John Coltrin Berry

Born: Tue., Nov. 23, 1937
Died: Tue., Apr. 26, 2011

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U.S. Veteran

John Coltrin Berry died Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at the age of 73. John was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 23, 1937 to the late Fred Berry and Dorothy Hubbard Berry. He graduated from York High School in Elmhurst, IL attended Michigan State followed by a three year enlistment in the United States Army where he met and married the former Janette Garrett on June 3, 1961 while stationed at the Red River Army Depot in New Boston, Texas. John later graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL with a Bachelor''s in Business Administration and was employed in various positions with the Department of Defense in Savanna, IL. John''s service in the government brought him to Dallas, TX where he served in various positions within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and then to Baltimore, MD where he served as the Director of Bureau for Program Operations for the Health Care Finance Administration. In 1987, he retired from the government and moved to Roanoke, VA joining Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield, as Senior Vice President for Individual and Government business. In 2001, John retired from Trigon and he and Janette moved to Reynolds Plantation where he enjoyed playing golf, poker, gin, bridge and reading. Throughout his life, John was a dedicated volunteer and since moving to Greene County was the treasurer of Habitat for Humanity. John was an active member of the Lake Oconee Community Church of Greensboro. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and dear friend.

John is survived by his wife, Janette Garrett Berry of Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, GA; his daughter, Cheryl Songster and her husband Jack of Johnson City, TN; his sons, John Patrick Berry and his wife Patricia Bauer of San Diego, CA; and Andrew Henry Berry and his wife Michelle of Atlanta, GA; a special cousin, David Thompson of Ft. Wayne, IN; his grandchildren: Jared Songster, James Songster, Calvin Songster, Gabriella Berry, Rebecca Berry, Isabella Berry, Garrett Berry, Cristina Berry and Jake Berry; and many other relatives, friends, and his special pets Mattie Dog and Kitty.

Funeral Services will be held Friday, April 29, 2011 at 1:30 p. m. at the Lake Oconee Community Church Pavilion, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro, GA 30642 with Dr. David Key and Rev. Becky Matheny officiating. The family will receive friends at a reception at their home following the service. Graveside Services will be held Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. at Old Salem Cemetery in New Boston, TX. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Greene County Habitat for Humanity, P O Box 321, Greensboro, GA 30642 or The Missions and Benevolence Committee at Lake Oconee Community Church, P. O. Box 751, Greensboro, GA 30642. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at to sign the online guest register.

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Condolence Booklet

Jane Cobb
   Posted Wed April 27, 2011
Love and prayers and my deepest sympathy. Jane Cobb

Barbara Johnson
   Posted Wed April 27, 2011
Deepest sympathy is extended to the family. God Bless and strengthen you during this time. I enjoyed working with John on the Habitat Board.

Philip DiMenna
   Posted Thu April 28, 2011
I am sorry for your loss my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Sharon Wilfred
   Posted Thu April 28, 2011
Please accept my condolencies and know that you and your family are in my prayers. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Sharon

Heidi Robinson
   Posted Thu April 28, 2011
I am sorry for your loss. May God lift your family up in your time of need.

Yasmond Miller
   Posted Thu April 28, 2011
Mr. John was an amazing man that I had the pleasure of meeting during the construction of my house. He always had a smile on his with jokes to follow! He will be greatly missed.

Renee'' Oetgen
   Posted Thu April 28, 2011
Aunt Net and the family.... My deepest sympathies to you all. Uncle John was one in a million and the memories I have with him make me smile!! I pray for God's hand of comfort at this difficult time. I look forward to seeing you on Saturday. With love, Nea, Jesse, and Jacey

Kathy & Pete Stephan
   Posted Thu April 28, 2011
Dear Janette, Pete and I were so surprised and so sorry to hear about John's death. We thought he was getting better. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. He will be missed. Kathy & Pete

Mary Ann Chudina
   Posted Thu April 28, 2011
Jeanette, When I moved to Atlanta, I was so fortunate to have Andy and Michelle in my life and with that came an opportunity to get closer to your family. I always loved talking to John and hearing his words of wisdom! I know you will miss him dearly. I am glad he was at home surrounded with family on his last days. May he rest in peace. With deepest sympathy, Mary Ann Chudina

Eleanor Garrett
   Posted Thu April 28, 2011
Words escaped me when Mom told me the news. I can only express how sorry I am for your loss, Aunt Net and family. You are all in my prayers right now. At least, Uncle John is no longer suffering. He will definitely be missed. Love, Eleanor

Joyce Corley Pate
   Posted Thu April 28, 2011
I was so saddened to learn of John's death. Will be praying for you and his family.

