Robert Middleton DeBerry, Jr, was born August 20, 1939. He graduated from Morrison High School, where he lettered in Basketball and then went on to serve in the United States Air Force. After being last stationed in Dover, Delaware, he returned to Manchester, Tennessee until 1965 when he went to work for Universal Volkswagen. He worked there for many years, becoming the Service Manager and making friends with every Volkswagen owner within 100 miles of Huntsville, Alabama. Robert was a Flight Engineer, operating missions out of Redstone Airfield until he retired to pursue numerous hobbies.
Robert was a private pilot and aviation enthusiast, and he could tell just from the sound of an overhead airplane the make and model of the craft. He loved his farm and the animals that their family adopted as pets, and in particular his beloved dogs. Robert was a member of the United Cherokee AniYunWiYa tribe, and he was an avid collector of Native American artifacts. Flint-knapping was among the hobbies he took up in retirement.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents Mid and Jimmie Lee DeBerry and his sister Carolyn Cox and by the love of his life, his wife of 59 years Ann (Bryan) DeBerry. He is survived by his daughters Holly Thompson (Bret) of Athens, Alabama and Tracy DeBerry of Huntsville, grandchildren Daniel Lang of New York, NY; Tessa Hardiman (Caleb) of Athens, AL; Robby Thompson (Mollie) of Birmingham, AL; and Caroline Stephens (Alton) of Sheffield, AL. In addition, he was “Papa” to three great-grandchildren Truett, Peyton and Reese Hardiman. Robert was also a treasured member of the extended Bryan family he married into decades ago.
Everyone Robert met became his friend. His very special dog Benji was his loyal companion. The family is thankful for all who cared for Robert, and in particular Gert Tverberg, Cindy, Annette and Sherry of Home Instead and the kind staff at Huntsville Hospital.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you honor Robert either by donating to the Dusty Elam Foundation (https://www.facebook.com/DustyElamFoundation/), smiling and connecting with a stranger, or adopting a shelter dog.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at 10am at Shady Grove Cemetery in Morrison, TN with Tony Hardiman officiating. There will be no visitation with the family prior to the service.
Higgins Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Robert Middleton DeBerry, Jr.