James L. M. Berry

January 17, 2023

James L. M. Berry entered into eternal patrol on December 16, 2022, as submariners do when they leave their earthly life, into the life God has promised us. James was a loving father to his 3 daughters Nichelle (Nic), Stephanie, and Barbara (Renee). James was a good friend to all who knew him. He was always willing to help out anyone in need. James was a Volkswagen enthusiast and a longtime member of Rare Air Volkswagen Club. He held weekly engine building classes in his garage which he very much enjoyed. James also collected various 1967 Volkswagens; a bug, single and double cab trucks, and a Karmann Ghia, as well as a “New diesel” VW. James was a man of many talents. He sang and played multiple instruments; drums, piano, violin, and the accordion. James loved Dixieland Jazz and had been a member of multiple bands over the years. James won many trophies in Navy talent shows. He was a proud U. S. Navy Submariner and loved sharing his experiences like how subs worked, as well as, all of the places he had visited during his career. James thoroughly enjoyed using some of the foreign languages he had picked up over the years, especially German, Spanish, Tagalog, and Hawaiian Pidgin. While serving in the Navy in Hawaii, James took up flying, and obtained his private pilot certification. James was a model train collector. He was given his first train at a very young age which started his love for trains. He still runs that train on a track suspended in his home today. As well as collecting and enjoying his own trains over the years, James was involved in the Foley Railroad Museum where he volunteered every week. James enjoyed building models of planes and boats. He was meticulous with details and the authenticity of each project.

James grew up in LaCrosse, Wisconsin with his parents Leo and Edith Berry and his three sisters, Bonnie Hesse (Gary), Sharon Fundum, and Susan McGuire. James joined the Navy after high school and served 26 years; 15 of them being “submerged” on submarines. James retired from the military and landed in Pensacola, Florida as he didn’t want any part of dealing with winter snow. James went to work at The Endoscopy Center of Pensacola and The Imaging Center as a valued employee.

James was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Edith Berry; his daughter, Stephanie Ware; and brothers- in- law, Carl McGuire and Dale Fundum.

James is survived by his daughters, Nichelle “Nic” Smith and Barbara “Renee” Ware; sisters, Bonnie (Gary) Hesse, Sharon Fundum and Susan McGuire; five granddaughters; four grandsons; twin great granddaughter and grandson; and his special Best Buddy, Matthew. James will be missed dearly by his family, close friends and all those that knew him. James was an active member of The Subvets, volunteered at the Drum in Mobile, Alabama at Battleship Park where he enjoyed giving tours and shining brass on the sub. James attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pensacola, Florida for many years.

Donations can be made on James’ behalf to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

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