Nature 39


Byron "Doc" Devon Berry

July 4, 1918 ~ May 21, 2018 (age 99)

Byron (Doc) Berry, 99, of Bemidji, MN, passed away on Monday, May 21, 2018 at the Good Samaritan Society in Blackduck, Minnesota.

A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, May 25 at 9:00 AM at The Evangelical Covenant Church in Bemidji; Reverend Jim Fretheim officiating. Visitation will be held Thursday, May 24 from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Bemidji.

Byron (Doc) Devon Berry was born July 4, 1918 in Moorland, IA to Garland and Gladys Berry. He grew up and graduated from Moorland High School in 1936. He was married to Betty Dahlquist on October 14, 1941. Following World War II and Doc's completion of service in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Doc and Betty moved to Bemidji. Doc was an avid fisherman and dreamed of an idyllic life fishing in Northern Minnesota. They purchased land southwest of town on Bootleg Lake, built some cabins and opened Wyldewood Resort. They sold the resort in 1963 when Doc bought Northern Farm and Garden in Bemidji. This business ultimately grew into Norfarm Seeds, an international seed business.

Doc was an outdoorsman. He liked to hunt. He fished all over the US and Canada; from the High Arctic to the coastal waters of Florida.  For many years, Doc and Betty spent most summer weekends at their log cabin in Morson, Ontario, where he excelled in catching walleye. He always said that his favorite fishing partner was his wife Betty. In winter he could be found fishing from his snowmobile among the islands on Lake of the Woods. Doc loved life, loved nature and was curious about the world. He traveled to many different places in the U.S. and throughout the world, but always looked forward to returning home to the land, the lake, and being close to nature. Upon Doc's retirement and until recent years, winters were spent in Bonita Springs, Florida. While there, Doc improved his golf game, (2 holes-in-one), took up biking, and he and Betty made new friends. As a faithful member and supporter of the Bemidji Covenant Church, Doc served as a trustee, an usher, and sang in the choir.  He was instrumental in securing the land and building that currently houses the Covenant Church.

Byron(Doc) is survived by his children, Jan (Suellen Thomas) Berry of Prior Lake, Don (Priscilla) Berry of Bemidji and Roseau, David (Shelley) Berry of Bemidji; grandchildren, Heather (Clint) Johnson, Shana (Brent) Eaton, Sarah (Nathan) Klint and Nathan (Ceara Donnelley) Berry; great-grandchildren, Annika, Ike and Eli Johnson, Natalie and Naomi Eaton, Austin, Anton and Tillie Klint and Rafferty and Hayes Berry; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Betty, his parents, daughter Kay Ellen and his siblings Charlotte Stanek and Leola Graham.

The family suggests memorials be directed to The Evangelical Covenant Church of Bemidji.

Online guestbook at

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