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Former CFRN news personality, John Berry, passes away after battle with cancer
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Monday, June 10, 2013 6:23PM MDT
Last Updated Monday, June 10, 2013 6:47PM MDT
At one time, he was a mainstay of CFRN News, known for his charity work and all of the roles he took on throughout his life, but John Berry lost his battle with cancer over the weekend.
Berry, originally from Hamilton, Ontario, worked as an anchor/reporter and weatherman at CFRN in the 1980s and 1990s.
He found himself in Edmonton when then-CFRN News Director Bruce Hogle was looking for a male anchor, to team up with Daphne Kuehn.
“He was a definite asset to our organization and helped us build the strong news network that it became,” Hogle said.
Berry’s former boss said his contribution stretched far beyond the studio, and the newsroom – in his outreach to the community.
“Where ever something was going on John Berry was there, night and day, weekends, whatever the case may be,” Hogle said.
“He really gave himself to the station in so many ways.”
For those who worked with him, his impact was powerful – and although they haven’t lived or worked in Edmonton for several years, former CFRN personalities reached out as soon as news of Berry’s passing spread.
Pat Kiernan, now an anchor at New York One, recalled Berry’s love of the outdoors, and his commitment to the community.
Ashleigh Banfield, now working at CNN, talked about her experience as a ‘cub’ reporter in 1989 when she met Berry for the first time, saying his ‘ebullience was infectious’.
Current Chief Meteorologist at Fox 9 in Minneapolis, Ian Leonard, said he learned a lot from the man he took over for – most notably, how Berry told him to be himself on air, saying “the minute you start faking it, everyone will know…and they’ll stop watching.”
Over the last three years, Berry battled cancer – after he had worked to raise cancer awareness for years.
For a while, a former co-worker said it appeared Berry would beat the disease – but his condition took a turn a few months ago.
“All of a sudden, in the last 6 months he went straight downhill,” Former CFRN photographer Al Girard said.
Berry’s family announced his passing, at the age of 62 on Saturday, June 8, on his Facebook page, saying: ‘It is with sadness we announce that our beloved husband and father John Berry has gone to meet his Lord. Thank you for all your prayers. Mirna,Ashley,Heather and Nicole.’
With files from Susan Amerongen