Charles "Chuck" Berry's Journal
One final note to all of my family and firneds
Written Jan 29, 2013 5:54pm by Paula Berry
As the days have gone by, I have had comfort in all of your cards and emails.
All entries to the CaringBridge are being formated into a book that will be given to Chuck's granddaughters, Madilyn and Morgan Parker. If you have something special to add please take a moment and include a memory or story of your experiences with Chuck.
I sincerely appreciate your support as I continue to sort through this new dimension of life for me without Chuck by my side. Each and every one of you have given me strength and courage to see that the sun will rise and set while processing this reality.
"IT IS WHAT IT IS".
. Chuck left us way too soon but he gave me some great advice along the way.
He told me to be kind, gentle, respectful and honest.
He loved Andi, Pike Township Fire Department and Useppa Island. It was that simple.
I am very proud to have been Chuck's wife and partner for over 30 years.
Be safe out there and give it your best.
Until our paths cross again.....
Written Jan 5, 2013 9:42am by Celeste Berry
We realize that there are so many people who would like to attend Chuck's funeral, but are unable. Therefore, we have made arrangements for a live broadcast. To "attend," please click on the link below. It will not work if you "cut and paste." Again, the service is at 10:00 am, EST.
Funeral Arrangements and Obituary
Written Jan 4, 2013 3:22pm by Celeste BerryArrangements have been made at Crown Hill Cemetery/Funeral Home:Calling--Sunday, January 6, 2013, from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm at the Funeral Home.Funeral--Monday, January 7, 2013, at 10:00 am. at the Funeral Home.Burial--immediately following the funeral, at the cemetery.Crown Hill Funeral Home700 W. 38th StreetIndianapolis, IN 46208(317) 925-3800For those of you who are out of town and unable to attend on Monday, we are working on a way for you to view the service via the internet. More details will follow.___________________________
Following a brief illness, Fire Chief Charles “Chuck” S. Berry passed away peacefully on January 3, surrounded by his loving family and close friends. Chuck was born on August 1, 1950, in Chicago, Illinois, to the late Gilbert and Madeleine (Leonard) Berry, Sr. As a child, he moved with his family to Indianapolis, where he lived until 1996. At that time, he and his beloved wife Paula (Thomasson) moved to Useppa Island, Florida, where they developed and became the fire department for the last 17 years.
Chuck graduated from Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in 1968, then attended Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. At some point, he developed a passion for public safety, specializing in fire service.
In his early years, he was an EMT for AID Ambulance, then became a firefighter and paramedic for Washington Township.
Eventually, Chuck became the first career Fire Chief for Pike Township. Because of him and his dedication, the Pike Township Fire Department has grown to be one of the finest in the country. He developed the department from 21 career and 40 volunteer firefighters to eventually having over 140 career firefighters. With his consistent pioneering ways, he always made sure that the citizens of Pike Township had the state of the art equipment and the best professionally trained firefighters he could possibly hire. As the Pike Township Fire Chief, he was bigger than life and will be forever remembered for his never-ending unselfish contributions and passion for protecting the lives and property of others. With his tremendous work ethic, he was an excellent leader and a good example for all. The professionalism he portrayed was unsurpassed and admired by all who knew him.
Upon his retirement from Pike Township, Chuck and his wife Paula took on the huge challenge and opportunity of building a fire department for Useppa Island, Florida, located just offshore from Fort Myers. As a hard-working, dedicated and progressive team, they saved many lives and helped keep Useppa and many other nearby islands and waters safe. Although they were the entire fire department there, Chuck and Paula were much more to the people of the island—they were a part of all of their families.
While Chuck loved his job, he also loved being a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Chuck would always say that his greatest accomplishment in life was his wonderful daughter, Andi Parker, whose mother is Gail Blainey.
Although he was on call 24 hours a day with his job, he also enjoyed fishing, reading, boating, motorcycles, sports cars, traveling, and cruising to exotic places when he did get to enjoy some down time. It can be said that he lived life to the fullest, enjoying every minute whether working or playing.
Chief Berry is survived by his loving wife Paula, daughter Andrea (Jon) Parker, granddaughters Madilyn and Morgan, sisters Katie McKinney, Maddie (Greg) Linder, brother Bob (Diane) Berry, many nieces, nephews, cousins, first wife Gail Queisser (Pete) Blainey and countless friends.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents and brother Gil (Celeste) Berry Jr.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the Riley Hospital Burn Unit, which was Chuck’s longtime favorite charity.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 6 at Crown Hill Funeral Home (700 W. 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208, 317/925-8231) from 4:00 to to 7:00 pm.
Although Chuck Berry’s final chapter was a short one, he did, indeed, handle it with dignity, resolve and strength, just as he handled everything else in his life. Our lives are richer for having known him as our “Chief.”