Patricia Berry passed away peacefully at home in Austin, Texas on April 19, 2023 at the age of 88, holding her daughter Sonya’s hand and supported by her nurse Beth and NP Christie from Hospice Austin.
Patricia was born on February 14, 1935, in Paris, Texas to Robert H. Berry and Nancy Lee (Pat) Berry. Patricia leaves behind her daughter, Sonya Fehér. Also surviving Patricia are her brother Robert M. Berry, sister-in-law Barbara Berry, niece Darcy Larson, grandchildren James Webb, Kobe Bellas, Eben Bellas, and Ever Fehér-Henry, and cousins Florence Ann Priebe and Susan Arnold. Those preceding Patricia other than her parents are daughter Tanya Fehér, second husband Guilford Webb, and stepmother Lois Allen Berry.
Patricia’s hometown was Commerce, Texas where her father was the football and track coach at East Texas State Teachers College. She attended the training school at ETSTC through 7th grade before attending Commerce public schools the next three years. After moving to Johnson City, Tennessee Patricia skipped her junior year of high school and graduated from Science Hill High School in 1952. Patricia went on the achieve a B.A. in English at Texas A&M University, Commerce, Texas in 1956 and a M.A. in English at East Tennessee State University in 1957.
Over the next few years, Patricia taught English in several high schools in Tennessee and Texas. She went on to teach English at the University of Texas, Arlington and was made Tenured Assistant Professor (1968-69). After getting married, she and her husband, Stephen Fehér moved to Taos, New Mexico to settle down and have two wonderful children, Sonya and Tanya Fehér. Patricia returned to teaching at West Mesa High School, Albuquerque Public Schools teaching an alternative program for students at risk which received national recognition.
During her career in higher education in Taos, she taught at Northern New Mexico Community college, New Mexico Highlands University, and the University of New Mexico – Taos. In her time at UNM – Taos she achieved the rank of Assistant Professor Emeritus and went on to serve as Academy Head for Liberal Arts, Assistant Director for Instruction, and Academic Division Head of Liberal and Fine Arts. Patricia served on the task force for Northern New Mexico Community College for Program and Facility Planning to create a permanent facility for a campus in Taos and on the advisory committee to the Off-Campus Board of the Taos Education Center for transfer of services to the University of New Mexico. Patricia succeeded in her goal to teach and retired in 2005 at 70 years young.
Beyond her teaching career, Patricia pursued extensive training in mediation and served as a mediation coach for The Mediation Institute, the Mediation Alliance, and co-mediated disputes referred by the metropolitan court in Albuquerque.
After retirement in Taos, Patricia spent her time with friends, in book discussion groups, and helping take care of her grandchildren Kobe and Eben. She moved to Austin in 2019 to be closer to family. Through the pandemic, she took courses online through the University of Texas – Austin’s Extension Program and participated in book discussion groups. Patricia was a lifelong learner, a spiritual seeker, an avid reader, a voter registrar, and she leaves a legacy of friendship and generosity.
There will be a memorial service in Taos, New Mexico in July. Details to follow on https://everloved.com/life-of/patricia-berry/.
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