Ralph Ward Berry, Sr., 69, of the Salem Community died Thursday, May 5, 2011. Born in Burke County, NC on April 11, 1942, he was the son of the late Alvin Ward Berry and Floy Louise Ross Berry Propst. Ralph was a member and deacon of Missionary Ridge Baptist Church. He was a well-known, self-employed painter in Burke County for 20 years. In 1998 he retired as paint supervisor from J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center.Ralph is survived by his wife of 46 years, Billie Ann Bristol Berry; children, Patricia Ann Berry and husband, Terry, of Morganton, Charlotte B. Hughes and husband, Samuel, of Old Fort, NC, Ralph Ward Berry, Jr. and wife Angie, of Morganton; five grandchildren; one great-grandson; sisters, Edith B. Waddell and husband, George, of Morganton and Mary Ellen Wagner of Kannapolis, NC; a step-sister, Louise Abernathy of Morganton; a brother, James David Berry, Sr., and wife, Freda, of Morganton; a step-brother, Vernon Propst; and a number of nieces and nephews.In addition to his parents, Ralph was preceded in death by his sister, Helen Berry, who died in early childhood; a step-father, Melvin Propst, Sr.; a brother-in-law, Frank Wagner of Kannapolis, NC; and step-brother, Melvin Propst, Jr.The funeral will be held at 4:00 p.m., Sunday, May 8, 2011 at Missionary Ridge Baptist Church with Reverends Donald Lovelace and Al Tinnin officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Saturday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes prior to the funeral hour. Memorial contributions may be made to Missionary Ridge Baptist Church, 5612 John Watts Road, Morganton, NC 28655 or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690.
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