March 9, 1943 – June 2, 2018
Mary Berry, (née Grady) beloved wife of Tom, long time Winterset resident, and life-long teacher, passed away suddenly on Saturday, June 2, 2018, following a short heart-related illness. She is dearly missed by her husband, sons Steven and Tom (Meg), and grandchildren Kate and Thomas. She is survived by her siblings Michael (Mary) Grady, Margaret (Fred) Ritchie, Nora Ladewig, Timothy (Kathleen Granger) Grady, Nan (Scott) Kiel, Robert (Mara Reilly) and Sheila Grady.
Mary was born March 9, 1943. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska and continued graduate studies and other forms of education throughout her career. From the beginning of her career as a young teacher in Bloom Township in Chicago Heights to her retirement from Lincoln High School, Mary left her mark on her students and her co-workers. Along the way she accumulated many accolades, including her much-cherished Crystal Apple Teachers’ Award awarded by the Wichita School District for excellence in teaching. In her 20 plus years as an English teacher at Lincoln High School in Des Moines, Mary inspired thousands of students and dozens of colleagues. Certainly, Mary was known and respected for mastery of her subject matter, her optimistic spirit and her ever-present sense of humor, but what really set Mary apart was her unfailing commitment to her students. A colleague observed that when walking past her room, one would hear her engaged in reading and conversational discussions with students. And the laughter. . . there was always laughter. Mary loved to laugh and to learn and she will be missed by her friends and family. A celebration of her life will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, June 7, 2018 with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in West Des Moines, IA.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Iowa Heart Center Foundation or the Adult Education and Literacy Program at DMACC.
- Mary Berry, (née Grady) beloved wife of Tom, long time Winterset resident, and life-long teacher, passed away suddenly on Saturday, June 2, 2018, following a short heart-related illness. She is dearly missed by her husband, sons Steven and Tom (Meg), and grandchildren Kate and Thomas. She is survived by her siblings Michael (Mary) Grady, Margaret (Fred) Ritchie, Nora Ladewig, Timothy (Kathleen Granger) Grady, Nan (Scott) Kiel, Robert (Mara Reilly) and Sheila Grady.
- Visitation Thursday, June 7, 2018
- Celebration of Life Thursday, June 7, 2018
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June 10, 2018
I only knew Mary for a short time, but she really touched my heart. I was devastated to get this news. God blessed you all with this wonderful woman. And He blessed me, too. Please accept my sincerest condolences for your loss. I will never forget Mary!
June 8, 2018
Barbara and I were sorry to hear of the passing of Mary. She was a wonderful colleague and loved and respected by many students and colleagues at Lincoln High School. Rest with the Angels Mary. May The Lord give family and friends Peace of Mind and Comfort as they remember and grieve as well as celebrate her life.
Gary and Barbara Bagby
June 8, 2018
I have so many fond memories of Mrs. Berry's English class at Lincoln High School. She was such a wonderful teacher and my inspiration to become a teacher.
She was such a kind, caring, knowledgeable teacher. I will never forget her & all she taught me!
Elizabeth Walters, class of '93
June 7, 2018
I was a student of Mrs. Berry in 1992 at Lincoln High school. Memories of this AP English class have always stuck with me. Recently my 17 year old daughter had an assignment on Greek Mythology. I shared with her one of my all time favorite assignments of the time Mary assigned us the task of creating a video, cassette tape, skit or something on this subject. My group had the best time putting together our recording of Delight's "Who was that" song to the story of Oedipus. It was one of the many great times had in that inspiring class. I was blessed to have her as a teacher, and she will be missed.
My condolences to her family, friends, students and fellow educators.
God Bless you Mary Berry.
Suzanne (Perez) Hejkal
June 7, 2018
I remember when I met Aunt Mary for the first time. We were living in Clarksville, TN at the time, and Tom and Mary had either just married or were about to be, and they came to visit. I was in third or fourth grade then, and I was quite taken with her beauty. In fact, I recall thinking that Mary was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.
Over the years, my fondness for her grew even more. She was brilliant, insightful, fun-loving, and hilarious. I loved talking with her. Aunt Mary was both gregarious and humble. In her outgoing way, she would work hard at making you (or her guests) comfortable, and she would always take an interest in you. Rarely did she talk about herself, and she never flaunted her accomplishments. She was the perfect model of a servant-leader. She enjoyed working "behind the scenes," working on whatever needed to be done--all without accolade, of course; but she knew how to rally the troops when the troops needed rallying.
She's the person who enters the room and everyone smiles.
She loved the Lord, and she demonstrated this best by how she lived her life loving all those around her.
We all will tremendously miss her .
Kathy Reilly Dwyer
June 6, 2018
Dear Grady family the Reilly Dwyer family is saddened by the loss of your sister. Please know that we share your loss as we too have lost a sibling. The memories of your sister Mary will last a life time.
June 6, 2018
I have so many memories of this amazing woman. First, we rarely referred to her as Mary; it was always Mary Berry because her name was so delightful - just like the woman who bore it. Mary was beyond brilliant when it came to English. I always wanted to be around her, so I could soak in her wisdom. I shared a room with her while I was a young, traveling teacher at Lincoln (and that’s how she pawned off student council to me - lol). She was bold, beautiful, and unafraid. The world is less bright without her.