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November 28, 2013 - Image 86

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-11-28

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A Life Of Doing Good

Ronelle Grier

Contributing Writer


arold Berry loved his family, his
Jewish heritage, his country and
his community — and his life
exemplified an unwavering commitment
to the people and principles he held dear.
He was a devoted family man, entre-
preneur, war veteran, philanthropist
and community leader. Mr. Berry, 88,
of Bloomfield Hills, died after sunset on
Nov. 20, 2013.
Harold was born in Detroit in 1925; he
was one of two children born to immi-
grants Louis and Rebecca Berry. After he
graduated from Central High School in
1943, his plans to attend a pre-law pro-
gram at the University of Michigan were
interrupted by a call to serve his country,
which he did with pride as a member of
the U.S. Army Air Corps during World
War II.
When his term of service ended,
Harold continued to pursue his origi-
nal goal at Wayne State University law
school, graduating in 1949 and becoming
a practicing attorney. A few years later,
he joined his father in his commercial
real estate business, where they owned
and operated hotels throughout the
United States. The father-son partner-
ship soon became owners and managers
of several major local office buildings,
including the David Stott Building, even-
tually joining with Max Fisher to pur-
chase the notable Detroit landmark, the
Fisher Building. Harold later expanded

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28 Kislev Dec. 1, 2013

Moshe Alperin
Max A. Bard
Allan E. Davis
Saul Charles Dorfman
Jacob Klainberg
Harry Lafer
Jack Osborne
Celia Ravin
Sadie Rich
Annette Schulman
Allen Viedrah
Jennie Weisman
Arthur Woll

29 Kislev Dec. 2, 2013

Helen Goldye Burlak
Phillip Dubrinsky
William Elson
Lilly Fine
Henrik Fischer
Philip Golob
Phylis Hertzberg
Jacob Kushner
Gertrude Lachover
Saul Mandelsohn
Benjamin Mendelsohn
Helen Sendacz
Bella Simon
lzak Spokojny
Rebecca Trivax

30 Kislev Dec. 3, 2013

Fanny Katz Field
Clara Friedman

the scope of his investments by purchas-
ing two major Midwestern media outlets,
WWJ radio in Detroit and WTTV televi-
sion in Indiana.
While he was devoted to his country
and his career, Harold's greatest pas-
sion was his family, especially his wife,
Barbara, who shared his life for 67 happy
years. The two
met at a hayride
when they were
young teenagers,
then started dat-
ing several years
Their marriage
was filled with
love and mutual
support, and
they celebrated
many milestones
together. Harold
Harold Berry
enjoyed discuss-
ing potential busi-
ness deals with Barbara and was often
guided by her intuition. The couple loved
to travel, traversing the country and the
world from Norway to Australia and
every point in between.

Family Man
His three children, Larry, Elliott and
Miriam "Mimi", spoke at the funeral ser-
vice held at Congregation Shaarey Zedek
in Southfield, recounting memories and
praising their father's kindness, commit-
ment and intellectual prowess.

During the coming week, the students of Yeshiva Beth Yehudah
will study in memory of the following departed friends.
In addition, Kaddish will be said during the daily minyan.

David Mandel
Rubin Miller
Meyer Rivkin
Saul H. Rose
Rose Russek
Brocha Stollman
Claude Superstine

1 Teves Dec. 4, 2013

Ethel Carmen
Joseph Finkelstein
Jerome Gershbein
Sophie Herman
Hanna Hess
Bessie Kahldon
Ida Nosanchuck
Lottie Ravet
Samuel Schultz

2 Teves Dec. 5, 2013

Helen Feiner
Sadie Feurring
Alex Fried
Elizabeth Gelbman
Reuben Gottlieb
Jack Kopman
Rose Magid
Dan Moskowitz
Harry Pearlstein
Israel Schottenfeld
Esther Schuster

3 Teves Dec. 6, 2013

Isaac Char
Celia Chesluk

Mathilda Diem
Adolph Escoff
Ida Goldstein
Dora Kurnetz
Rose Marks
Louis Mendelsohn
Rose Mertz
Leatrice Patron
Sandra Perlmutter
Sam Solomon Reinstein
Eliezer Rosen
Joseph Rubin
Joseph Scherr
Joseph Shanbom
Sarah Weberman

Samuel Bienenfeld
Jennie Caplan
Maria Foltyn
Chana Gerszonowicz
Mary Glosman
Jack Isbee
Morris Koss
Herman Rosenberg
Jacob Shevitz
Shirley Judith Sklar
Esther Sperber
Harry Surath
Pauline Surowitz
Harry Traub
Michael Wainer
Rose Wrubel

