Kevin Richard Berry -- a planner of grand adventures, first-rate cut-up, friend for the long haul and a husband, son, brother and uncle beyond compare -- died at his home on June 6, 2020, or as he might say, 202 days before Christmas. He was 48.
A brief but courageous battle with cancer ended his life. But he leaves for those who loved him a death-defying legacy of celebration.
Kevin was born in Fort Wayne, on February 22, 1972, to the late Dennis and Bette (Williams) Berry. There, he spent his formative years, graduating from Wayne High School in 1990.
He continued his education over the next three decades at three universities -- IPFW (where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Indiana Kappa chapter), St. Francis and Indiana Tech -- experiences that yielded two degrees and dozens of deep friendships that would last the rest of his days.
In the best of times, Kevin could be the life of the party. When things got tough, he became a life-saver. A colleague who couldn't afford a home staple got it without asking. A friend in the throes of a costly crisis received free pet sitting. Indeed, Kevin's regard for others' well-being echoed in some of his final words: "I love everybody."
In 2014, he found in Monica Riemen a connection that would change his life. Over two years, what began as a friendship with no pretense flowered into love. A proposal in 2016 at Christmastime, Kevin's favorite time, led to a September 2017 wedding celebrated with a wide circle of family and friends.
The Berrys began building their shared life, punctuated early on by the purchase of a three-bedroom ranch-style home in tranquil Churubusco and three cruises in less than three years to destinations in the Caribbean and Alaska. Four more maritime voyages awaited them.
Celebrations closer to home still bore Kevin's "Go big or go home" approach. Anniversaries, birthdays and other occasions warranted days off work, gag gifts, pedicures, flowers and dining out.
If Kevin enjoyed the pomp, he savored the preparation. Plans for his 50th birthday in 2022 had already zeroed in on the right room at the perfect hotel on the best island.
In everyday life, Monica and Kevin hardly knew a moment without laughter. Some examples, like his donning of a Santa hat and goggles just to cut an onion, became memorable. Others, such as the pall of his cancer diagnosis being interrupted by a well-timed joke, became bearable.
Outside of his personal life and amid his varied academic pursuits, Kevin had a steady employer for 20 years in Parkview Health, where he worked in behavioral health and later in information technology.
In addition to Monica, Kevin is also survived by his brother, Tim Berry; his fur baby, Buster; his seven nieces and nephews; and the many friends whose lives he nourished.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, DeAnn Daugherty.
Services will take place at Sheets & Childs Funeral Home, 206 N. Main St., Churubusco, on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at 8:00 p.m. Family will receive friends on Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This time will be reserved for people that are taking extra precautions due to Covid-19. The calling will continue from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Red or green attire is encouraged in honor of Kevin's love of Christmas.
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, Albion.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kevin Richard Berry, please visit our floral store.
Black Pine Animal Sanctuary
1426 W. 300 N. P.O. Box 02, Albion IN 46701