Lt Col (Ret) James L. Berry

Lt Col (Ret) James L Berry passed away peacefully at his home in Lawrence KS August 25 of natural causes with family by his side. A private military burial with honors will take place at the National Cemetery in Leavenworth KS. Visitation for friends and family will be Sunday August 30th, 6-7pm at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana, Lawrence KS. A visitation is also planned for Wednesday September 2 from 6-8pm at Brenner Mortuary, 114 E 4th St Pittsburg KS

He was born May 19, 1939 in Hollywood CA, the son of professional wrestler Ralph “Wild Red” Berry and Lillie (Pilkenton) Berry. Jim’s youth was spent in Hollywood and Pittsburg KS.

Jim graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1957, obtained his degree in education from Pittsburg State University in 1961 and later obtained Masters Degrees in Education and Business Administration. Jim also briefly followed in his father’s footsteps as a professional wrestler under the name of Jim Brady.

He served Active Duty in the United States Army Military Police from 1962-1982. Jim served in Korea and Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star as well as other awards during his career.

He was stationed numerous locations including France, Missouri, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, California and Kansas. Jim graduated from the Command and General Staff College. After his retirement from the Army, he was a Special Agent for the Department of Defense and later served 15 years as the Senior Military JROTC Instructor for the Northeast Military Magnet High School in Kansas City. His JROTC Unit was designated Honor Unit with Distinction, awarded only to top Units in the nation. Numerous National Championships were also awarded to the drill, color guard, rifle and weightlifting teams. Jim also volunteered during his summers as a coach for the Junior Olympic National Shooting Team.
Jim retired in 2000. During retirement, he enjoyed multiple trips with family to Europe and California.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 52 years, Sharon Joyce (Hess) Berry of the home, a stepson Alden Cooper, three children, Jamie (Rick) Davidson, Diana Berry, and Daniel (Nicole) Berry as well three grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the caregivers of St Luke’s Hospice, the staff at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and St Lukes Hospital.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions made to USO, sent in care of the funeral Home.