BURLINGTON — John E. Berryman passed away peacefully with his family beside him on Monday, March 2, 2015, following a brief period of failing health.
He was born March 10, 1930, the only child of the late George Percival and Gladys L. (Elliott) Berryman. He was raised in St. Albans and attended Bellows Free Academy, then the University of Vermont receiving a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Electrical Engineering in 1954. Following graduation, he served in US Air Force intelligence, rank 1st Lieutenant, stationed in Dayton, Ohio. There he met and married his first wife, the late Miriam (Lenz) Berryman, on May 26, 1956, mother of his two daughters.
He started his career working at General Electric in Hudson Falls, N.Y., where he won awards for capacitor design. His family joked that he liked to exercise his engineering brain to solve problems and figure out how to accomplish the impossible in the most efficient manner. In 1966, he took the opportunity to relocate his family back to Vt., taking a position with Burlington Electric Light Department where he served as chief engineer for many years, before retiring on June 26, 1993.
John and Betsey J. Bartlett were married on July 17, 1983. They spent the last 32 years together in loving and supportive companionship, feeling very lucky to have each other.
John had many hobbies and interests. He very much agreed with the quote, “There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats,” from “The Wind in the Willows.” From the earliest age, enjoyable summers were spent at the family camp in The Pines on Georgia Shore doing just that, messing about in boats. John built boats as a teenager and adult, and was a member of the Lake Champlain Antique and Classic Boat Society, restoring and operating wooden boats for pleasure.
John also enjoyed ownership of a Model A Ford and did restoration work on 1950’s Fords. He was a member of the Organ Guild Society, promoting the preservation and restoration of pipe organs in Vt. and northern N.Y. Uniquely, he also built a pipe organ in his home. He was very musical playing piano and organ, as well as manually playing the bells of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in St. Albans before they were automated. He was a member of the East Penn Traction Club for model trolley enthusiasts, maintained his Ham Radio operator license, was a flower and vegetable gardener, an avid reader, and very interested in genealogy. He documented the family tree and produced historical photograph albums for his aunts, uncles and cousins.
John is survived by his wife, Betsey; daughter, Anne B. Blair and her fiancée, Christopher Proborowski; step- children, Steven Drinkwine, Jenny Daout, and Janie Bartlett; and dear cousins, Fred (Kay) Berryman, Carolyn Reidy, and Liz (Gary) Foote. He was predeceased by his daughter, Jeanne E. Berryman.
A memorial service will be held Sunday Aug. 16th at 1:00 p.m. in the Lakeview Cemetery Chapel at 455 North Avenue in Burlington, Vt., followed by a gathering to celebrate his life at the Hilton, 60 Battery St., also in Burlington.