October 28, 1932 – March 25, 2019
SOUTH BEND, IN – Lois Langford Berry, 86, of South Bend, Indiana died peacefully on Monday, March 25, 2019. Lois was born October 28, 1932 in South Bend to the late Walter and Alice (Joubert) Langford and lived in South Bend for most of her life.
The daughter of a Notre Dame professor, and later the wife of a Notre Dame professor, Lois was herself a lifelong educator. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Saint Mary’s College and a Masters of Education from Indiana University South Bend. She shared her passion for learning with her many first-grade students, first at St. Monica’s Grade School in Mishawaka, but primarily at St. Joseph’s Grade School in South Bend. Her Masters research concerned the use of calculators in mathematics education, and after retiring from the classroom, she worked at Creative Teaching suggesting materials to help other teachers bring out the best in their students. In her second retirement, Lois organized the library at Notre Dame’s Robinson Community Learning Center.
Throughout her life, Lois was active in her faith. Lois married William Berry in 1955, and the couple lived in Vetville as Bill completed his Masters in Electrical Engineering at Notre Dame. The couple joined the Christian Family Movement, an organization for deepening faith, strengthening families, and engaging in social outreach. After moving to Milwaukee in 1957, when Bill took a teaching post at Marquette University, Lois and Bill worked to expand a Christian Family Movement group at St. Gregory the Great Parish from six couples to over one hundred. Lois and Bill continued their involvement in Lafayette, IN at Blessed Sacrament Parish, as Bill completed his PhD at Purdue University. The couple returned to South Bend in 1963 after Bill was hired to teach electrical engineering at Notre Dame. Starting in the late 1970s, Lois and Bill were very active in the Pre Cana Program, giving practical marriage counseling to engaged couples.
Between 1957 and 1962, Lois and Bill were blessed with four children. Lois was an attentive mother, seeking both to educate and civilize her daughters and sons. She did not find cooking a joyful activity, and she wisely encouraged her children to experiment in the kitchen.
Lois enjoyed hosting parties for neighbors, church friends, and professional colleagues. She was an intuitive conversationalist and could make even the most withdrawn electrical engineer feel that he had clever things to say. This skill too was part of Lois’s love of learning: she wanted to learn what others knew and to share what she learned with others in turn. Lois was also a voracious reader, who discovered the merits of Harry Potter before the English. After traveling as a youth to Mexico City when her father studied there, Lois loved to experience new places. She visited all of the United States except Rhode Island, and traveled throughout Central and South America and to many European countries.
Lois is survived by her husband, William B. Berry, her daughters Elizabeth M. Berry-Kravis (Dean Kravis) of DesPlaines, IL, M. Suzanne Berry (Pamela Pauly) of Lopez, WA, a son Thomas J. Berry (Jennifer Whiting) of Pittsburgh, PA, and her daughter-in-law Carole Trybus of Perrysburg, OH. Her son William J. Berry preceded her in death. She is survived by six grandchildren: Nicole Kravis (Eric Gamboa), Bret Kravis, and Keith Kravis, all of Chicago, IL; Zachary Berry (Melissa Carter as of 5/25/19) of Napoleon, OH, Arthur Berry of Perrysburg, OH, and Ethan (soon to be Berry). Lois is also survived by her brothers Walt Langford of Sacramento, CA, and James Langford of South Bend, IN, and her sister Libby O’Donnell Naimo of Jackson, NJ.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, March 30, at 2:00 PM at the Church of Our Lady of Loretto at St. Mary’s College. Friends may visit with the family in the hour prior to the funeral mass or on Friday, March 29, from 4:00-6:00 PM at the McGann Hay University Chapel, 2313 East Edison Road (at Ironwood).
Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Notre Dame’s Robinson Community Learning Center, 921 North Eddy Street, South Bend, IN 46617 (www.rclc.nd.edu).