Joseph A. Berry Sr., teacher and golfer


Joseph A. Berry Sr., a retired Baltimore County educator and golf enthusiast, died of cancer April 1 at Manor Care Ruxton. The longtime Bel Air resident was 78.

Mr. Berry was born in Atlantic City, N.J., and later moved with his family to Ridgefield, N.J. He was a graduate of a private school on Staten Island, N.Y., and earned a bachelor's degree in education from Villanova University in 1953.

He later returned to Villanova, where he earned a master's degree in education. He also had studied for a doctorate at the Johns Hopkins University, Towson University and the University of Maryland.

Mr. Berry began his teaching career in Troy, N.Y., before joining the faculty of St. Nicholas of Tolentine High School in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1959.

He taught and was dean of men at Biscayne College in Miami from 1963 to 1966, when he began teaching mathematics at Parkville Junior High School.

For the last 18 years of his career, he taught at-risk students at Patapsco Senior High School and also worked in the school's work study program. He retired in 1992.

He was also the assistant golf coach while at Patapsco and had been golf coach at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington from 1966 to 1967.

During the 1990s, Mr. Berry tutored students at Harford Community College, where he also established and coached the college's golf team.

Mr. Berry, who learned to play golf in the early 1960s, had been head golf coach when he was teaching at Biscayne College, family members said.

He was a five-time winner of the Harford County Senior Golf Championship and had been a member of the USGA golf course rating team, family members said.

In addition to golf, Mr. Berry enjoyed travel and gardening. He also liked to do charcoal portraits.

He was a communicant of St. Margaret Roman Catholic Church in Bel Air, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday.

Surviving are his wife of 41 years, the former Carol Ann Weinbrecht, a registered nurse; two sons, Joseph A. Berry Jr. of Annapolis and William J. Berry of Ambler, Pa.; a daughter, Christine A. Kloss of Crofton; a brother, Robert Berry of Los Altos Hills, Calif.; and seven grandchildren.

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