Lifelong Centreville resident Evelyn Berry marks 100th birthday
CENTREVILLE — Lifelong Queen Anne’s County resident Evelyn Butler Berry will celebrate her 100th birthday on Sunday, Dec. 27. A graduate of Centreville High School, Evelyn worked at many different jobs in and around Centreville throughout her life.
One of her first jobs was working for Dr. Lucas in the Maryland State Livestock Lab Testing Office, in downtown Centreville, before graduating from high school. Immediately after high school, Evelyn worked at the RecordObserver newspaper as a proofreader. From there, she was hired as a bookkeeper at the former Wilson Feed Mill in
Centreville, and then for Willis & Cecil Co., also as a bookkeeper.
She married her school sweetheart Oliver A. Berry on Saturday, Dec. 6, 1941, the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, that launched the U.S. into World War II. What a honeymoon!
Evelyn said, “I was so worried the military was going to come take my husband away to serve in the war. It was truly a terrible and scary time.”
Oliver did serve in the military during World War II. While he was away, Evelyn worked on the assembly line in the Chestertown Munitions Factory, putting gunpowder into bullets made for the U.S. Army.
The Berrys had two daughters, Joy (now 72) and Bonnie (now 71), a year apart, and a son, Gene, who served as longtime mayor of Easton, now deceased.
Evelyn became a homemaker until all her children entered school and then resumed working outside the home.
She worked as a telephone operator with C&P Telephone Company for four years. Her final formal job was working at Edwards Pharmacy in downtown Centreville. She worked there, doing everything, from keeping books to stocking shelves for 25 years before retiring.
After retirement, she kept busy volunteering two days a week each at both the Kramer Center and Corsica Nursing Home. She continued volunteering for many years, finally giving it up at the Kramer Center about a year ago.
Evelyn lost her husband Oliver when he was only 59. She’s been independent since then.
She said she stays active with her flower gardens at home and still swims in her pool during summer months. She walks for exercise during cooler months.
Her personal doctor, Dr. Wayne Benjamin (retired), once told her that he knows why she has lived so long — “It’s because of your attitude and exercise!”
She has also remained active in Centreville United Methodist Church and was for a very longtime an active member of the church’s choir, where she sang under the direction of Nancy Cook, who is still a dear friend.
“I have many wonderful memories during my life,” Evelyn said. “Oliver was a real party person. We use to go out every weekend somewhere for entertainment, usually to a dance close by. It was lots of fun! We also went to Florida during the winter months. The furthest west I’ve been is Houston, Texas, and I’ve been on a cruise. Yes, lots of pleasant memories.”
Evelyn has four grandchildren, four greatgrandchildren and a great-great grandchild. Her sister, Ruth, who is four years younger, still lives in Centreville with her husband, Record Observer editor emeritus and longtime columnist Dan Tabler, who also contributed to this article.