Lee Short Berry Jr., age 94, passed away on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Portland, Ore. He was born May 28, 1923, in South Dakota to Lee and Grace (Zenor) Berry.
On April 5, 1971, he married Verna M. Nasman, formerly Verna Duddles, who grew up in the Hood River Valley and graduated from the Odell high school. They resided in Parkrose, in northeast Portland, where Lee was an active member of Parkrose Community Church (UCC), serving as a deacon and a trustee. He retired from General Telephone Co., where he worked as a telephone lineman and later as a project draftsman. He enjoyed travel, golfing with friends, dining out, visiting with relatives, and holidays with grandchildren.
Lee remained in his Parkrose home after Verna passed away in 2002. He was often visited by his stepsons Roy and Paul Nasman, Paul’s wife Sally, and their children Carl and Linnea, for whom he became “Grandpa.” They remember his devoted care of Verna and his support of her sister Mildred (“Mike”) Peterson during their later years.
Lee served in World War II as a crew member of a B-17 “Flying Fortress.” He completed 25 missions over Europe and was proud of his membership in the “Lucky Bastard Club” as one of the Army airmen surviving a full tour of duty. At the age of 87, Lee joined 46 other Oregon WWII veterans in a trip to Washington, D.C., sponsored by Honor Flight, an organization of volunteers honoring veterans for their service and sacrifice. His visit to the war memorials and the U.S. Capitol was noted in the Congressional Record in September 2011.
For the last 14 years of his life, Lee’s constant companion was Mary Morris. Most recently they were enjoying their life together at the Russellville Park retirement community in southeast Portland. He passed away peacefully after a short stay in an assisted living home.
Lee is buried at Willamette National Cemetery. A graveside memorial gathering is planned for April 7, 2018.
Memorial donations may be sent to Honor Flight of Portland Oregon and SnowCap Community Charities.
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