POPULAR Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University academic Professor Dave Berry has died, just four weeks before he was set to retire.
Berry, a South African human resources specialist, was also prominent in the public and private sectors.
A student and staff member at NMMU for more than 30 years, he was director of the School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resources. Diagnosed with cancer last month, he died on Wednesday at St George’s Hospital with his family at his side.
Known for his smile, sense of humour and passion to see others reach their potential, Berry not only made an impression in the corridors of learning, but also played water polo and squash.
“He encouraged each of his kids to get involved in sports and spent most weekends watching us at our various matches. He travelled to many places in the world with mom, and lived a full life, not wanting to waste any opportunities by merely waiting for his retirement,” his daughter Juliet Berry said.
Berry established the Port Elizabeth Technikon water polo club and played until recently. He managed and coached the Eastern Province water polo team for a number of years.
Among his career highlights was assisting NMMU establish a mentoring programme that enabled staff to orientate themselves into the institution.
Berry was a senior lecturer and head of department at the former Port Elizabeth Technikon, where he was awarded his doctorate in 2003. He gained his masters from the University of Stellenbosch.
He is survived by his wife Gaynor, three children, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. A memorial service will be held for Berry at the Hill Presbyterian Church in Central at 2pm on Monday.