Rena Kennedy Berry, Mendenhall, MS

Rena Kennedy Berry, 93, of Mendenhall, passed away at St. Dominic Hospital on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. She was born the youngest of ten children on February 9, 1925, in Simpson County to the late Monroe and Georgia Kennedy.

Visitation will be held at Athens Baptist Church in Mendenhall on Friday, November 23, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. The funeral service will follow at 2:00 pm, with Reverend John Coleman officiating. A graveside service will follow immediately in Mendenhall Cemetery.

She was a lifelong member of Athens Baptist Church, which her father and brothers helped build the original church. For many years she served as treasurer and by visiting the homebound, nursing home and hospital patients in Mendenhall and Magee. She was honored to be Athens’ most recent oldest living church member. She was thrilled to see the church rebuilt and dedicated in 2015 after it had burned in 2014.

Following World War II, she married the love of her life, Bob Berry. Mr. and Mrs. Berry helped found Magee Brothers Tractor Company where she worked as a bookkeeper. The company was later renamed R&M Tractor Company. She also was employed as a bookkeeper with the Okatoma Water Association.

After retirement, she volunteered with Simpson General Hospital Auxiliary where she ministered to patients as well as hospital staff. For her service and dedication, she was recognized by the Mississippi Hospital Association as a volunteer of the year. She also volunteered with the Simpson County Baptist Crisis Center, whose mission is to care for families and children in distress.

She was known for her beautiful smile, loving disposition, strength, sense of humor, kindness, generosity and her personal faith. While she did not physically have children, she was a surrogate mother to many in her family, as well as other special friends, who leaned on her for wisdom, guidance and love.

Survivors include numerous nieces, nephews and special friends, including great nieces Janna Hughes of Pearl, MS, and Tanya Rankin of Brandon, MS, who were her primary caregivers in recent years.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her memory to Athens Baptist Church, 1535 Athens Road, Mendenhall, MS 39114.

Mrs. Berry’s family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. John Biggs and the staff at Internal Medicine Group in Jackson and the St. Dominic cardiac care staff for their loving support and care.

Arrangements are entrusted with Tutor Funeral Home of Magee.