Robert Charles Berry was born on April 4, 1930, to his parents, Homer McCrea
and Eva Sophronia Lanning Berry. Robert grew up in Albia, Iowa on the
family farm with his siblings John, Stan, and Florence and his first cousins,
Patricia and Kathryn.
Robert attended Reitzel Elementary School and graduated from Albia High
School in 1948. He juggled farm chores in the morning, lettered in football
and track all four years and was both homecoming and Valentine King.
Robert continued to excel at the University of Iowa, as a member of Phi Kappa
Psi fraternity and ROTC. After graduation, he was commissioned a 2nd LT in
the USAF and married his college sweetheart, Jeanine Walsh. The two had four
children: Kevin, Anne, Mark and Julie.
Robert’s prestigious US Air Force career began at Lackland AFB’s
Communication School and a deployment to Korea. Returning from Korea, he
was assigned to Scott and Carswell Air Force Bases, where he flew missions on
the B-36, B-52 and later, refueling missions on the KC135s.
Over the next few years, Robert trained pilots and crewmembers in the
Strategic Air Command and was subsequently assigned to the Air Command
and Staff College. Robert received many awards during his career, including
the Distinguished Flying Cross while serving during the Vietnam era.
In 1976 Robert married Virginia (Ginny) Simmons and after his retirement,
they moved to Taiwan to establish a business. They returned stateside when
Ginny became ill and she passed shortly after their return.
In 1985 Robert met Kathy Catlin. They fell in love immediately and were
married the following year. Not only did Robert get an adventurous soul mate in
Kathy, but also the love of her four children: Scott, Candy, Judy and Leslie. It
was a win/win for everyone.
Robert and Kathy spent their summers in Laguna Beach, Canaan Valley, WV
and Maggie Valley, NC. Both were avid golfers, self-proclaimed chefs, happy
hour and dinner party hosts. They enjoyed many adventures abroad to Israel,
Canada and Europe.
Robert was an active member of St. Simon’s Episcopal Church; volunteering his time
and serving on many committees. He was also a member of the Brotherhood of St.
Robert took great pride in being a grandfather and great-grandfather and all
15 loved him dearly.
Robert loved the caring staff at Belvedere Commons and Kim, his loyal
personal assistant. They gave him joy, laughter and loved him with
their whole heart.
Robert is preceded in death by his wife, Kathy Catlin Berry and survived by his
brothers, sister, children, cousins and grandchildren.
A service to celebrate Robert’s life will be held at St Simon’s Episcopal Church,
Fort Walton Beach, on Feb 2, 2019 at 3pm. A reception will follow in the
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to “Hunting with Soldiers”, an
organization which was dear to Robert’s heart. His son, Scott Catlin, a former
Vietnam vet, is actively involved in this organization and shares his family’s
ranch with the participants. “Hunting with Soldiers” was created in 2007 with
the purpose of providing an outdoor hunting experience for veterans. Their
mission is to heal the wounds from PTSD and reduce veteran suicides, which
are a staggering 22 per day.
Hunting with Soldiers is a 501(C) 3, and tax deductable. Donations may be
made at www.huntingwithsolders.org or a check payable to “Hunting with
Soldiers” in memory of Robert Berry and may be sent to the address below.
Hunting with Soldiers
c/o Scott Catlin
Henrietta, Texas 76365