RANDOLPH, NJ - Joseph Berry, Jr., resident of Randolph since the 1940s, turned 100 years old on March 16, and the township council issued a proclamation for “a day of joy, happiness and reflection,” during Thursday’s meeting.
As a Randolph resident, Berry served with the Ironia Fire Company and established a Boy Scout Troop in Ironia. He also volunteered as a member of the Parks and Recreation Committee where he played a large part in creating Brundage Park.
Born in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Berry attended the University of South Carolina and moved to N.J. after graduation. He worked at Hercules Powder Factory during World War II, and met his wife, Eileen, during this time. As a chemist, he developed and patented a product for Allied Chemical.
“I hope that all of you will live one day to experience the euphoria of celebrating your 100th birthday,” Berry said, noting that the University of South Carolina planted a sycamore tree for his birthday.
After several birthday celebrations, Berry commented “the basket of my balloon has not come down to earth yet for my birthday.”
“Joseph was, and is, a person dedicated to his community, generously contributing his time, finances and talents toward the selfless goal of improving the lives of others,” the proclamation reads.
Berry’s in-laws owned a large piece of land in Randolph and named Marjaleen Lane after his mother-in-law, Margaret; his sister-in-law, Jane; and his wife, Eileen. They also named Berry Lane after Joseph Berry during the 1940s.
“I met Joe in the mid 90s... and we did not see eachother often,” said Councilman Jim Loveys. “But I ran across Joe six months ago at church... and he actually remembered me, and I thought the world of that.”
Currently, Berry is an active member of the Saint Matthew the Apostle parish. He has also written poetry and memoirs over the years.