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Doran Joyce Berry

January 3, 1929 - August 17, 2011

Doran J. Berry, 82, a longtime resident of Fayetteville universally known as Doe, died Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011, with family by his side. The funeral will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home in Fayetteville. Interment will follow at Meadowbrook Cemetery in Lumberton. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 tonight, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011, at the funeral home. Doe Berry was born in Whiteville, to the Rev. John W. Berry and Lila Woodson Berry. Even by the standards of the Great Depression, the family's circumstances were hard. After the family moved to Fayetteville, Doe helped support the family from age 7 by delivering newspapers. He worked the rest of his life until closing his law office this year. At Fayetteville High School, he was a four-year letterman on the football team and an all-state guard. He served as president of the student body and was elected most popular member of the 1947 senior class. He graduated from the University of North Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1951 and a law degree in 1953, and was a director of the Student Union. He hitchhiked to the 1947 Sugar Bowl and, to pay his living expenses in New Orleans, briefly signed up with a local circus. Water-skiing one summer with a traveling Cypress Gardens troupe, his routine included wearing a fur coat while clutching a dog. In 1952, he married Lois Godwin Carlyle of Lumberton, the only daughter of Congressman F. Ertel Carlyle. In 1953, he passed the North Carolina bar exam on the birthdate of his first son. After law school, he served in the Air Force in Wichita, Kan., where he helped procure B-47 and B-52 bombers. Returning to Fayetteville in 1956, he joined the law firm of MacRae and Cobb and began a 55-year career as a true counselor at law. Never happier than arguing cases in court, he became a beloved figure at the Cumberland County Courthouse. He pursued justice by zealously fighting for his clients, whether they were rich or poor, without regard to their ability to pay in legal tender. His fee receipts included field peas, collards, a used Rambler convertible and a 22-foot cabin cruiser. Doe was elected solicitor (district attorney) for Cumberland and Hoke counties in 1966 as the population of Fort Bragg exploded with the Vietnam War and the draft. He battled organized crime and drugs in the community by prosecuting dealers and helping addicts. He was an organizer and the first president of the Friendship House, a halfway house in Fayetteville. In 1970, he returned to private practice, first with his brother, H. Dolph Berry, and later as a sole practitioner. A lifelong Democrat active in local politics, in 1972 he unsuccessfully ran for election to the House of Representatives, but won the most votes in Cumberland County, the home of all three candidates. Lacking daughters of his own, he rejoiced in his daughters-in-law Caroline and Laura Kay. For decades, he spent most Sundays on the road visiting family. He continued to work even after tragically developing emphysema. In his final days, he was surrounded by friends and family laughing about stories of Doe's full and colorful life. He was a character. He is survived by his wife, Lois Carlyle Berry; his son, Ertel of Fayetteville; his son, Dean and wife Caroline of New York City; his son, David and wife Laura Kay of Raleigh; four grandchildren, Nicholas and William of New York and Grace and Walker of Raleigh; five brothers, Elwood, Beverly, H. Dolph, Frank and James Berry; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Ronald; and his sister, Joanne Berry Blascak. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lila W. Berry Scholarship Endowment, Falcon Children's Home, P.O. Box 39, Falcon, NC.28342.

Services

Visitation

Sunday August 21, 2011, 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home
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Funeral

Monday August 22, 2011, 4:00 P.M. at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home Chapel
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Facts

Born: January 3, 1929
Death: August 17, 2011