Robert Eugene Berry Sr., 83, passed away on Oct. 4, 2020.

Robert was born on March 11, 1936 in Scottsboro to Miss Leola McKee, a rare single mother in rural depression-era Alabama. He was delivered at home, with his grandmother as midwife.

His mother married Fate Berry, a widower with three children: Virgil, Billy and Lillian. Fate adopted Robert when was seven years old. The family grew with younger sisters, Betty (now deceased) and Janie and brother, Lawrence.

The post-war years in Alabama were very difficult. But Leola was an exceptionally strong-willed woman, and she passed that enduring trait on to her son. Throughout his life, Robert never stopped moving forward with his plans, doing things his way, on his timeline. When Robert set out to achieve a goal, it got done. And it got done right.

A carpenter, Fate taught the trade to Robert. Robert learned quickly and became a very talented carpenter.

In the 1950’s, Robert joined the Air Force, working as a mechanic on F86 Sabres in Europe and spending almost five years there. He was reassigned to Tyndall AFB in Florida to complete the few months left he had to serve.

In 1957, he came home on leave to Scottsboro where, at a Friday night football game, he met a young lady named Barbara Guffey. He made up his mind right then that he would marry her.

Robert informed the Air Force that he wanted out of his service and took an early termination so he could return to her.

Back in Scottsboro, he worked with his father building homes while trying to convince Barbara to marry him, including enticing her with a brand new house. Barbara insisted she would not marry him until she became the first person in her family to graduate from high school.

Graduation came the second week of May, and on May 23, 1959, Robert and Barbara eloped and were married in Ringgold, Georgia as Barbara was not legally old enough to marry in Alabama, and Robert did not want to wait any longer. They celebrated 60 years in marriage in 2020.

Robert continued building houses, and Barbara worked at the hospital until their first son, Robert Jr., was born. Soon after, the family moved to Hammond, Indiana. The next years saw Robert start and operate a successful roofing company while being blessed with three more children, Vanessa, Jeffery and Charles.

In 1972, the Berry family moved to Decatur, Georgia, where Robert started DeKalb Roofing Company, which still operates now in the capable hands of Robert Jr. and Jeffery after 48 years.

Upon retiring, Robert and Barbara settled in Cumming, Georgia and began to see the USA by car. They visited all 50 states and every National Park in the contiguous US.

He enjoyed the years granted to him. He stopped for nothing. And while he was occasionally called impatient or stubborn, Robert preferred to think of himself as determined and creative. He was an endearing man; likable, sociable, fun and trusted.

He was an honest business man, an exacting carpenter, an even more exacting boss and a good family man. He will be missed by many.

His greatest loves were Barbara, his children, his in-laws, and most of all, his five granddaughters, to whom he was affectionately known as “Poppy.” Robert passed away on Oct. 4, at home, his final moments in Barbara’s loving embrace.

Robert is survived by his loving wife, Barbara J. Guffey Berry of Cumming, Georgia; his children, Robert E. Berry Jr. of Decatur, Georgia, Vanessa L. Berry of Flowery Branch, Georgia, Jeffery A. Berry of Suwanee, Georgia and Charles and Lisa Berry of Atlanta.

He is also survived by his daughter-in-heart, Carol Berry of Alpharetta; his loving grandchildren, Brittanie N. Berry of Alpharetta, Ashley L. Berry of Boston, Heather Berry Knowlton and husband Michael of Smyrna, Kathryn E. Berry of Atlanta and Violet P. Berry of Atlanta; his sister, Janie Perez and son Jason Perez of Kendall, Florida; brother, Lawrence Berry and family of Winchester, Tennessee; sister-in-heart, Glenda Anderson of Lawrenceville, Georgia and numerous friends in Muirfield in Cumming, Georgia.

Condolences may be expressed at www.mcdonaldandson.com.

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