Eric Berry, 55, of Malta, formerly of Elburn, passed away at Delnor-Community Hospital on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, following a short illness.
He was born Oct. 23, 1957, in Geneva, the son of Edward Sr. and Jeanne (Ferris) Berry.
Eric grew up in Elburn, graduating from Kaneland High School with the class of 1975.
Eric attended McMurray College, where he graduated in 1979 with a B.A. in education. He later earned a degree in computer science from Northern Illinois University.
Eric began as a special education teacher in Jacksonville, Ill., but it was music that ruled his heart. To that end, he opened his own guitar shop, Acoustic Woodworks, in Elburn, where he made custom guitars, by hand, that were as beautiful to see as to hear.
Eric changed careers in1994 when he joined Johnson Controls in DeKalb as an IT manager and systems analyst, working there for almost 20 years. In addition to his primary responsibilities, Eric also served as a site consultant, often going to the company’s plant in Mexico.
Eric’s heart and soul belonged to his partner Karen Bovenizer, whom he met by chance in Naperville in 1992. Though fate brought them together, it was their deep love for each other that kept them walking side by side, making memories for 21 years.
Eric had a kind soul, was a friend to many, and he could make just about anyone laugh in spite of themselves. He was generous to a fault, giving often to the Susan G. Komen Foundation For Breast Cancer.
He was also an accomplished pianist and was adept at playing just about any other kind of instrument he picked up. Eric’s passion for music was infectious. It brought together both family and friends for informal but intense jam sessions that often went into the wee hours of the morning. He also spent many hours creating, experimenting, and recording new music of every kind. In addition to music, Eric loved being on the water. Beginning in early childhood, he spent time every summer of his life at White Lake in Michigan, where he sailed and fished and swam and rowed.
He was craftsman of beer as well, tweaking his own homemade recipe for a brew that was second to none. Eric was a man who lived life to the fullest. He loved deeply, and was deeply loved. He will be forever missed by his family and friends.
He is survived by his loving “sweets,” Karen Bovenizer; his parents, Edward and Jeanne Berry; eight siblings, Ted (Penny) Berry, Chris (Jeanne) Berry, Mark (Kathy) Berry, Valerie Berry, Sally Berry, Jennifer (Carter) Calloway, Margaret (Greg) Edwards and Michelle Berry; 16 nieces and nephews; six great-nieces and great-nephews; and a community of friends.
He is preceded in death by his nephews, Phillip Berry and Aaron Berry.
Visitation will take place at 10 a.m., followed by a memorial service to celebrate his life at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Aug. 24, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. Private family burial will follow at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Eric’s name to benefit his favorite charities, American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Checks may be made to the “Eric Berry Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.