Rosetta "Rose" King DeBerry

October 1, 1934February 9, 2021
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With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Rosetta “Rose” K. DeBerry, our loving and devoted mother and friend to all whose lives she touched on, February 9, 2021. Rose was born of the late Walter and Annie Laura King, October 1, 1934, in Natchez Mississippi. Rose graduated from Tougaloo College with a BS in Elementary Education and Tennessee State University with an MA in Counseling. She was married to her adoring and loving husband, of 53 years Billy F. DeBerry. Rose and Billy met at Alabama State University where they both worked in student services. Rose was a counselor and Billy oversaw all student activities. They were recruited by Dr. Charlie Knight seeking minority teachers for the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD). After hearing her presentation, they decided to branch out and join MPUSD in 1969. Billy came as a counselor and Rose as a 5th grade teacher. She is survived by her children Michael D. Lewis (Jackson Mississippi), Cheryl Nelson (Las Vegas, Nevada), nieces, Vernadine Bradford (Natchez, Mississippi), June King (Baltimore, Maryland), Pam King (Virginia Beach, Virginia), sister-in-law Jessie King (Dallas, Texas). She is also survived by her grandchildren, Zachary Nelson, Matthew Nelson, Tyler (Ty) Nelson, Michael S. Lewis; and nine great-grandchildren.

Over a span of 53 years, Rose positively impacted thousands of children as an educator. She was a woman of unshakable conviction. She was a woman of integrity and honor. Rose was intelligent, she was kind, and she had a heart for children. She was a premier educator. She earned the respect of everyone who encountered her. Rose taught at La Mesa Elementary School in the same classroom for over 42 years where that classroom now, in her honor, carries her name. To this day many of her former students reach out to her to share their accomplishments and to tell her how she played such a huge role in their lives. Rose was an accomplished pianist. Her gift was shared not only at schools where she taught by writing and putting on plays but at her beloved church, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church where she directed the 'Joyful Noise Choir' and played for mass. Rose often sang during mass with her rich, full, and velvet voice that carried her passion and love of God through the rafters and into the hearts of every parishioner who heard her sing. Her voice was a precious gift that she willingly and lovingly shared.

Rose had a vivacious personality, did not crave attention but was not afraid to lead because she was comfortable in her own skin. She had such a calming presence that she could make everyone feel safe, welcomed and that she genuinely cared. She made friends everywhere she went. Even as a little girl, Rose loved flowers and growing things. She became well known for her beautiful roses and her bountiful lemon trees that she grew and meticulously cared for. She was an avid reader and for many years leading up to her passing, she collected a large library of books on any number of topics.

Rose lived a full and warm life, filled with joy, happiness, adventure, and music. If she wanted us to learn anything from her life, she would say “be humble and kind”. She will be forever loved, forever remembered, and forever missed.


  • Zachary Nelson(grandson) , Pallbearer
  • Matthew Nelson (grandson), Pallbearer
  • Michael S. Lewis ( grandson), Pallbearer
  • Ross McKinley, Close Family Friend
  • Derwin Borling, Pallbearer
  • Felomimo Malate, Pallbearer
  • Jewel Gentry, Pallbearer
  • Skip Frietas , Pallbearer


  • Viewing and Visitation

    Friday, February 19, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Saturday, February 20, 2021

  • Interment

    Saturday, February 20, 2021


Rosetta "Rose" King DeBerry

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JoAnn Burns

February 26, 2021

Rosetta or Rose as she was called was truly a person of warmth, grace, elegance and love. She will always live in the hearts of her family and of those whose lives she touched.
I met Rose through our dear friend the late Juanita Tardy. We would go fishing together. Juanita would tell me that she would drive because Rose drove much to slowly and it would take us all day just to get to Laguna Seca to fish. See Juanita drove like we had to be there yesterday and Rose, well she drove at her own pace. We laughed, we fished and we truly enjoyed our time together. Rose your light will never die, it will burn forever in the hearts of those who knew you, your flame will only flicker differently. Rest our beautiful Rose. May your family find peace under the wings of the angles.

Annalisa Mitchell

February 23, 2021

Sending prayers and condolences to you and your family
Cherish the many memories
We are here for you

Lucille Washington

February 22, 2021

My Deepest Condolences to The DeBarry Family, Mr. DeBerry my you think about all of the wonderful memories of your lovely wife.

With Love,
Lucille Washington ( king jr high 1972)

June King

February 18, 2021

I shall miss my Aunt Rose terribly. She was such a kind, lovable, warm, and caring person. I shall never forget the fist time we met. We were in Natchez, MS for my daddy's (her oldest brother) homegoing. We sat up all night talking , laughing, and getting to know each other. She had such an infectious laugh and a great sense of humor. When I visited her in CA years later, she and Dee made me feel so welcomed and right at home. Words cannot express how much I shall miss my aunt and all our conversations. She is the last of my daddy's siblings to go Home. I take comfort in knowing they are all reunited. My love goes to Dee, Cheryl, Michael, and the rest of my cousins. Wish I could be there with you. May God continue to bless and comfort our family.

Elizabeth Dana

February 17, 2021

Mrs. Deberry was a very special person, and will be missed.