Mary Lou (Hill) Berry
Mary Lou (Hill) Berry, 72, of Gordon, NE and formerly of Scenic, SD, passed to the Lord’s hands, May 26, 2009, after a short, but courageous, battle with cancer.
Mary Lou was born in New Underwood, Aug. 12, 1936, to Cliff and Fern Hill. She received her education at Scenic Grade School and Rapid City High School. When Mary Lou was 10 years old she was enrolled in the Lois Martin School of Dance where she was a star pupil. She also played the piano. For several years she tap danced all over the Black Hills and at several civic events.
While attending Rapid City High School, Mary Lou, Loretta McFarland, Lila Lee and Valerie Anderson sang in a chorus and performed at civic events throughout the Black Hills, including the USO Club, the Air Base hangars opening, etc.
Mary Lou married Buster Berry, June 24, 1953, at Scenic. They lived at Scenic until Buster’s induction into the U.S. Army 10th Division in January 1954. After completion of basic training, Mary Lou moved to Fort Riley, KS, where she and Buster lived for one year. In 1955, when Buster was sent to Germany, she returned home and lived with her parents at Scenic. Upon Buster’s discharge in 1956, they lived at Scenic where they entered into a partnership with Mary Lou’s folks in a farming and ranching operation. In the fall of 1958, they moved to Farmingdale, with Buster’s grandfather, August Bollmann, where they continued farming and ranching. In 1964, they moved back to Scenic until 1970. After a short stay in Martin, it was back to Scenic where Buster was employed by the Costello Ranch until the ranch was sold and they moved to Gordon, NE, in 1975.
Mary Lou was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 240 in Martin. She was a member of the Scenic Congregational Church where she played the piano for many years. Always a faithful follower of the Lord, she came to deepen her relationship with God through her involvement with the Victory Bible Church and Pastor Dave Morrison of Merriman, NE.
Mary Lou was devoted to her six children. She said shortly before her passing, “I have six kids you could only dream of.” She was a joyful grandmother and great-grandmother. She was known as one of the best cooks in the country and fed many a cowboy going down the road. Mary Lou also worked 31 years as a grocery clerk and produce manager.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by her father, Clifford Hill.
She is survived by her husband, Buster Berry, of 55 years, 11 months and two days, Gordon, NE; three daughters, Deb (Kip Krull) of Harrold, Roxanne Hauk (Ron Ward), Caputa, and Tracy (Rick Burdyshaw), Perry, OH; three sons, Wade (Corina), Miles City, MT, Bruce (Jeanne), Interior, and Ote (Jamie), Checotah, OK. Also 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Mary Lou is also survived by her mother, Fern Hill, age 104, of the Golden Living Center, Rapid City; two sisters, Margie Habinck, Miles City, MT, and Betty Black, Tea; one brother, Art Hill, Casper, WY.
Services were held June 2, 2009, at the Mother Butler Center, Rapid City, followed by a luncheon. Interment was at the Scenic Cemetery. The service was attended by approximately 800 cowboys and friends from seven states.
In lieu of flowers, memorial may be made to the Victory Bible Church, Merriman, NE, or the American Legion Auxiliary Post 240, Martin.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the Oct. 23, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News