Community Activist Betty Berry, 81



Betty Berry, a Bay Area treasure for over 50 years, passed away Oct. 26 Saturday from Alzheimer’s-related causes. She was 81.


Betty Berry
Betty Berry

Berry, born on Dec. 21, 1932, lived a long and purpose-filled life. She was a life-long community activist who received numerous accolades for her leadership and community service in the city of Oakland.

She enjoyed long ties to Ronald V. Dellums, both as a devoted fundraiser for the congressman and supporter during his stint as mayor of Oakland.

In fact, she was the consummate fundraiser. She was known for her annual “100 Men Cooking for a Taste of Freedom” event, with proceeds benefitting The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

Additionally, she worked committed advocate for workers represented by the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Deborah Ann Smith, Betty Berry’s youngest daughter, preceded her in death in 2008. Berry leaves to cherish her memory her oldest daughter, Alona Clifton, and her granddaughter, Ajuah Helton, both currently residing in Atlanta, GA, as well as numerous relatives in the Harris, George, and Smith families.

A celebration of Betty Berry’s life will be held on her birthday, Dec. 21 at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle. No flowers or cards, please. Send contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association of the East Bay, NAACP or UNCF.


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