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David Ellis Berry

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BUTNER — David Ellis Berry, 65, a resident of Butner, passed away Saturday, March 23 at his home.

A longtime resident of Matanuska Valley, Alaska, he was the son of the late Neil Douglas Berry, Sr. He worked as senior maintenance technician with the city of Durham.

Surviving are his wife of 40 years, Athena J. Berry, his mother, Caroline A. Miller of Wasilla, Alaska; two daughters, Demetria McGrew (Jason) of Wasilla, Alaska, Natasha Berry of Sulphur, Louisiana; seven grandchildren, Trinity, Davi, Tyler, Espyn, Karson, Madden and Easton; four sisters, Debbie, (Jimmy) Doreen (Barry), Tonya (George), Helen (Terry), two brothers, Neil and Kirk (Vicky) and many nieces and nephews that loved him dearly. Also surviving as family are Brad Willman, Cassie Willman and Brandon (Jeannette) Willman of Durham.

David grew up in Massachusetts and after serving in the U.S. Air Force eventually went to Alaska where he met his wife, Athena, and raised their family. In 2001 he and his wife moved to Butner, North Carolina to be near their grandchildren.

David embraced life in Alaska and was an avid fisherman and hunter. He enjoyed, skiing, snow-machining, ice fishing and being out in the wilderness. In North Carolina, David enjoyed the warm climate, riding his Honda VTX and the beach. David’s greatest joy was spending time with his daughters, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

A celebration of his eternal life will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday at the Willman home in Durham. A service in Wasilla, Alaska will be held at Summit Assembly of God at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16.

Online condolences can be made to

Eakes Funeral Home is assisting the family. Visit to make donations in David’s memory.