We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Mike Berry, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, who died in his home on May 26, 2020 at the age of 80 due to complications from cancer. Born in Portland, OR, Mike attended Humboldt State University, married Judy — his wife of 58 years — the night of his college graduation, and shortly thereafter moved to Healdsburg, CA in 1964 to take a teaching job at Healdsburg High School. A lifetime member of the California Teachers Association and also a member of the California Retired Teachers Association, he retired in 2008, after 45 years as an educator at Healdsburg High.
Mike made a deep impression and had a profound impact on so many of the thousands of students that he taught over the years. Also known to his students as “Berry” and “Comrade,” Mike’s true passion for teaching was focused on encouraging his students to consider both history and current events of the day from multiple angles, and to think for themselves. He was much inspired to open his students’ minds and broaden their individual viewpoints. During his years as an educator, he taught various subjects including history and civics and economics, and even served as the school’s driver education instructor. As a reflection of his strong belief that important aspects of history were often underemphasized or outright omitted, his annual teaching curriculum always included a unit on Womyn’s Herstory.
He devoted his life to teaching and his family. He also had a great love for baseball, and spent countless hours listening to ballgames on the radio each season. He loved books and was a voracious reader — having a particularly special spot in his heart for the late Howard Zinn. Additionally, he was involved with numerous other activities within the community. He volunteered on the election board. He was also involved with the Council on Aging, driving people to appointments and delivering meals on wheels.
Mike is survived by his wife, his son Matt and daughter-in-law Kathy, his four grandchildren, and his beloved cat Ollie. He was preceded in death by his daughter Stacey. We will greatly miss him. He truly made a difference.
Upon his request, there will be no formal service. Mike is going to be interred at Ocean View Cemetery Sunset Memorial in Eureka, CA. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in his name to Sutter Care at Home for Hospice.