Ruth Virginia Berry

Mar 17, 1925 - Jul 30, 2022

Sylvan Cemetery
7401 Auburn Boulevard
Citrus Heights, CA, 95610


RUTH VIRGINIA BERRY, aged ninety-seven, family matriarch, beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, passed away peacefully July 30, 2022, at home in Fair Oaks, CA, after a 10-year struggle with vascular dementia.

Ruth was born to parents Marcelina Velasco-Villanueva and George William Funk in Manila, Philippine Islands, March 17, 1925, one of eight children. She loved that her birthday fell on St. Patrick’s Day because green was her favorite color and because it was a semi-holiday so she could celebrate all month long.

Her mother and siblings survived 3 years of war and were repatriated to the United States in September 1945. They settled in Marin City, CA.

 From 1946-1947, Ruth attended and graduated from MacMaster-Paine Business College. In March 1947, she was hired as a clerk for the Army, Corps of Engineers, in Sausalito, CA. She married Jose Lopez in 1949 who passed away shortly thereafter in a tragic accident leaving Ruth to care for their newborn son, Jose now Joe, born Jan 1950, on her own with family support. In 1951, she went to work for the Navy as a Fiscal Accounting Clerk for a year and when that workload transferred to Denver, CO, she applied for a position at Hamilton AFB where she worked for a year. In 1953, she got a job working as a Clerk-Typist at Fort Mason, CA for the next 4 years.

In 1956, she met and married Samuel Berry. They had four girls in the next four years, Nancy, Carla, Joni, and Theresa. With Joe in tow, they moved to Sacramento, CA in January 1962 where they raised their 5 children.  Ruth applied for a stenographer position at McClellan AFB and worked there from 1965 until she retired in 1991. Ruth was well loved by her coworkers and supervisors. She was generous with her time and helped everybody! To this day, her coworkers gather together at various restaurants to celebrate each other’s birthdays and other special holidays.

When Ruth was fifteen years old prior to the war, she and her family attended gospel meetings held by missionaries in Manila. They made an impression on her. She attended similar meetings when she arrived in the States with the Dawson family in her early days in San Francisco and continued to do so until she was physically unable. She often expressed her love for the Lord and her thankfulness for His sacrifice.  So many of her nurses and care staff commented on her kind heart and sweet disposition that stemmed from her deep faith.

Ruth had a beautiful operatic soprano voice. When she would sing, she could shake the windows when hitting the upper registers. She often sang for weddings, funerals, gospel meetings, and other social occasions. Ruth was even asked to sing on the SS Monterey as the ship carried her and her family from the Philippine Islands to the United States.

Ruth loved to dance in her younger years, sing, read, sew, crochet, and take pictures. She carried a camera with her everywhere she went! She was an excellent cook and could make magical meals from leftovers. She came from a big, loving, supportive family and created one of her own. Nothing made her happier than being surrounded by her big, noisy, loving family.

Ruth was predeceased by her husbands, Jose Wakely Lopez, and Samuel Richard Berry, and her daughter, Carla Jean Berry. She is survived by her children, Dr. Joseph Berry, DC (Marcia), Nancy Duarte (Richard), Joni Sleeper (Scott), Theresa Sewell (James), and many grandchildren and great grandchildren with one great, great on the way– Ben Berry (Christine), Jason Berry (Shelley), Joe Berry (Teresa), Travis Berry (Halley), Jenna Leonetti, Brad Leonetti, Stephen Sleeper, Kristi Sleeper, Jordan Jones (Bobby and baby Jones), Anthony Berry (Mel), Gavin Berry, Jonathan Duarte (Michelle), and David Duarte (Krista), Miles Duarte.

Services will be held at East Lawn Mortuary and Sierra Hills Memorial, 5757 Greenback Lane, Sacramento, CA 95841 as follows:

Viewing:   Wednesday, August 17th, 4PM-8PM, Thursday, August 18th, 10AM-11AM

Service: Thursday, August 18, 11AM-12PM, with a reception to follow in the reception hall and behind the chapel

Livestream Link: Service will be live-streamed starting 10 minutes before the service. Please contact the family or East Lawn Mortuary for the link.

Graveside services will be held at Sylvan Cemetery, 7401 Auburn Blvd, Citrus Heights, CA 95610,

Friday, August 19, 10AM at Sylvan Cemetery


  • Mary Workman says:

    Such a loved human being.

  • Karleen says:

    I will be with you all in thought, and will dial into the service on Thursday. May you feel God’s comfort, as you say your final goodbyes to your Mama.

    I will always remember Auntie Ruth’s sweet personality and her million dollar smile. She was a strong, beautiful lady who endured a lot of sorrow and hardship, but she overcame it with such grace.

    Now she is safely home and free from the limitations of her failing mind and body.

    Big hugs to each of you—Joe, Nancy, Joni, and Theresa.

  • Kathryn Huisman says:

    It has been wonderful to know such a dear lady. I will always remember her with fondness. May all of you who are left behind be comforted by the Heavenly Father she loved and served.

  • Monica Rager says:

    Ruth you were a joy to be around. You raised beautiful children and your legacy will live on. God has you in his arms now, but we will always have you in our hearts. We send our deepest condolences to all family and friends affected by this loss. Sending love, hugs, and prayers to ease the pain. The pain is profound when a loved one is cherished. Hold tight to the good memories and she will always be with you.

    With our Deepest Sympathy,
    Steve and Monica Rager

  • Roger and Marian Fryer says:

    Thank you, Ruth, for the precious memories you and your family have given us. We value the times we’ve been together in your home and ours, singing and appreciating our special bond.

    We will always remember your radiant smile and infectious laugh.

    Our love to all the family.

  • Patricia Ramos says:

    Ruth was such a beautiful loving woman! She light up the room with her smile and personality. Thanks for all your hugs and smiles! Love to all your family!

  • George and Violet Gilmore says:

    Thinking of you and Ruth’s passing. My dad and Sam were good friends in Ohio and in the Army during WWII. We met Ruth and the family when visiting in 1988 and our children still mention them as a highlight of that trip.
    Again, our thoughts and care are with you as you say goodbye to your dear mother.
    George and Violet Gilmore and family

  • Roy Evans says:

    My thoughts are with you as you say goodbye to your Mom. She was a wonderful Woman. I have good memories of being with the Berry family back in the 70’s.

  • Denise L. Stein says:

    She was such a wonderful lady, always a smile on her face and a joy to be around at all the family gatherings, my heart goes out to each and every one of you, I know she will leave a great space, but the memories you will share and giggle and smile and remember forever.
    Love Denise Stein

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