Carol Berry, who died on March 7, 2015. Photo: courtesy family

Carol Ann Berry, the first woman to work patrol for the Berkeley Police Department, and a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away at home surrounded by her loving family on March 7, 2015. She was 66.

Carol was born in Oakland on Oct. 7, 1948, the daughter of the late Warren Becton and Ernestine (Johnson) Becton. She was the second of three daughters.

Carol received her education in Oakland public schools, graduating from Castlemont High School. Carol received her BA from Cal State East Bay. Shortly after high school, Carol met Glenn Berry, the love of her life. He caught her eye because he was driving a turquoise and cream 1955 Chevrolet hardtop convertible. They married in May 1970 and welcomed two sons to their family, Erick and Bryan.

Carol worked for the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department before she went to work for the Berkeley Police Department in 1973, becoming the first woman to patrol the streets. She continued on to work for the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office for 28 years. She retired as Senior Investigator in 2005.

In retirement Carol volunteered her time working at the Hercules Library and Wardrobe for Opportunity, a non-profit organization that supports individuals seeking employment.

Carol set up and maintained a wonderful garden at Hercules Community Garden. Her family and friends looked forward to the harvest of fresh basil, zucchini, tomatoes, and whatever vegetable she had a fancy to grow. Carol loved to tend to her vegetable garden, play golf, and make jewelry. She was also an avid reader. Carol was an excellent cook and she insisted her family gather for every major holiday. All of her cooking was delicious, but nothing beat her mouth-watering macaroni and cheese.

Carol was the epitome of poise and dignity, always well-dressed and gracious. Carol fought the battle with myeloma cancer for as long as she could, and she fought a good fight.

Carol is survived by her loving husband Glenn and her beloved children Erick Berry (wife Nimarisha), and Bryan Berry (wife Tiffany); by treasured grandchildren Imani Berry, Isaiah Berry, Briauna Berry and Brooklyn Berry; her sister Diana Becton, to whom was extremely close; her niece Charmain Moore; nephews Dr. Justin Brown, Kevin Brown; and a host of family and friends.

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