Raymond Verne Berryman, 74, of Baker City, Oregon, passed away at his residence on February 13, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. A graveside inurnment with full military honors will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023, beginning at 10:00 AM at Rock Creek Cemetery in Haines, Oregon. Father Suresh Telagani of the St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Baker City will officiate the service. A reception at the VFW Veterans Memorial Club Post #3048, 2005 Valley Ave., Baker City, OR, will be held immediately following the graveside service, and light refreshments will be served.
Ray was born on December 5, 1948, in Pomona, California, to Verne and Jane Berryman. Ray grew up in rural Chino, California, along with his two sisters; after being expelled from Catholic school, he graduated in 1967 from Chino High School. After graduation, Ray earned an Associate of Arts degree from Chaffey College. In 1970 Ray married his longtime girlfriend Jay and was drafted into the Army. He served a full tour in Vietnam. Following the war, Ray remained with the National Guard until 2008, achieving the rank of Command Sergeant Major as well as being a member of the Army Special Forces, the Green Berets. Ray served the State of Oregon for 25 years as a State Policeman from 1974 to 1999. During this time, Ray moved up from Trooper to Sgt. of Detectives and initiated and trained the OSP Drug Task Force Entry Team. With Ray's lead, this team busted and took down hundreds of criminals and their drug labs, including a Hell's Angel's methamphetamine lab.
Ray and Jay raised four children together on his beloved farm: Kevin, Craig, Jill, and Michael whom he loved to share his enjoyment of the outdoors with. Ray took his family on many vacations from California to Alaska, most of these being camping excursions. Family came first, but Ray never turned down the opportunity to help out a friend or neighbor, no matter how tough the task.
With a love of war history, Ray was a walking encyclopedia when visiting many battlefields, including Gettysburg and the Battle of the Little Big Horn. One of the biggest family adventures was when he personally drove the six-member family in a motorhome to Alaska and back. After fully retiring, Ray and Jay took on traveling all around the world to places like: Panama Canal, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Bali, Singapore, Czech Republic, Australia, Alaska, and many more in between.
Ray absolutely loved hunting, fishing, and shooting competitions his whole life, getting started young as a teen chasing desert jackrabbits with his dad in California. His hunting career continued on to countless deer and elk hunts, but some of his most memorable were his Alaska Caribou hunt, Alaska Halibut fishing, and a recent Antelope hunt in 2021. Combining his study of battlefield history with his honed hunting skills, Dad went to battle daily against an unrelenting gopher enemy force, bagging a single-season record of 83 vermin. Dad participated in many shooting competitions at the Virtue Flat Range and eventually became president of the Powder River Sportsmans Club.
Ray was the epitome of the American Patriot, from his love of his country to his passion for western movies, baseball, campfires, and apple pie. Most evenings, Ray could be found at the back of his property enjoying his stone-lined fire pit surrounded by a ring of trees and views of the Elkhorn Mountains. This, his beloved place, was where he taught his grandchildren how to build the essential life-saving fire and, more importantly, introducing them to the artistry of roasting marshmallows.
Ray is preceded in death by his parents, Jane and Verne Berryman, and son Michael Berryman. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jay Berryman, and children Kevin (LaDawn) Berryman, Craig (Amber) Berryman, Jill (Michael) Finney. Grandchildren Remington, Cora, Mallory, Gannon, Bryceton, Everett, his sisters Claire Lampman and Katy Bekkedahl, along with many nieces and nephews.
Contributions in Ray's memory can be made to Tunnels to Towers through Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, Or 97814.
It is the soldier, not the
reporter, who has given us
freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of
It is the soldier, not the
lawyer, who has given us the
right to a fair trial
It is the soldier, who salutes
the flag, who serves under
the flag, and whose coffin is
draped by the flag, who
allows the protester to burn
Chris M. Province
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