Chattanooga Has Lost A Great Man In Jim Berry - And Response (2)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

James C. Berry was the epitome of the American Dream.  He was born to humble means in a small town in Mississippi.  Through his tremendous work ethic, intelligence, perseverance, honesty and integrity he created many thriving businesses, employed thousands and improved the lives of those with whom he came in contact.   

One of his many major accomplishments was the creation of Republic Parking System, Inc.  Many people may not realize that Republic is the largest privately held parking management firm in the country, if not world, and is headquartered here in Chattanooga.  Mr. Berry could have located his companies anywhere but he cared deeply for this town and this community.

Jim loved to work but loved his family most of all.  His wife, five children and many grandchildren were the center of his attention.  He was a private man that truly enjoyed the outdoors and nature. 

He and the Berry family have always been very generous.  Much in the line with Matthew 6:3, the Berry family gives back to our community by donating money, time and resources to several local charities and organizations, often anonymously.  They give and never expected anything in return.

I am fortunate and blessed to have known Jim.  He was an employer, a mentor and a partner.  Please keep the Berry family in your thoughts and prayers for they - and Chattanooga - have lost a great man.  

Chris Howley
Signal Mountain

* * * 

I was honored to know Jim Berry for many years.  My parents live across the street from Mr. Berry. It was on a Christmas Eve 10 years ago with my father facing yet another heart surgery a knock came to my parent's back door. It was Mr. Berry with his son Marshall and his son-in-law Eric. They told my father that they had something that they wanted to give him.  We walked outside to find a new Kawasaki Mule, as my father’s eyes welled up with tears he told Mr. Berry that he couldn't accept such a gift. Mr. Berry told us that he wanted him to have the Mule so he could ride our farm. Mr. Berry knew that our old four wheeler had given out and in his compromised health, my father could not walk the farm. My  father told me that if something happened and he did not make it through his surgery to make sure that Jim got the Mule back. God blessed us and my father did make it through and we had him five more years. 

This summer my youngest son and I were riding the Mule in our field when we spotted Mr. Berry feeding his fish in his pond on his property that joined ours. We stopped and talked to Mr. Berry for a while and I thanked him again for the Mule that gave my father so much enjoyment  to be able to ride the property. Mr. Berry told me, “I get credit for a lot of things, it was Marshall who came up with the idea of getting the Mule for your father.” That is the kind of man Jim was, giving, caring and humble.  

I pray for his family during this difficult time. But I know that he set an example for his loved ones and others that he touched to follow. A man who worked hard, gave back and cared for others. Thank you, Jim, for a life well lived. 

David Hickman

* * *

Jim Berry was a citizen that will be tremendously missed by our community in many ways. His visits to the Courthouse and particularly to the Clerk's office were very special. 

His warm personality and friendly smile were attributes that will always be remembered.

County Clerk Bill Knowles


Kudzu Incursion On Scenic Highway

I don't know if I am the only Lookout Mountain resident to notice that Scenic Highway is about to be one and a half lanes. Kudzu is encroaching over the guard rail and onto the road. In many places you can no longer tell where the road ends and the guard rail begins. A number of new and older drivers don't need to be guessing about where the road ends. Tommy Dickinson (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Bradley, 24, Charged In Death Of Boy, 3; Child Had Numerous Injuries After Left With Boyfriend; Mother Was In Workhouse

Justin Dale Bradley has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a three-year-old child, who was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday and later died. Police said Dakota James Arndt had numerous injuries over his body. Authorities said Bradley, 24, is the boyfriend of the child's mother, Brianna Kwekel, who was in the Workhouse at the time. Ms. Kwekel was serving 48 ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

Worley-Powered Vols Clobber Utah State, 38-7, In Opener

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee, trying to snap out of the doldrums of four consecutive losing seasons, started its 2014 campaign in fine fashion Sunday night before a season opening sellout crowd of 102,445 that endured a heavy rain story 30 minutes prior to kickoff. And senior quarterback Justin Worley, who missed the final four games in 2013 after undergoing thumb surgery, was ... (click for more)

Lookouts Reach Southern League Northern Division Playoffs With Doubleheader Win Over Smokies

The Chattanooga Lookouts are now playoff bound after sweeping a double-header against the Tennessee Smokies  to clinch the Southern League North Division for the second half of the season. The first game of the double-header was backed by a masterful gem of a game thrown by the starter for the Lookouts, Steve Smith (W, 3-2). Smith dominated the Smokies' lineup from top ... (click for more)