Berry D. Willis Jr. NORFOLK - Berry D. Willis Jr., 93, died July 4, 2011 in Norfolk. A native of Norfolk, he attended Maury High School, the Norfolk Division of William and Mary, The College of William and Mary at Williamsburg and the University of Virginia Law School. He was admitted to the practice of law in February 1950. In July 1941, he voluntarily enlisted for active duty in the Naval Reserve as a yeoman, first class. He was subsequently promoted to ensign by direct commission in March 1944 while serving on the USS Ancon (AGC4) in England, preparing for the Normandy invasion. During World War II, he served 36 months overseas in all three major theaters of operation. He served with Beach Jumper Unit 1 in North Africa, in the Sicilian and Salerno invasions in the Mediterranean Sea and on the USS Ancon (AGC4), flagship of the 11th Amphibious Force. Immediately after the Normandy invasion, he was ordered to the Pacific Theater for duty on the USS Charles F. Ausburne (DD570), flagship of Destroyer Squadron 23, for participation in the Leyte and Lingayen invasions. In 1948 after law school, he returned to active duty as a career naval intelligence officer, serving in that capacity for the next 17 years. His final tour of duty was district intelligence officer, Fifth Naval District, the command in which he began his naval career in 1941. He retired in 1965 with the rank of commander. All of his life he expressed a great love for and a debt to the U.S. Navy. He felt a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunities the Navy provided him throughout his life. He was especially proud to have served his country as a career naval officer. From 1965 to 1988 he practiced law in the Tidewater area. He has a distinguished law career, specializing in the field of criminal defense. He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Sara of Norfolk and three children, Helene Haluska and her husband James of Chesapeake, Richard Willis and his wife Jeanne of Santa Clara, Calif., and Catherine Dodson and her husband Robert of Virginia Beach. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Brian Haluska and his wife Beth of Charlottesville, Kevin Haluska and his wife Therese of Atlanta, Tori Willis of Santa Clara, Tyler Willis of Tempe, Ariz., Robert Dodson of Falls Church, Va., and Karen Dodson, of Virginia Beach; and one great-grandchild, Drew Haluska of Atlanta. The family will receive visitors at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk chapel, from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 16. The family requests that expressions of sympathy be forwarded to the Virginia Symphony.
CYN Berry D. Willis Jr. BJU-1 1942-44 Lt. Douglas Fairbanks personal yeoman On 3/15/44 Berry became a commissioned officer and retired from the Navy as a Commander in 1965. d. 7-04-2011 “Fair winds and following seas”      
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