Thomas S. Berry of Yorkville, Illinois, formerly of Quincy, passed away on Saturday, July 11th at Amita Health Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois.
Tom was born on February 10, 1945, in Quincy, the son of Harry C. and Mary E. (Donald) Berry. He graduated from Quincy High School in 1963 where he played basketball and baseball through his sophomore year.
As a child, Tom loved playing baseball. The love of baseball remained throughout his life. Tom was an avid Los Angeles Dodger fan since the early 1950s as well as cheering for the Green Bay Packer and a Blue Devils at a very young age.
Tom and Becky Heitholt met in August of 1967 through mutual friends. They immediately forged an everlasting bond that involved sports, music, traveling and family. They were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Quincy on December 22, 1968.
Tom graduated from Quincy College in 1968 with a major in math. In 1974, he completed his Master's degree in education at Western Illinois University.
Tom's teaching and coaching career began in the fall of 1968 in the Spoon River Valley school district. In 1970, Tom was hired to teach math in the Quincy Public Schools at Quincy Jr. High. During his years in Quincy, Tom coached various levels of basketball, track, and soccer. In 1972, he enrolled QJHS into the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) and was named the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Girls' District Coach of the Year twice.
Tom retired from the Quincy Public Schools in 2000 and then taught and was head girls' basketball coach at Hannibal High school from 2000-2004. Tom continued to do substitute teaching through February 2020. In his retirement years, he enjoyed helping his sons with his grandchildren's baseball, soccer and basketball practices.
In addition to his wife, Becky (Heitholt) Berry, survivors include his son, Steve Berry and his wife Lee Anne (Sibley) of Aurora, IL; his son, Scott Berry and his wife Sarah (Burkert) of Yorkville; grandchildren Collin, Ashley, Julien, Morgan, and Maddie Berry; his father-in-law, Richard Heitholt; brother-in-law Chuck Heitholt and his wife Jan (Huelsmeyer); niece Lynsey (Heitholt) and her husband Dr. Grant Romine and Cooper and Crosbee; niece Emily (Heitholt) and her husband Jeremy Tuleja and their sons Thomas and Calvin; nephew Michael Heitholt and his wife Kelly (Ponder) and their sons Matthew and Luke; and numerous cousins and a multitude of wonderful friends.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; his mother-in-law, Fern Heitholt; aunts and uncles; a close cousin, William (Biff) Bower; and a great-niece Henley Hazel Romine.
Services: 1:00 pm on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at Salem Evangelical United Church of Christ with Rev. Matthew Hunt officiating. Please bring a mask if you plan to attend the service in person.
Livestream/Remote Attendance: To attend Tom's service remotely (or to view a recording for up to 90 days), please join us on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm Central Time using this link: https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/78339235
Visitation: Friday, July 31, 2020 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. by appointment at the Hansen-Spear Funeral Home. Please call 217-222-4907 to schedule a time to come to the visitation due to crowd size restrictions.
Burial will be in Quincy Memorial Park with a memorial stone to be added to the Donald burial plot in Woodland Cemetery.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to American Red Cross of the Illinois River Valley, Coronavirus Response Fund, the QHS Blue Devil Athletic Fund (make check to Becky Berry) or a charity of the donor's choice
Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors are handling arrangements.
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