Tributes to ‘kind and thoughtful’ ex-councillor

Peter Berry obituary -  ex ADC Councillor, ex Chair of Southwick and Fishergate Horticultural SUS-150202-162140001
Peter Berry obituary - ex ADC Councillor, ex Chair of Southwick and Fishergate Horticultural SUS-150202-162140001

A FORMER district councillor and a much-loved family man from Southwick ‘will be mourned and missed by many’ following his death last Friday.

Peter Berry, who was a previous member of Adur District Council, chairman of Southwick and Fishergate Horticultural Society and avid writer to the Herald, died last Friday in his home town, aged 90.

His son Tim Berry said his father was a ‘kind, thoughtful and caring man’.

He said: “In him you would always find a listening ear and thoughtful response.

“His political endeavours and ambitions were borne out of a sense of duty to the community and a strong sense of right and wrong, his decisions based on common sense and a keen intellect.

“In family life, Peter was keen to see the younger generations of the family succeed and he always offered wise counsel when it was sought. Peter will be mourned and missed by many.”

Close friend and fellow former councillor, Geoff Howitt, described Peter as a family man, great grandfather and life-long member of the Labour party.

He said: “Peter was much loved, a worker and a gentle man to everyone he met.”

Peter was born in Surrey in 1924 and left school at 14.

He became an instrument maker and was called up into the Royal Engineers in 1943 and landed in Arromanches soon after the Normandy invasion and fought through Belgium and Germany.

After the war, he worked for Hawker Aircraft as a design draughtsman and came to Southwick in the early 1960s to work for Beagle Aircraft on Shoreham Airport and then for Redifon Simulation until he retired in 1991.

After retirement, Peter continued to work in many capacities, especially as a volunteer helping disabled people in Southwick and as a local councillor between 1998 and 2006.

In addition, Peter was a keen gardener who specialised in fuchsias and Cape primroses and was always at the various horticultural competitions and eager to help others.

Geoff said: “Peter had a huge sense of duty to his community and great clarity about right and wrong, and despite his strong suspicion and dislike of Tory Party policies, he was always polite to his opponents.”

As his health deteriorated, Peter was looked after with great care by his wife of more than 40 years Dorothy, known to everyone as Dolly.

Tim added: “Without a doubt, he will be sorely missed by his loving wife.”

Peter also leaves behind sons, daughters, grandchildren and a great grandchild. The funeral will take place at Worthing Crematorium, at 3.40pm, on Wednesday, February 11.