Thomas Nelson Berry, Sr.

Thomas Nelson Berry Sr., M.D., passed away at The Chesapeake Retirement Community on Thursday, July 4, 2024, in Newport News, Virginia. Born on August 2, 1938, in Portsmouth, Virginia, he was the third child of Rear Admiral Frederic Aroyce Berry and Suzanne Ward Berry. Due to his father’s involvement in the Navy, Tom and his three siblings resided in various areas of the United States, including Annapolis, Maryland; Santa Barbara, California; Falls Church, Virginia; and Norfolk, Virginia. He attended Granby High School in Norfolk, Virginia, and graduated from George Mason High School in Falls Church, Virginia. After high school, he continued his education at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Virginia. During his time at both universities, he was on the varsity swim team and a member of The Sigma Nu Fraternity. Tom then attended the University of Virginia Medical School, where he met the love of his life, Betty, on a blind date in 1960. After marrying in 1961, Tom and Betty spent time in Portsmouth, Virginia, while Tom completed his medical internship; Danville, Pennsylvania, while he completed a dermatology residency at the Geisinger Medical Center; and New York, where Tom achieved a Skin and Cancer residency at the New York University Medical Center. He also was a proud Navy veteran, serving as a General Medical Officer aboard the U.S.S. Tidewater for three years, even earning a National Defense Service Medal after performing an emergency (and his first) appendectomy on the ship. Throughout Tom’s medical journey, he and his beloved wife gave birth to two sons: Thomas Nelson Berry, Jr., in 1964, and Nelson Fox Berry, in 1966.

Tom and his family moved to Salisbury, Maryland, where he spent 41 years as a dermatologist. He was a caring and passionate dermatologist known for spreading his skincare knowledge to loved ones and strangers. Throughout their marriage, Tom and Betty took pleasure in traveling to various countries across the globe, including (but not limited to) Africa, Italy, Peru, Portugal, Norway, and Croatia. Yet, some of his fondest memories were during their boating days as they traveled across the Chesapeake Bay and up & down the East Coast. Tom spent most of his life on the Wicomico River in Salisbury, Maryland, where he enjoyed gardening, swimming in his pool, attending Salisbury University lacrosse games, fishing, and spending time with his wife and granddaughter, Alyssa. Tom is survived by his dearest wife, Betty Fox Berry of Newport News, Virginia; his precious granddaughter, Alyssa Elizabeth Berry of Durham, North Carolina; his sisters, Suzanne Hamilton and India Walsh of Falls Church, Virginia; his sister-in-law Suzanne Berry of Charlottesville, Virginia; many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and his treasured dachshund, Anna. Tom is reunited in heaven with his two sons, Thomas Nelson Berry and Nelson Fox Berry; his parents and admired older brother, Frederic “Fritz” Aroyce Berry; and many loved dachshunds.

 A celebration of life will take place at The Chesapeake Senior Living Community in Newport News on Saturday, July 13, at 11:00 a.m., with a graveside memorial afterward at 3 p.m. at the Peninsula Memorial Park Cemetery in Newport News, Virginia.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Horgan

    Dear Betty, We regret not being able to attend Tom’s services as we are away visiting with John’s family. I wish we had been able for Tom and Jack to have been able to reconnect before they passed. He commented what a nice fellow he was. Fondly, Nancy Horgan and John Mattern

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