Christine Chavis Berry

Published 10:57 am Wednesday, October 17, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Christine Chavis Berry, 78, loving wife, mother and grandmother, of Indianapolis, Indiana passed away October 11, 2012, after a brief illness.   Christine was born December 9, 1933 in Ahoskie, North Carolina.

Christine grew up in North Carolina, graduating from Robert L. Vann High School before moving on to Tennessee State University, where she received a B.S. in education in 1955.

Soon after graduation, she moved to Indianapolis to work for the legendary Cleo Blackburn at Flanner House, a settlement home for African Americans, one of the first established in the United States. While there she helped develop programs that helped teach better work habits, added new skills, opened new job opportunities, trained mothers in child care and helped the physically handicapped toward self-support.

Her desire to help others led her to venture on mission trips.   Of her many excursions, she said her favorite was a mission to Jamaica to help establish and build a school.   She returned to that exact school 50 years later with her daughters to revisit Oberlin School, just outside Kingston, Jamaica.

She met the love of her life, George R. Berry, Jr., soon after moving to Indianapolis.   They wed August 26, 1961 in Indianapolis and were married for 45 years until his passing in 2007.

Christine lived a happy and fulfilling life centered on her family.   She later worked for Washington Township Schools and served as office manager in a medical practice until her retirement in 2004.

Christine and her husband enjoyed traveling the state and, in some cases, the country following the athletic exploits of their three children.   She also enjoyed family reunions and attending Auto Shows with her late husband.

Christine loved all sports, but the Pacers and the Colts were No. 1 with her.   She and her husband were proud of the fact they were 40-plus years season ticket holders of the Pacers and over 25 years season ticket holders of the Colts – loyal fans since Year One for BOTH franchises. She rarely missed home games over all the years.

Christine was preceded in death by her husband, George R. Berry, Jr. (January 19, 2007); her parents, Clarence Chavis and Claudia Hare Chavis; sister, Elouise C. Weaver; and brothers, Clarence Brown Chavis and James Norfleet Chavis.

She is survived by a son, Jorge R. (Kelly) Berry, Marion, Indiana; a daughter, Gwendolyn B. (Rich) Firnbach of Chicago; daughter, Angela B. (Eddie) White of Carmel; sister, Margaret C. Benton of Philadelphia, PA; sister, Gladys C. Jones of St. Augustine, FL; sister, Earle C. Ward of Indianapolis; and five grandchildren, Jourdyn Berry, Isaac Berry, Ragan Firnbach, Drew Firnbach and E.J. White.

Friends may call from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 18 at Crown Hill Funeral Home, 38th and Clarendon.   Services will be Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. at St. Monica Catholic Church, 6131 N. Michigan Road.

Memorial gifts may be made to: Oberlin School, Project 331394556, National Commercial Bank, 195 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 8, Jamaica West Indies in honor of Christine Chavis Berry.