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Mr. George Berry (Deceased)
Graduated 1947

303 Marguerite Blvd.
Lafayette, LA 70503


Home Phone: 337-235-3405
Work Phone: --
Fax: --
Email: mgberry@lusfiber.net

Obituary for George A. Berry
December 22, 1924 – November 27, 2014

Funeral services will be held on Monday, December 1, 2014, at a 2:00 PM Service in La Chapelle de Martin & Castille in Lafayette for George A. Berry, age 89, who passed away on Thursday, November 27, 2014, at his home in Lafayette.

Reverend Hampton Davis, Pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, will conduct funeral services. Lectors will be Michelle Barnhill and Lauren Berry. Pallbearers will be Michael Berry, Patrick Berry, Ross Robichaux, Jason Breaux, Brandon Barnhill, Robert Kallam, Bob Niel, and Randy Stelly. Honorary Pallbearers will be members of the Beaver Club.

Interment will be in Lafayette Memorial Park.

George was born on December 22, 1924, to George A. Berry Sr. and Blanche Jones Berry in Bibb County, Alabama. He grew up in Houston then moved to DeRidder where he graduated from high school in 1941. He attended college at SLI (now UL). He left school to enlist in the Navy in 1942, served in the Pacific Theater aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hancock and was involved in combat off of the Philippines and Okinawa. Following his discharge in 1946, he returned to SLI where he met his college sweetheart, Marion Stelly. They graduated in 1947 and married on October 16, 1949, at the Catholic Student Center on the SLI campus. Lafayette has been their home ever since.

In the early 50’s, he was an accountant for the Hadacol Company and traveled with the “Hadacol Caravan”, spending time with Hank Williams, Mickey Rooney, Bob Hope, Minnie Pearl and many other entertainers of the era. He was with Hank on the night “Jambalaya” was written.

Later, while working for Lafayette Drug Company, he was involved in forming a new division to manage the rapid growth of their record merchandising business, Modern Record Service. This company later became known as Musical Isle of America.

In 1958, he and six other industry leaders founded the National Association of Record Merchandisers, now known as the Music Business Association. It has been the premiere organization for music business professionals for over 50 years. While serving as its President in 1966, George had the honor of presenting the NARM Presidential Award to Frank Sinatra at the Fontainbleu Hotel in Miami Beach.

Continuing his career in the record business, George founded Raccoon Records in 1974. It was a Lafayette landmark for over three decades – “the” place to get the latest music or best concert tickets. Many a student started their work careers in the aisles of Raccoon.

George belonged to the Beaver Club of Lafayette, and was their most senior member. Their Wednesday noon meetings were among his greatest pleasures.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marion, and their three children: Michael (and wife, Melissa) of Dallas, Patrick (and wife, Amy) of San Francisco, and Beth of Lafayette. Other survivors include three grandchildren: Lauren Berry of Dallas, Michelle Barnhill (and husband, Brandon) of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Ross Robichaux of Lafayette. Also, step-grandson, Jason Breaux (and wife, Barbara, and their children Abigail, Sarah, and Grace) of Omaha, Nebraska, and sister-in-law, Virgie Stelly of Gueydan.

George was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Pauline Berry Niel and her husband Paul Niel, and his brother-n-law, Rodney Stelly.

The family requests that visitation be observed in Martin & Castille’s DOWNTOWN location on Sunday from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM and on Monday from 11:00 AM until time of the services.

The family would like to thank Concepts of Care and Hospice of Acadiana for the wonderful care given to George over the last few months. Additionally, special appreciation to Judy and Anna for their devotion to the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Acadiana , Inc., 2600 Johnston St., Ste. 200, Lafayette, La. 70503, or the Beaver Club, P. O. Box 2744, Lafayette, La. 70502.
View the obituary and guestbook online at www.mourning.com
Martin & Castille-DOWNTOWN-330 St. Landry St., Lafayette, LA 70506, 337-234-2311

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of George A. Berry please visit our Sympathy Store.

Athletic Network Footnote by Ed Dugas

Please click here for George Berry’s profile and learn about why the “Southwestern” sign is placed over Long Gymnasium.

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Update provided by Dr.Dave Fisher on Nov. 12, 2009

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Cheerleader in 1941 & 42 and 1946 & 1947

George’s story about the Southwestern sign on Long Gym:

In 1941-42, I was President of the Freshman Class at S.L.I. As a lasting remembrance from our class, we had the “Southwestern” Sign made and placed over the North Gate (corner of University and Johnston Street). The sign was installed there; however, it only remained for a short time as the Alumni began calling President Dr. Joel L. Fletcher requesting that it be removed as it made the College look like the entrance to a “Nite Club”.
In order that the sign be put to some use, it was installed on the front of Long Gym where, after over 60 years, it stll remains. After many wonderful name changes, it still reminds a number of us “old timers” that it will always be “Southwestern”.
Submitted by George Berry – Class of 1947

George’s email address: marionsberry@bellsouth.net

Updated July 4, 2005