Obituary: Kevin Berry
Kevin Berry of Whippany, a retired battalion chief of the Montclair Fire Department and former longtime Montclair resident, died on Oct. 26, 2022, with his family beside him, after a nearly 10-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 59.
Mr. Berry, affectionately called “Boo” by those close to him, retired from the department in 2013. One of his proudest moments was being able to help at Ground Zero on 9/11, a day he always carried with him.
His lifelong wish was to help others, which he accomplished in his profession as a fireman in Montclair. Even after his retirement, his job helping others would continue, with his main focus becoming spending time with his wife and daughter, who took care of him and were guided by his courage, strength, faith and positivity that he carried with him even on the hardest days.
He courageously stared his illness in the face every day and never let it dim his smile and bright personality. He was an inspiration to all those who supported him.
Prior to becoming ill, anytime he was not with his two girls he was at the golf course, playing hockey, making friends or watching football – go Patriots!
Mr. Berry’s light, laughter and special spirit will always be with those he knew and loved. He made the world a much better place than it was before. He would want all who knew him to spend their lives having as much fun as possible – that was what life was all about for him.
He is survived by his wife, Vicki; his daughter, Haylee; his mother, Sandra; his sisters, Robynne Kruse and Elizabeth Toscano; his brother, Andrew; his nieces and nephews, Scott, Patricia, Rylee and Gianna, and his fellow members of the Fire Department.
Mr. Berry was predeceased by his father, James Berry.
Visiting hours are Sunday, Oct. 30, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Caggiano Memorial Home for Funerals, 62 Grove St., with the funeral service Monday, Oct. 31, at 11 a.m. at The Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair, 53 Norwood Ave.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to support ALS research at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, medicine.givenow.columbia.edu/?alloc=07234#, or by sending a check payable to the Trustees of Columbia University and indicating ALS Research/IMO Kevin Berry to Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Office of Development, Attn: Matt Reals, 516 West 168th St., third floor, New York, NY 10032.
The family also sends a special thank you to Dr. Matthew Harms and his team members, who truly helped him on his ALS journey.