the buds are red.
Many of us who were English majors remembered being assigned classics, to be read in a week. Non-English majors got used to seeing us carrying our books across campus.
The nursing majors did not have Margaret. Ann wrote: "Those of you who had Sr. Margaret Ann were fortunate." She was expressing what many felt.
Carol remembered lending Margaret an umbrella on a rainy day. Weeks later, she asked for it back, and Margaret had no memory of it. We laughed at that: wasn't it typical of Margaret. Her head was elsewhere, rain a mere distraction from more important things.
To know that she left the Daughters of Charity to accept a fellowship she could not pass up gave us courage to step away from things that held us captive.
Margaret shaped our lives in so many ways, and we are grateful for that.