YESHIVA BETH YEHUDAH • School for Boys • Beth Jacob School for Girls • Early Childhood Development Center
Weiss Family Partners in Torah Program • Kollel Bais Yehudah • Bnos Bais Yehudah—Maalot Detroit
15751 West Lincoln Drive • Southfield, MI 48076 • 248-557-6750 • Fax 248-557-6838 • www.DetroitYeshiva.org



Commitment To Judaism
Paramount to Harold was his commit-
ment to Judaism, the Detroit Jewish com-
munity and the State of Israel, and he
shared his enthusiasm with his children,
grandchildren and friends.
Both Harold and his father, Louis, were
presidents of Shaarey Zedek, and Harold
was proud that son Larry became the
third generation of the family to serve as
Harold was a lifelong supporter of
the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
where he and Barbara were made honor-

ary fellows of the university, with their
names inscribed on its Wall of Life on
Mount Scopus in 2005. He was a found-
ing member of Hillel Day School of
Metropolitan Detroit and also served
in leadership positions at the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, the
American Jewish Committee, the Jewish
Community Relations Council and
numerous other local and national orga-
Harold was also very involved in the
secular world. While deeply devoted to
his country, he also believed it was a
citizen's duty to work toward correcting
wrongs, and he fulfilled this obligation by
writing frequent letters to his congress-
men, senators and other government
According to his children, Harold's
favorite quote also summed up his life
philosophy: "Have some fun, do some
good and be able to pick up the bill."
Harold Berry is survived by his
beloved wife of 67 years, Barbara Berry;
children Larry (Sharon) Berry, Elliott
Berry (Campbell Harvey), and Miriam
(Peter) Seagle; sisters, Selma Berry (Jack)
Schwartz, Barbara (Stephan) Morse,
and Marcy (Michael) Feldman; grand-
children, Matthew Berry, Katherine
Berry, Jacob (Anna) Berry, Meggie Berry
Harvey, Olivia (Tim) Seagle Brennan, and
Elizabeth Seagle; great-granddaughter,
Eliana Seagle Brennan; nieces, Betsy
(Jeff) Heuer and Rebecca Snider; many
great-nieces and great-nephews and a
world of loving family and friends.
He was the dear brother of the late
Joan Provizer.
Interment was at Clover Hill Park
Cemetery. Contributions may be made to
American Friends of Hebrew University,
One Battery Park Plaza, 25th Floor, New
York, NY 10004, (212) 607-8500; www.
afhu.org; Congregation Shaarey Zedek,
27375 Bell Road, Southfield, MI 48034,
(248) 357-5544, www.shaareyzedek.org ;
or Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network,
6555 W. Maple, West Bloomfield, MI
48322, (248) 592-2687, www.
jewishhospice.org. Arrangements by Ira
Kaufman Chapel. ❑

4 Teves Dec. 7, 2013

Send a tribute in memory of a loved one —
Visit www.DetroitYeshiva.org/JNtributes.

86 November 28 • 2013

According to Larry, Harold loved to
come home from a trip and talk about
the places he visited, imparting his-
torical facts to rival any encyclopedia,
but always in an interesting way. He
frequently amazed listeners with his
detailed knowledge of American, Jewish
and European history.
"He had more intellectual curi-
osity than anyone I knew:' Elliott
Miriam referred to her father as
"the original Google."
"He was extremely intellectual
but also very hands-on," she said,
"and he made you feel like you
were the most important person
when you were with him:"
After the death of his father in
1995, Harold became the patriarch
of a large, loving family, who mar-
veled at his determination to reach
out to family members literally
across the globe.
"He was a great connector,
always connecting people and places:'
said Rabbi Joseph Krakoff of Shaarey
Zedek, who officiated at the funeral ser-
He adored his six grandchildren; and
he cherished his good fortune in living
to hold his great-granddaughter, Eliana
Seagle Brennan, who was born Sept. 16,
the day before his 88th birthday. An avid
runner in his younger years, he enjoyed
taking walks with his grandchildren and
using the opportunity to hear about their
lives and impart a little wisdom.


Bloomfield, died Nov. 19, 2013.
He is survived by his beloved wife,
Sonja Balbes; sons and daughter-in-law,
Stephen and Davita Balbes of Orchard
Lake, Jonathan Balbes of Birmingham;
daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and
Reid Kavieff of West Bloomfield; brother
and sister-in-law, Henry and Peggy
Balbes of Bloomfield Hills; grandchil-

dren, Ashley (Craig) Lipson, Alexandra
Kavieff, Jesse Kavieff, Mara Kavieff,
David Balbes, Sean Seid and Brad
Seid; other loving family members and
Contributions may be made to the
American Cancer Society or to a char-
ity of one's choice. Interment took place
at the B'nai Israel Cemetery in Novi.
Arrangements by Dorfman Chapel.

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