A husband, dad, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, uncle, cousin, grandpa to our foster kids, dad to all who needed one, veteran, gardener, fisherman, hunter, skier, friend to many and, most importantly, our rock!
R. Wayne Berry, age 90, was preceded in death by his father and mother, Clayton and Vera Berry.
Wayne passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 9, 2019. He is survived by his wife, Alouise, of 53 years; children Jim Landon (Susie), Joni (Landon) Ackerman, Mike Berry, Jay Berry (Janelle), Michele (Berry) Boram (Tim); 10 grandchildren, Chaz Ackerman, Thomas Ackerman, Kalli Ackerman, Chance Ackerman, Jeff Eide, Jared Berry, Jacob Berry, Jessica Berry, Eric Boram, Preston Boram; seven great-grandchildren, Cash Ackerman, Kyra Ackerman, Caeland Ackerman, DeKarye Cox, Charlie Ackerman, Hank Ackerman and Emily Ackerman; and one great-great-grandchild, Luna Terry.
Wayne was employed with CTA Architects for 30 years as a consulting mechanical engineer.
After retirement, his love of serving led him to Yellowstone County, where he held the head bailiff position for many years. He served his country proudly in the United States Air Force in the Korean War Conflict and was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant in September of 1954.
Dad was a creature of high mountain meadows and wide-open spaces. From the big waters of the Missouri River to the pristine lakes of the Beartooth mountains, his love of the outdoors took him through his passions of skiing, hunting, fishing, camping and backpacking.
Dad began skiing at the Shangri-La ski area on the main fork of Rock Creek, and passed into history at Grizzly Peak, Red lodge Mountain. Dad left his mark on the mountain as a Red Lodge Mountain Ski Patrol leader, a nationally certified ski instructor, and Silver Run Ski Club member. Dad’s legacy to the mountain was a hidden powder field in the trees between Upper Limited and Upper Continental that he would disappear into every time the ski instructors would “clinic” on deep powder days before anyone else could go up the chair lift. The instructors always called the powder field Berry’s. It was later cut into an official run. Dad was now the namesake of the worst, rockiest, tree-tripping run on Red Lodge Mountain, Berry’s Run, and Dad loved it. Dad taught all us kids how to ski, and ski well. Powder, bumps, racing and hot-dog skiing became our way of terrorizing Red Lodge Mountain. Dad also skied many of the great ski resorts of our country and Canada. He really enjoyed helicopter skiing in the Bugaboos.
Dad’s love of the outdoors took our family to every corner of Montana. He took us to the high mountain lakes and spring-fed streams down to the big rivers and the tall grass of the prairie. He taught us to camp, fly-fish and hunt. The fishing and hunting provided for countless meals as we grew up on wild game. Dad “bagged” everything, from moose to pheasant, buffalo to cutthroat trout. Dad taught us and insisted that we always keep and leave a clean camp, as well as having great respect for the wildlife, even the ones we ate. All his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren proudly share his love and respect for the big country.
Heaven received the very best!
A visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 16, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Services will be at 12 noon on Monday, June 17, at Michelotti-Sawyers. Burial with military honors will follow at 2 p.m. in Yellowstone National Cemetery, Laurel.
Memorials may be made to the ELCC, 1401 Central Avenue, Billings, MT 59102.