Margaret Ann was born in Tipton, Oklahoma on October 1, 19XX (forever “29!”) to Margaret and Junior Jennings. She was the older sister to Richard, Janice, and Patti. Growing up in Tipton, she especially loved being a Tipton Tiger and cherished her childhood friends and classmates from the graduating class of 1962.
After graduation, Margaret Ann attended Oklahoma State University to pursue a degree in Home Economics. She pledged Zeta Tau Alpha and enjoyed the lifetime of Zeta sisterhood. While at OSU, she met a skinny, blonde-haired boy at the Baptist Student Union who stole her heart.
Margaret Ann married that boy, the love of her life, Joe Berry, on August 12, 1965. From that day on they were a team and it was rare to see one without the other, or to catch them not holding hands or arm-in-arm. Once married, Margaret Ann started her teaching career in Marshall, Oklahoma. She taught there until she and Joe returned to Stillwater to obtain their master’s degrees. The young couple next moved to Manhattan, Kansas to allow Joe to begin work on a PhD. While in Manhattan, their family grew with the birth of Jeffrey. A job for Joe took them to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where Margaret Ann began consulting for the Indiana State Egg Board. Once again, their family blossomed with the birth of Janet. At Purdue, Margaret Ann began working on her PhD. They enjoyed their 10 years at Purdue University, especially their volunteer work as directors of the Baptist Student Union.
Joe and Margaret Ann completed their family with the birth of Jonathan before moving back to Stillwater in 1980 to be near family. They were members of University Heights Baptist Church. Margaret Ann completed her PhD at Oklahoma State University and began teaching at the college level. After several years, she made the move to teach at Stillwater High School, allowing her additional time for family. After several years at SHS, Margaret Ann was spending so much time with her grandchildren in Edmond that she accepted a teaching position at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she taught for eight years until she retired to become a fulltime grandma.
She impacted her students profoundly. Numerous were the encounters with former students who would see her and graciously remind her how much she changed their lives – not by the subject matter of which she taught, but by who she was and how she lived her life.
True to her Home Economics roots, she was the “hostess with the mostess.” If you ever received an invitation to a dinner or party that Margaret Ann had a hand in planning, you were in for a treat! The food was phenomenal and would include something just for you, perhaps a favorite childhood dessert you once mentioned in passing, but Margaret Ann listened and tucked away that information.
She utilized every resource the Lord gave her (gifts, finances, time, and love) to make others feel special. She made it a goal to do one thing every day to share the love of Jesus, whether it was dropping off flowers on someone’s porch, inviting a family over for a meal, or anonymously paying for Christmas gifts.
The legacy of love that Margaret Ann leaves is a reflection of her relationship with Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior. Margaret Ann has been known as Grandma for the past 21 years to her grandchildren; Caroline, Jackson, Maggie Grace, and Lily Berry, Brayden, Bennet and Ella Vaughan, and Owen and Emmett Berry. Spending time with her children and grandchildren filled her with tremendous joy. It is obvious that her greatest passion and joy was her family. She set a shining example of a life where relationships matter most. Her family is most grateful for the legacy of love Joe and Margaret Ann modeled for their children.
She is survived by her husband, “Joey Bear,” as Margaret Ann affectionately called him, her son and his wife, Anita and Jeff Berry and their four children, her daughter and her husband, Janet and Brian Vaughan and their three children, and her son and his wife, Emily and Jonathan Berry and their two children; brother and his wife Issy and Richard Jennings of Houston, Texas , sister and her husband Janice and Carl Phelps of Chickasha, Oklahoma, and sister and her husband Patti and Steve Hesser of Springfield, Missouri; five nieces and nephews; and numerous beloved cousins.
The family would like to thank all of Margaret Ann and Joe’s dear friends for the love and support they have shown throughout the last few months. A special thank you to Erin Brownlee and Marilyn Winburn for their love and dedicated care. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the University Heights Baptist Church college ministry, or Margaret Ann would want you to use those resources to spend an evening with family.
A celebration of her life will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, April 28, 2017 at the University Heights Baptist Church.
Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com