Frank D. Berry, MD, died Feb. 2 in his Los Altos home. He was 101 years old. He died peacefully, in his sleep, after a very brief illness. He was born during the pandemic of 1919. He died during the pandemic of 2021 (although not of Covid).
Born in Worcester MA, and raised in Milford MA, Frank went on to graduate from Holy Cross College, and the Tufts University school of Medicine. After Pearl Harbor, Frank enlisted in the army where he met and married his wife, Jean J. O’Neill, both in uniform at their wedding. They married Nov. 6, 1945. Frank did his residency, in Ophthalmology, at the Illinois Eye and Ear Institute.
In 1953 Frank and Jean settled in Los Altos, where they raised their four children. Frank practiced medicine there for more than 40 years, as an ophthalmologist. In 1955, Frank was the first chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee for the El Camino Hospital District. That committee began the work that led eventually to the creation of El Camino Hospital, in Mt. View, CA. In the 60s and 70s he was known all along the west coast as one of the best eye surgeons in several states. Patients flew from as far as Seattle and Los Angeles to have him do their surgeries.
After Jean’s passing, Frank met Elizabeth Dunn. She was his wife and companion for the next 20 years of tennis, travel and summers at Cape Cod. After Elizabeth’s death in 2011, Frank’s final years were spent with Nora Buys - their companionship in the face of the pandemic, along with on-line bridge, kept them busy and happy.
Frank remained vigorous throughout his 100+-year-life. He was well known at the Los Altos Golf and Country Club, where he was the oldest living member until his death. He played tennis well into his 90s.
Frank had a million stories and loved to talk about growing up in the little town of Milford, Massachusetts. His sense of humor among friends and family was legendary, and his Irish wit could destroy a roomful of people with a quick remark or joke. He loved the Giants, the Warriors, the 49ers, and Stanford Football. He was a huge fan of Bill Walsh and the West Coast offense. He came from a baseball family that lived and breathed the sport and was an all-star high school and American Legion second baseman. When Frank watched a game, he watched it like he was managing a team. His focus on the strategy and subtleties of the game was formidable.
Frank is survived by his four children: Frank Berry Jr., of Mountain View, CA; Timothy Berry, of Eugene, OR; John Berry, of Forestville, CA; and Martha Berry Dannis, of Hillsborough, CA; and by his 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. He always remembered his late parents, Frank C. and Helen Berry; and his late brother Paul Joseph Berry and his late sister Betty Ann Coniaris (nee Berry).
Ceremonies and celebration of life will take place this spring with details pending the practicality of the current pandemic.
In lieu of remembrances, the family asks that donations be made to the El Camino Health Foundation, marked as in memory of Dr. Frank Berry.
To make donations online: https://elcaminohospital.thankyou4caring.org/donate
Or, if you prefer to write a check, mail it to
El Camino Health Foundation
2500 Grant Road, PAR 116
Mountain View, CA 94040