Freda and Gayle Berry grew up in Oklahoma, she in Chickasha and he in Ft. Gibson, and first met in San Francisco, California in 1956 but that's another story. They were married by her father, pastor of the First Baptist Church, in Chickasha, OK on January 1, 1959 in that church. Freda graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in primary education a few days after the wedding and Gayle got out of the U.S. Marines a short time later.
Gayle worked for the Federal Aviation Agency in Oklahoma City after he got out of the Marines and Freda taught school there. In 1961, Gayle went to work for Collins Radio Company as an Electronics Field Engineer working out of Cedar Rapids, IA; his first assignment was in St. Louis, MO at the McDonnell Aircraft Company (MAC) later to become the McDonnell Douglas Corporation (MDC) and now The Boeing Company.
After several other field assignments in the U.S. with Collins, in 1966 he went to work for MDC in the same position. His assignments with MDC took him to several localities in California, Forida, Maryland and Missouri as well as overseas to Vietnam, Germany, Japan and Iran. It also included several extended aircraft carrier rides with the U.S. Navy.
Freda accompanied him on most of his assignments during that time. Along the way, they had two boys, David and Mark. Freda taught school in many of the locations in which they lived giving her a well rounded attitude towards the children she loved so much and they loved her very much in return.
In 1996, they both retired from their jobs, put their furniture in storage and started working as International Service Corps (ISC) volunteers for the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. They have had three long term overseas assignments in that capacity. They spent two years in Singapore and one year in Bangalore, India before returning to the states in 1999 for a short time.
On their return to the U.S. from India in 1999, they bought a retirement home in Pflugerville, TX, a northern suburb of Austin and hopefully made their final household goods move. In April 2001, they returned to Mumbai (Bombay), India for another one year ISC/IMB assignment which ended on 23 October 2001 with the early completion of the Project India Disaster Relief construction program with which they were working.
They then returned to their home in Texas to await another overseas assignment when medical problems arose that precluded any further long term overseas travel for the foreseeable future. In 2002 after their return to the states from the Bombay (Mumbai) assignment, they started traveling with the Texas Baptist Men Furniture Ministry building furniture for various Baptist and secular organizations throughout the southwest and Canada.
In 2010, they started working also with the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention Disaster Relief as administration specialists. That has been an active part of their life and looks to continue in the future as the Furniture Ministry work appears to be winding down. It seems that the churches and church camps are hurting during these hard economic times but they will continue building furniture as long as it is requested.
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While working on a TBM Furniture Building project near Waco, Texas in May of 2015, Freda had a car wreck (no injuries, thank God) but the subsequent X-ray showed spots on several internal organs. God works in mysterious ways. Days later back home, the spots were diagnosed as stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She took the heavenly flight on 26 June 2015 with her wonderful attitude and the beautiful smile on her face. We will all miss that beautiful, radiant smile and cheerful attitude towards life.
Gayle can always be contacted by email at <email@example.com> or by clicking on the "CONTACT" menu button. His permanent home address is 1708 Samoa Ct., Pflugerville, TX, 78660 and his home phone number is 1-512-252-7909. His "on the road" cell phone number is 1-512-517-7909. Email is checked regularly even when on travel and all email will be answered promptly. Phone calls are another problem. Gayle is virtually deaf so phone calls may or may not be answered. Have patience and use email if possible.