Barbara Bass Berry was born in Enid, Oklahoma, July 29, 1925, to Henry "Heinie" Benjamin Bass and Roberta "Bertie" Lee Herring Bass. She passed from this life peacefully, in her home surrounded by her family on October 15, 2017, at the age of 92.
Barbara Bass graduated from Enid High School in 1943, and attended the University of Oklahoma. There her Pi Beta Phi Sorority sister, Barbara Berry, from Sapulpa introduced her brother, Guy L. Berry, Jr. Barbara and Guy married in June, 1946. Together they raised four children in Sapulpa. Barbara called Enid her home, but Sapulpa was her life.
She was very proud of being a homemaker, Cub Scout Leader for all three sons, and her daughter's Camp Fire Girl Leader for ten years. She gladly hosted many parties and school trips for her children. She loved cooking! She and Guy enjoyed entertaining so many friends and family, that Guy called her "The Hostess with the Mostess."
Barbara was fiercely loyal to all her many friends, doing anything for them. She belonged to both The Alumnae of Pi Beta Phi Sorority and Chapter G of PEO for over seventy years, serving in many local and state capacities for both.
Barbara always stressed to her family they were responsible for making their communities and state the best they can be. She spent her entire adult life "giving back" by using her multitude of connections. She was known for her "gentle persuasion." It was often heard, one could never say, "No" to Barbara Berry because she would "encourage" you endlessly until you gave in.
Barbara was a member of The First Presbyterian Church, The Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce, The United Way, The Sapulpa Historical Society, Creek County Republicans, a Chairman of Sapulpa's Charity Ball, Oklahoma Arts Institute, Oklahoma Heritage Association, Western History Museum at the University of Oklahoma, a founder of The University of Oklahoma President's Association, and a former President of the University of Oklahoma Alumnae Council.
She kept close ties with her beloved Enid as incorporator and Chairman of Bobsfarm, Inc., Enid's largest land developer.
She was recognized as "The Citizen of the Year" by the Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce, recipient of the John Gulnic Award for Service to The Camp Fire Program, member of The University of Oklahoma Hall of Fame, "Guy Brown Award" Recipient for Service to the University of Oklahoma Alumni Association, and a recipient of the University of Oklahoma Panhellenic Outstanding Greek Award.
She helped organize the Sapulpa Arts Program and Sapulpa Panhellenic and funded many projects in Sapulpa and Enid.
Governor Henry Bellmon appointed her the first woman to serve on the Oklahoma Highway Commission. She was the prime instigator behind combining U.S Highways 60, 62, 64, and 155 and State Highway 51 in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee into US 412 creating a vital link of the National Highway System, naming it the "Cimarron Turnpike" with H. Holden's "Boomer" as the logo.
Instrumental in starting the "Don't Lay That Trash on Oklahoma" Anti-Litter Campaign, she was often seen picking up trash along local highways and planting flowers in downtown Sapulpa.
Barbara was the ultimate volunteer, but her greatest achievement was a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and aunt. Devoted to her family, she was adored by all. Her happiest time was with her ever increasing family all laughing with their "Mima."
Barbara was pre-deceased by her parents; beloved brother, Robert "Bob," Dean Bass; her husband, Guy L. Berry, Jr.; Guy's parents, Guy L. (Sr.) and Merle Knipe Berry, brothers-in-law Bill P. Jennings, Oklahoma City; Luke Sewell, Clinton; and James D. and Mary Evelyn Berry Dallas; daughters-in-law, Dianne Berry and Pam Berry, Sapulpa; and her grandson, Colby Simmons, Sapulpa.
She is survived by her four children: Bob Berry and wife Cathie, Enid; Guy Berry, III and wife Caroline; Bill Berry; and Melissa "Missy" Berry Simmons and husband David all of Sapulpa; cherished sister, Jeraldine Bass Jennings, Oklahoma City; and dear sister-in-law, Barbara Berry Sewell, Clinton.
She is also survived by grandchildren: Matt and Mendi Berry, Lewisville, CO; Eli and Marcie Berry, Enid; Jose and Erin Reyes, Long Beach, CA; Elizabeth Berry and fiancé Michael Thompson, Tulsa; Henry Berry, Sapulpa; Jennifer and Jim Dilley, Sapulpa; Will and Stacey Berry, Sapulpa; Ben Minty, Oklahoma City; Kate Minty, Tulsa; Alexandria, Ethan, and Jessica Simmons, Sapulpa; Shawn Simmons, Oklahoma City; and great-grandchildren: Natalie, Ava, and Libby Berry, Amaya Reyes, Declan McDermott, Liam Berry, Jad and Jarrett Dilley, Kaylee, Hannah, and Brooklyn Berry, Trent and Tatum Simmons, and her grandchildren's friends who will always call her "Mima Berry!"
Additionally, she is survived by her devoted friend, Lon T. Jackson, and her fun-loving "Loose Lady" Friends in Sapulpa.
Barbara Bass Berry was an exemplary role model, gracious, classy, sassy, elegant, spiritual, driven, friendly, fun-loving, and exceptionally generous lady who was in class of her own. She was well loved and will be deeply missed by her family and friends, who'll agree it was an honor to be a part of her life!
Because Barbara worked tirelessly making Sapulpa a better place to live, her family requests that in lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to The Pride in Sapulpa Committee, in care of the Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce, at 101 E. Dewey, Sapulpa, OK 74066.
A Celebration of her Life will be held at The First Presbyterian Church of Sapulpa on Friday, October 20 at 2:00 p.m.
Smith Funeral Home is handling her funeral arrangements.
Published on October 17, 2017