Gabriel blew his horn for Margaret Catherine Berry early on Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017.
She was born on August 8, 1915, in Dawson, Texas, to Winfred and Lillian McCluney Berry, who predeceased her.
After graduation from Dawson High School, she attended the University of Texas (1933-1937), where she majored in history, was active on campus and graduated with honors. She taught history in high schools at El Campo, Freeport, and Galveston. In 1947, she went to Navarro College in Corsicana, where she served as Assistant Dean-Registrar until 1950. In 1950 she was employed as Dean of Women at East Texas State College (now Texas A&M Commerce), where she served until 1962. While on leave from her position, she returned to Columbia University, from which she had received the M.A. degree in 1943, and began work on a doctorate. The doctorate, from Teachers' College, Columbia (1965), was in Student Affairs Administration. Her dissertation was a study of "Student Life and Customs at the University of Texas, 1883-1933."
While doing research for her study, she was employed in 1962 by the University of Texas as Associate Dean of Women. After a number of title changes, she was Director of Developmental Programs in the Office of Vice- President for Student Affairs. Several times she was on special assignment. During the last four years before retirement, she prepared the book, The University of Texas: A Pictorial Account of Its First Century. She was author of 10 books, six of which relate to the University of Texas. A number of papers and monographs also relate to UT history, and for nine years, she edited a professional journal.
During most of her time at UT, she taught a seminar on campus history and the student culture. Even though she retired in 1980, she taught a Freshman Seminar for seven more years, 1995-2003.
Honors included: University of Texas Distinguished Alumna (1996); "Most Worthy Citizen" chosen by the Austin Board of Realtors (2005); the Pro Bene Meritis Award from Liberal Arts (2015); one of 100 Texas Women of Distinction in the 20th Century" chosen by AAUW. Two scholarships and a national fellowship are named for her. On April 13, 2012, she was honored in a special ceremony by the naming of the Atrium in the new Student Activities Center at UT for her and by the establishment of a fund to support out-of-class student activities. In recognition of her 100th birthday, the Lillian and Winfred Berry Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Religious Studies was established in honor of her parents. Over 400 former students and friends contributed to this endowment.
She was a member of Austin Open Forum, Chapter R-PEO, Austin Woman's Club, Alpha Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, the Littlefield Society, the Chancellors Council and the University United Methodist Church, where she was the first female Board chair.
An only child, she has no close relatives, but cousins, close friends, and former students from her large extended family. Included are Terry and Jan McCarter and children of Colleyville and Bill Turner of Dawson. Other children of cousins live at some distance but are special family. Kevin and Darlene Brown and their sons, Robert and Patricia Brown and their children, Bonner Brown Landrum, Betty Caywood, and Paula Adkins were very dear and helpful. Others, loved and appreciated, are too numerous to mention. A resident of Westminster since 1998, friends there were part of her extended family. Her doctors, Dr. Laura Guerrero, Dr. Stuart Damore, Dr. Robert Morris and Kathy Cody, PA, were special.
Visitation and viewing will take place on Sunday, April 23 from 1:00 to 1:40 pm at University United Methodist Church, 2409 Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX 78705 with funeral to follow at 2:00 pm at the church. A reception will be held from 3:00 to 5:00 pm in the Texas Union Ballroom.
A private interment will take place in her hometown of Dawson on Monday, April 24.
Donations can be made to the Lillian and Winfred Berry Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Religious Studies online be visiting https://giving.utexas.edu/ or mailed to The University of Texas Development Office, 116 Inner Campus Drive, Stop G6300, Austin, TX 78712.