Mary Jane Drummond
   Posted Thu April 28, 2011
Janette and family, so sorry to hear that John has passed on. Hard to believe that it has been fifty years since you were dating and got married. Aunt Sarah Jo used to keep us updated about you and what all the family was doing. And I loved getting those Christmas letters so I could see and hear from your family. I know John will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. My prayers are with you.

Bruce and Mary Pearson
   Posted Fri April 29, 2011
Our hearfelt sympathies to you and your family. Praying that God will give your strentgh and peace during this difficult time.

Donald Price
   Posted Fri April 29, 2011
I am deeply sadden by the passing of John. I learned so much from him by just watching his interactions with people and his leadership. He was one of the "Good Guys" and he will be missed

Barbara & Carl Buttry
   Posted Fri April 29, 2011
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time.

Cheryl Hasson
   Posted Fri April 29, 2011
John will always be remembered. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Barbara & Fred Guilliams
   Posted Fri April 29, 2011
Janette and family, Sorry to hear about John's Death. Our prayers are with all of you today. You are a very special part of our life. Hope you and children are doing alright. Miss seeing you.

Patsy Marshall
   Posted Fri April 29, 2011
Janette and family, My heart aches at this sad, sad news. When I looked at John's picture, I was suddenly back at Trigon. He was a good and kind man. He loved his family so much, and I pray for your comfort and healing. There will always be a special place in my heart for The Big Guy. Flash

Connie Lester
   Posted Fri April 29, 2011
I have fond memories of working with John during his time at Trigon. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Eda Spivey Price
   Posted Sat April 30, 2011
Janette, after hearing the news of John's death I can say that I haven't been this sad in a very, very long time. I loved working with John in Roanoke, loved writing his speeches, loved working with him to make sure we were treating our customers right. I treasure the personal notes of encouragement and thanks that I received from him during those years and always felt privileged to see his softer side as he dealt personally with customers or advocated for a community project. He will always mean a lot to me, and I will keep you and your family in my prayers. May God bless you and keep you as you make your way through this sad time. - Eda Spivey Price

Carson & Norma Quarles
   Posted Sun May 01, 2011
We are so sorry to hear of John's passing. He was a dear friend and we valued his friendship. He was a good man and a major contributor to the success of Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield. He has gain the promise of the resurrection. Carson and Norma Quarles Roanoke, VA

Pam Vaughn
   Posted Sun May 01, 2011
Mrs. Berry, I was so sorry to hear about Mr. Berry passing away. Just know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Pam Vaughn and Family

Ronald Nash
   Posted Sun May 01, 2011
Janette, So sorry to hear about your loss, my sympathy to you and your family. Ron Nash

Russ Danstrom
   Posted Tue May 03, 2011
John was instrumental in my life. He served as a mentor and taught me how to think of the big picture first and then determine how to get there. His vision led the Roanoke office of BCBSVA, later Trigon and Anthem, to become a leader in the lines of business that we served. To this day, many of us can thank him for the jobs that we now have. There has been lots of positive memories discussed in Roanoke this week. I hope that these wonderful memories will help carry everyone through their grief. God Bless John. Russ Danstrom

Betsy Delia Stout
   Posted Mon May 09, 2011
Dear Mrs. Berry, This is Betsy, Patrick's friend from High School. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know this is a difficult time for your family. Please know that our family is praying for all of you. We send our deepest sympathies. In His Love, Betsy and Marty Stout and family

lila ritchie
   Posted Thu December 22, 2011
My dear Janette...It has been so long and I hope you receive this. Mutual friends just sent me John's obituary and just couldn't believe it. I have such fond memories of you and yours. At 82, I am doing well and after 8 years of widow-hood (Wayne and son Mike died within weeks of one another), reconnected with a friend I hadn't seen in 40 years. It appears you have a wonderful family...I know your beautiful smile remains and memories will give you peace.