Our Heavenly Father called his daughter home on Saturday, March 13, 2021 giving her peace and rest in his everlasting arms after an arduous journey.
Maretta Denise (Terrell) Berry affectionately called by her nickname Tootie, was born February 28, 1952 in Kansas City, Missouri to her parents, B.C. and Helena Ouida Terrell. Her parents and brothers Calvin C. Benson and Benny C. Terrell; and sisters Jacqueline Benson and Renee V. Terrell Kelow; and father and mother-in-law Chauncey Berry, Sr. and Clara Berry all preceded her in death.
Maretta gave her life to Christ and was baptized at an early age, attending Morning Star Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri a child. As a young adult she joined St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri, and ultimately after moving to Kansas became a long-time member of Oakridge Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas for over 20 years up until the remainder of her life. She loved Oakridge and was a member of the Senior Saints while participating in various women’s groups and activities. She and her husband, Chauncey Abrum Berry, Jr. also led activities for the church youth group.
Maretta was extremely self-sufficient and loved to work. As a teenager she worked for her aunt and mother’s laundry and dry cleaners. When she graduated from Lincoln High School in 1970, she landed one of her first career jobs at McGraw Hill Publishing Company working in micro-filming. She went to live with her brother Calvin in Los Angeles for a while in her quest to attend college at the University of California Los Angeles. Maretta returned back to Kansas City to be with her lifelong love Chauncey Jr. and to begin a career filled with great opportunities and stellar career progress. She and her husband of 47 years married on August 11, 1973. Her husband went to work for Sante Fe Railroad, and she began employment at Trans World Airlines (TWA) 25+ years working as a data manager, program analyst, ticket agent, and Union worker. After retiring from TWA, she went to work for Sprint for nearly 10 years in various departments, and also worked for IBM through a collaboration with Sprint. If she was still with us, she would be employed. Retirement was not a priority, but work flexibility was very important because her husband, sons, and grandchildren were her number 1 priority.
In the midst of her early marriage and employment years, Maretta and Chauncey started their family of three sons. Maretta like her mother, Helena was a dynamic and dedicated wife, mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother. She and her husband Chauncey A. Berry, Jr. ensured their three sons (Chauncey Abrum Berry, III; Elliott Terrell Berry; and Anthony Demar Berry) were raised with kindness, education, strong work ethics, responsibility, and self-sufficiency. Most Importantly, they were raised to know God and to attend and serve church. Together, Maretta and Chauncey Jr. were super parents ensuring the boys did well in school, played numerous sports, acquired technical and mechanical skills, and received everything they needed to grow up to become successful and intelligent young men who also know the importance of work.
Maretta was loved by everyone that encountered her. She was helpful, friendly, sweet, comical, and very considerate of others. She and Renee (Ronnie) were awesome big sisters to Phyllis Ann and Nina Kay as they were eight and ten years older. Maretta and Renee doted on them and treated them like dolls, while never spoiling them. Maretta was a caring and loving younger sister to Renee (Ronnie), the oldest daughter who has also gone on to glory. Family, relatives, neighbors, and friends loved the Terrell Girls – Ronnie, Tootie, Phyllis, and Kay who were known for their beauty, intelligence, long thick hair, neat, clean, and classy attire, kindness, and friendliness. Maretta continued to be a strong support for Phyllis and Nina for the rest of her life, providing guidance and strengthening them as a way to help them endure and succeed despite life challenges and celebrating all the special times, holidays, and more!
Maretta and her lifelong love – her husband Chauncey Berry, Jr. have a real love story. The story has been kept and documented by a host of family members and told over and over. Chauncey was born February 24th, 1952 just 4 days before Maretta, born February 28th. They were born in the same hospital, Queen of the World. Thus, Maretta’s future mother-in-law Clara Berry and her mother Helena Terrell were delivering babies together. As the story goes, 22 baby girls were born that week and only one boy. Years later that one boy would go to Maretta, instead of one of the other 21 baby girls. Because Chauncey Jr. had become friends with Maretta’s cousins he was frequently around Maretta and Renee (older sister) growing up. Chauncey and Maretta had officially met in Kindergarten at D.A. Holmes Elementary School in Kansas City, Missouri at age 5. When little sisters Phyllis and Kay came on the scene, they met their future brother-in-law when they were only 4 and 5 years old. Some years passed and the two babies of February 1952 fell in love in late middle school and high school and graduated from Lincoln High School together in 1970. The couple married August 11, 1973 and have been together since then – 47 years! They have lived a beautiful life filled with travel across the world; vacations and cruises; family gatherings; serving God; raising their family; and being the admired and loved couple of the century. When Maretta departed this life, she truly had lived! And she lived a life of True Love!
Maretta’s memory will be forever cherished by her husband Chauncey A. Berry, Jr.; sons Chauncey Abrum Berry, III (Monique Berry), Elliott Berry, and Anthony Berry; her two sisters, Phyllis A. Harris (Robert Harris, II) and Nina Kay Henderson (John Henderson, Sr.); grandchildren Myiah Berry, Elliott Berry, Jr, Chauncey Berry, IV, Anthony Berry, Jr., twins Ellis and Elijah Berry, Emery Berry, and Briana Berry; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, friends, colleagues, church, and community.
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