Mrs. Joyce Berry Harris, 1918-2018
Mrs. Berry taught at Ford and later Golden Hill Elementary School from 1939 to 1981.

 

Joyce was born June 18, 1918. Surrounded by her family, she passed away December 18, 2018 having lived 100 1/2 years.

 

She was preceded in death by her father, John E. Berry, a Congregational pastor and her mother, Minniedell, "Dell" Smith Berry, a teacher. 

 

Also, preceding her were brothers, John E. Berry II and Robert W. Berry. 

 

Born in San Fernando, Joyce grew up in a number of Southern California towns where her father served in ministry. She attended a one room school house where her mother taught in the Imperial Valley. 

 

From there, Joyce attended San Fernando High School. Her natural beauty and friendliness quickly won her many friends. She was chosen Queen of the May, a great honor in those days, and was elected student body vice president. Her lovely soprano voice awarded her lead parts in school musicals. 

 

Joyce studied elementary school teaching at USC on a ministerial scholarship. At USC she continued to sing in choirs and earned her degree. 

 

In 1939, she was recruited by the Fullerton School District Superintendent who not only hired her to teach, but also played matchmaker. He alerted a handsome bachelor pharmacist in Fullerton of Joyce's arrival. 

 

Bert Harris was watching for her to visit his drug store. They finally met and were married for 69 years. 

 

Joyce taught mostly kindergarten for 42 years in Fullerton at Ford and Golden Hill elementary schools often two classes a day. Over the years she taught almost 2,000 students. 

 

She served as president of her teachers association and was active in Panhellenic and PEO. She was a member of the Felicia Auxiliary of the Florence Crittendon Home in Fullerton. 

 

Joyce was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Fullerton where she sang in the choir for 25 years and served on the wedding committee. 

 

Joyce and Bert were members of several groups, including a couples bridge club that met monthly for over 50 years. 

 

When she and Bert retired, they moved to their home on Balboa Island, enjoyed travel and time with family and friends. 

 

Joyce is preceded in death by her husband, Bert, and survived by her son, Gerald, of Balboa Island and daughter Ann Barron (Richard) of Santa Ana; granddaughter Cori Esperanza, (Chris) of Orange, their children Niya, AJ, and Trey; and granddaughter, Jamie Clapper (Kacen) of Santa Ana, and their children Naomi and Ella. 

 

In lieu of flowers Joyce suggested contributions to the Music Ministry at Trinity United Presbyterian Church, 13922 N. Prospect, Santa Ana, 92705. Memorial Service will be held at the same Trinity United Presbyterian Church on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. McAulay & Wallace Mortuary

 

 

Published in Orange County Register from Jan. 4 to Jan. 6, 2019

 

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