Bernice Berry

Bernice “Bea” Berry passed away on Saturday, August 19, 2023, in Staunton, VA.  She was a native of Handcock, MD, and a resident of Newport News for 56 years.  The City of Newport News appointed her to The City Clerk Position in 1978 for 35 years, retiring in 2004.  She also retired from Noland Company as an Executive Assistant to the Company’s Vice President after 25 years.  Bea was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

Bea was awarded Municipal Clerk after certification, became a Master Municipal Clerk as designated by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks Association, and was voted on by the Association to be an Honorary Member.  As a Clerk, she worked many years with the Newport News Historical Committee, VAGARA (Virginia Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators), Founding Member,

Past Present and Honorary Member; member of the American Legion Auxiliary Honorary Member of Unit 25, where she served as Past President and served all other offices, including Parliamentarian, until she moved to Staunton, Virginia, in July 2022.  She was the Past President of the 3rd District and served as state chairman for several different standing committees.  She was a member of the Virginia State Association of Parliamentarians, Inc. (NAP); member of the Board of Directors for Virginia Girl State for several years.  She served as a Government Councilor at Girl State for 28 years.  She was a Past President of the Travelers Protective Association;  Post L., Past Chairman of Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority; Past Chairman of the USS Newport News Liaison Committee; Past Election Official for the Newmarket Precinct; served as Past Secretary and Chairman of the Newport News Democratic Party; Past President of the Newport News Woman’s Democrat Association; and Past President of the Old State Democratic Women’s Clubs.

Bea was preceded in death by her mother, Izora Twigg; father, Aubrey Hoover; brother, Donald Hoover and his wife, Betty; husband, William G. Berry; and daughter, Deborah M. Berry.  She is survived by her daughter, Sandra Williams (Kenneth) of Lexington, VA: grandchildren W. Garrett Shooter (Melissa) and Owin L. Shooter of Charlottesville, VA; nephews Philip Hoover (Tess) of Lynchburg Station, VA, Lawrence Hoover (Leslie) of Altavista, VA, Michael Hoover (Tammara) of Gainesville, VA, and nieces, Donna Elliot (Bryan) of Forrest, VA, and Annalee Bondurant (George) of Lynchburg, VA.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, August 24, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Peninsula Funeral Home.  A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, August 25, at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, with interment following at Parklawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 4217 Park Place Court, Glen Allen, VA 23060 (

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601


  1. Leigh Lawson

    Miss B is a Legend. I cherished her and your entire Family my whole life. Miss B touched so many lives & will be sorely missed by many.
    My Prayers abd Thoughts are with your Family.
    RIP 🙏 Miss B.

  2. Frances Ann

    I knew Bea as a loving mother and grandmother to her precious family. Among all her devotions, her family was her sublime accomplishment and love.

    Thinking about you all.

  3. Connie Sapp

    Bea was a special resident at The Arbors. Not only was she friendly and sweet but very giving. She donated all her winnings from bingo to the church. She is missed. Connie Sapp (hostess)

  4. Michele

    Miss B was a pleasure to know both as a professional and as a fellow member of VAGARA and Tidewater ARMA. Her humor and sweet nature have been missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.

  5. Dianna Catron

    Ms. B, a treasure of a person. She taught me so much and was always willing to share her knowledge and laughter. My condolences go out to all her family and friends.

  6. Karen Wilds, NNRHA Executive Director

    My deepest sympathy to the family. Bea served on the NNRHA Board with grace and kindness. She will be missed.

  7. Lynn Mosby

    Growing up down the street from Sandy and Mrs. Berry I remember how kind and loving she was with all
    Of the kids who came and went and played at her house. She had a smile amd a snack almost always😊So sorry for your loss.

  8. Marilyn Watkins

    Sandi, Garrett, and Owin my deepest sympathy to you and your family.
    Ms. Bea was a true diamond and she had a heart of gold. I have known her since 1974, when I became friends with her daughter Debbi. The stories the three of us could tell.🤗 I am sure she had a lot of adapted daughters and I was glad to be one of them. When you went over to her house, she was ready to give you a snack or a full meal. Something she told me and I will always remember this: You are like a toaster,
    you always pop up when I need you.
    Ms Bea RIP!!! 🙏❤️🙏


    My heartfelt condolences to you, Sandy, and your family on the loss of your mother, Ms. Bea. I will never forget the kindness and mentorship Ms. Berry provided me under her leadership while working as her Deputy City Clerk for over 20 years in the City Clerk’s office. I pray that her soul is at rest!

  10. Gary W. Kelly

    I met Bea in the 80s while she was Newport News City Clerk. Over the years in most instances whenever I went to City Hall to conduct some business, I would drop by and say hello. After her retirement, I would see her at some Newport News Democratic City Committee meetings. I never inquired of her family. Some people attended with spouses and local voting age children.
    My circumstances will not allow me to attend the service at this time. Yet, I do hope to visit the grave site in the future.
    —– —-

  11. Terry Devlin

    Bea was a true treasure. She was my mentor when I became President of ALA Unit 25. She taught me as well as our membership so much. She will never be forgotten.

  12. Bette Ann Croswell

    my mother Clara Gatewood were friends for many years They worked together on many programs Mom was very close to her for many years they worked on so many projects over the years Imet her several times over the years and know she was an excetional and loving person I know she will bed missed by all who new her. She was a once in a life time loving, sharing, good lady

  13. Peggy Magahay

    So sorry for the families and friends loss. I have known Bea for many years through the American Legion Auxiliary.
    She truly was a special lady. I know that many of her friends and family were waiting for her with open arms.

  14. Robin Diggs

    Bea was a lovely lady, I had the pleasure of being her hairstylist before she left Virginia . She will be missed for sure .

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