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Former Chemistry Professor Dr. Al Berry Dies


Dr. Al Berry

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Dr. Roy Alfred Berry Jr. died Friday, March 2, 2012.

Berry began teaching chemistry at Millsaps in 1962 and was known for his soft-spoken nature and ready sense of humor. Upon his retirement, Berry was honored as an emeritus professor in 1999.

He is remembered as instrumental in shaping the current chemistry program. In 1976 he was awarded the College's Distinguished Professor Award. During his time at the College he served as member and chair of the Pre-Health Advising Committee, chair of the chemistry department from 1971-1976 and chair of the science division from 1983-1986.

Under his leadership, the chemistry department received accreditation by the American Chemical Society, the first Millsaps department to be accredited by a national organization.

A native of New Hebron, Miss., Berry earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Mississippi College. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of North Carolina with a major in organic chemistry and completed post-doctoral research at the University of Florida.

He is survived by his wife Marian Jean Berry of Carmichael, California, his son and daughter in law, Dr. Roy and Traci Berry of Sacramento, California, his son and daughter in law, Jefferson Hord Berry and Dr. Peggy Elam of Nashville, Tennessee,  his three grandsons, Calvin, Mark and George Berry of Sacramento, California, his stepgrand children, Mari and Trent Tateyama of Sacramento, California and his honorary children, Dr. Andrew Wynn and Robert Bloodworth.
Memorials may be made to the Allen Bishop, Gene Cain and Al Berry Scholarship at  Millsaps College, 1701 North State Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39210-0001 or the New Hebron Baptist Church Building Fund. A Memorial Service celebrating his life will be held on Saturday, March 17 at 11 a.m. at the New Hebron Baptist Church in New Hebron.