A memorial for Jason Berry, Harker upper school coach and English teacher, will be held this Thursday, Aug. 29 at 3 p.m. at WestGate Church, 1735 Saratoga Ave., San Jose. Following the ceremony, a reception will be held at 4 p.m. on Harker’s upper school campus, 500 Saratoga Avenue, in the quad.
A shuttle is being arranged for students who wish to attend the memorial and the family is asking for everyone to wear a Harker jersey, club or class T-shirt or jersey of your favorite team. They know Mr. Berry would love casual, spirited dress, and wouldn’t want anything that felt formal or stuffy. To leave a note or read a bit of what others have to say, visit the memorial page created by his wife.
Berry, beloved English teacher and athletics coach, husband of our alumni director, MaryEllis Deacon, and son-in-law of Butch and Jane Keller, upper school division head and mathematics teacher, respectively, died suddenly on Sat., Aug. 24 of apparent heart failure.
Born in New Hampshire and highly regarded as a teacher by his students during his five-year run at Harker, Berry wrote as a critic during his time as a member of the American College Theatre Festival and was honored for Excellence in Teaching by the Clemson University PanHellenic Council.
The Harker Class of 2012 selected him as the faculty speaker for the 2012 Baccalaureate ceremony, during which he said to the soon-to-be graduates, “Be who you want to be, and if that doesn’t agree with you, then find, once again, your center, your inner voice; don’t settle for an imitation of yourself. Bend the rules, but try not to break them.”
During his high school years, Berry was a decorated All-American soccer player, skills he put to use at Harker as a head coach of the girls soccer team, leading the team to record seasons during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.
As a New England native, Berry described himself as a “rabid” follower of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins sports teams.
“Jason’s life reflected his wise counsel, and he was always, authentically, himself,” said Chris Nikoloff, head of The Harker School. “He impacted many with his wisdom, wit and warmth, and will be deeply missed.”
To honor the memory of Jason Berry, and in keeping with his family’s wishes, the Jason Berry Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund has been established at Harker. Having this special endowment fund support scholarships in perpetuity is a wonderful way to pay tribute and have this wonderful teacher’s positive impact be memorialized permanently in the school’s history. Checks can be sent to the advancement office, 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129 (please include “Jason Berry Memorial Fund” in the check’s note) or made online. To make your gift online,
*Click on “Support Harker” at www.harker.org
*Select “Giving Online & Other Forms”
*Select the link for “Online Giving Form”
*Enter the amount of your gift and choose the Designation of “Financial Aid”; then click the “Add donation” button
*Complete the information on this second page, noting Jason Berry’s name in the “In Memory Of” section
The family has requested no flowers. Those wishing to send condolences can do so by emailing Lori Villarreal at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing to her attention at 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129.