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James A. Berry

Springfield

James A. Berry

 

BERRY, James A., 93, of Springfield, passed away August 31, 2023 at Springfield Regional Medical Center.  He was born March 2, 1930 in Springfield the son of James E. and Vera (Garlough) Berry.  Jim was a United States Army veteran having served during the Korean War.  He studied pre-law at Wittenberg University and finished his education at Ohio Northern University with a law degree in 1953.  He began his public service in 1955 when he was appointed Assistant City Solicitor and City Prosecutor.  In 1960 he ran as the Democratic candidate for the position of Prosecuting Attorney of Clark County and won.  He would go on to win successive elections as Prosecutor in 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1980, retiring at the end of his term in 1984 after 24 years at which time he returned to private practice until 2017.  He was selected and served as a member of the Board of Directors for the National District Attorney’s Association.  In 1967 he was elected to the office of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association.  Jim was a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Past President of the Springfield Bar Association and three-time past President of Sigma Delta Kappa National Legal Fraternity.  Community activities were always an important part of Jim’s life.  He coached little league baseball for ten years.  He was a past board member of the Springfield YMCA, past President and board member of the Clark County Cancer Society, former Ohio State Trustee of the American Cancer Society, past President of the Clark County Family Service Agency, member of the Masonic Fraternity for over 50 years and was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, past President of Clark County Shrine Club, past Exalted Ruler of B.P.O.E. # 51 where he also served as a past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler of Ohio Elks and past President and Board member of the Salvation Army.  As City Prosecutor, he appointed the first Clark County Jail Chaplain and served on the Jail Chaplaincy Committee.  In 1964 he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Springfield Jaycees and was further honored by his selection for the 1965 edition of “Outstanding Young Men of America” published by the National Jaycee organization.  He received the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association Resolution of Honor in 1974, the Association’s Leadership Award in 1977 and was selected by his fellow State of Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s as Outstanding Prosecuting Attorney in Ohio in 1981.  The Ohio State Supreme Court acknowledged his leadership by granting him their award for Excellent Service rendered in the Advancement of Criminal Justice. Survivors include his four children and spouses, Karen & Jerry Harmon, Kim & Randy Bobst, Kevin & Lisa Berry and Karla Berry; six grandchildren, Beth, Jacob, Matt, Jessica, Nick and Ryan; three great grandchildren, Maya, Gianna and Jace; four siblings, Don & Dorothy Berry, William & Delores Berry, Nancy Farish and Martha & Darrell Strome and numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Paula in 2006; a son, James Christopher; one sister and brother-in-law, Lois and John Powell and a brother and sister-in-law, Tom & Odette Berry.  A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 pm on September 30, 2023 at the B.P.O.E. Lodge #51, 1536 Villa Rd, Springfield, OH. 

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, September 30, 2023

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