Russell Stuart Berry, 55, died unexpectedly at his Raleigh home on Saturday, January 24, 2015.
The son of Ann T. Berry and the late Hardy D. Berry of Raleigh, he was born August 25, 1959 in Helena, MT, and spent his first two years in Bozeman, MT, and his third in Alexandria, VA. From the time the family moved to Raleigh in 1962, Raleigh and Wake County—and, often, Ocracoke and Hatteras--were where his heart called home.
Russell played football at Broughton High School and spent early teen summers working on his uncles’ Western Kansas farms. After-school jobs included delivering the old Raleigh Times and driving a school bus. He had a good time at Broughton, making lifelong friends.
He moved on to graduate from N.C. State University in chemical engineering. NCSU internships with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a local environmental consulting firm started Russell on what would be a highly successful career.
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At his death, Russell was a partner and senior project manager in the RMB Consulting and Research firm, with more than 30 years’ experience in environmental consulting, emissions testing, pollution control monitoring and training, and auditing services to utility clients nationwide and beyond.
Russell made the very most of his too-few years, enjoying many adventures such as traveling, skiing and other activities with his wife, just as much as he’d gone all out for backpacking in his teens. He and his friends loved country-rock music, the outdoors, and tailgating for the Wolfpack. The Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department recently honored “RB’s” decade as the “Chief Pit Boss” who had organized the cooking of 5000-plus pounds of pig for the annual Ocracoke Firemen’s Ball.
He is survived by his wife Elena Ryzhikova; son Nick, of Charlotte; son Jamison and stepdaughter Olga Ryzhikova of Raleigh; his mother Ann T. Berry of Raleigh; sister Elizabeth (David) Berry Epperson of Minnetonka, MN and daughters Zoe and Elsbeth; brother, John (Annette), of Keller, TX and children Matthew, Nathaniel, John Benjamin and Cara; three Alaska half-siblings, Julie France, Tami Galvin, Buddy Elliott; an uncle, Joseph C. Berry of Norton, KS; and many cousins. Russell’s late father was Hardy D. Berry of Raleigh, and his late birth mother was Mary Ann Price of Anchorage, AK.
There will be a visitation Saturday, January 31, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Brown-Wynne funeral Home, 300 St. Mary’s Street in Raleigh, followed by a celebration of his life from 4:30 to 6:30pm at the University Club, Hillsborough Street.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made, with “In memory of Russell Berry” in memo line, to either the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 332, Ocracoke, NC 27960, or to Sigma Phi Epsilon-NC Beta fraternity, P.O. Box 12026, Raleigh, NC 27605, adding “Memo-RB/new house project.”
Russell Berry was a strong, good-hearted, unassuming man. His passing leaves a great void in many lives.
Condolences may be made through brownwynne.com.