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James "Haywood" Berry

James "Haywood" Berry, former Korean War P.O.W., passed peacefully at the age of 87 in his sleep on December 24, 2016.

Born in Madison, Virginia, he grew up the youngest child of Benjamin Haywood and Betty Garr Berry.


While enlisted in the US Army, “Haywood” was serving honorably in Korea when he was captured and held prisoner for 33 months. He endured incredible physical and emotional torture, and starvation at the hands of the enemy.


Following his release in 1953, “Haywood” struggled the rest of his life emotionally and then physically near the end. Learning to live with constant nightmares and the restlessness was an ongoing fight for him.


Residing in Winchester Virginia, he married Mildred Ashby and was a supervisor at Henkel Harris Furniture Company for 30+ years. In 2015, complications of diabetes forced him to move to Ruckersville, where his daughter, cared for him unconditionally and compassionately until his last breath, while managing to remain active right up to his final days. Special thank you to Dr. Traci and staff at UVA for the love, support and care of Haywood. He loved visiting Charles Town Casino, playing .50 cent poker and dining out.


Haywood is survived by his step son, Gary (Harriett) Pommier of Winchester, daughter, Jeanette (Mike) Meade, of Ruckersville, three grandchildren, Pam Lawson (Danny) of Ruckersville, Chastity Meade (Jeff Hall) of Barboursville and David Meade of Charlottesville, six great granddaughters and one great great grandson.


Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, December 31, 2016 at Preddy Funeral Home Chapel in Madison conducted by Pastor Josh Shifflett. At the request of “Haywood”, friends and family are asked to dress casual.


The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. There will be a private interment.

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