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Passionate about Bedford

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Berry-Mosley remembered for her willingness to serve

By John Barnhart

    Elizabeth Berry-Mosley was known as a person who did the jobs that nobody else wanted to do.

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    “We were on two boards together,” said Sergei Troubetzkoy, the Bedford area’s director of tourism. “Whatever she did, she never really sought credit for it. She would be the first one on the committee to volunteer for something no one else wanted to do.”
    Berry-Mosley died Wednesday, Aug. 29.
    Troubetzkoy, who served with her on the Bedford Main Street and Bower Center boards said that Berry-Mosley was passionate about Bedford.
    “She just loved this community,” he said.
    He also noted both her sense of humor and her ability to make a complex issue easy to understand.
    “It was a great loss for Bedford,” he commented.
    Sara Braaten, director of the Bower Center said that Berry-Mosley was instrumental in getting both the Wharton Garden and the Bower Center started.
    “And she did it quietly and behind the scenes,” Braaten said.    
    Braaten said that Berry-Mosley also helped with grant writing for the Bower Center.
    “I may have started them, but Elizabeth would come to my rescue,” Braaten said.
    She said that Berry-Mosley would rewrite the grant so that the Bower Center received it.
    “Oh, she was a wonderful writer, a superb writer,” she added.
    Sue Montgomery, now executive director of Bedford Main Street, worked professionally with  Berry-Mosley for a decade. Montgomery was the county’s director of economic development before retiring and  Berry-Mosley was the city’s director of economic development before the city did away with that position. The two became good friends during this time.
    “She was very bright,” Montgomery noted. She said that Berry-Mosley was able to grasp complex issues and grasp them quickly.
    Montgomery said that the two were also able to work as a team in a very competitive arena.
    “We could trust each other,” Montgomery said, describing the foundation of this teamwork.
    “Other economic developers around knew us as the ‘Bedford team,’” Montgomery added.
    Montgomery described  Berry-Mosley as a modest, unassuming woman who worked hard for the community, rather than self-aggrandizement.
     Berry-Mosley was on the Main Street executive committee when Montgomery came on board as executive director.
    “I got to work with her a few months before she got sick,” Montgomery said.
    Montgomery misses her.
    “I wish I could ask Elizabeth that” is a frequent thought that Montgomery has.
    A daughter of William Wallace Berry III, Berry-Mosley was born and raised in Bedford and Lynn Scott, administrative manager of the Bedford Welcome Center has known her nearly all her life.
    “I’ve known Elizabeth since I was 5-years-old,” she said. “We grew up on the same street.”
    They started first grade together and graduated together in the Liberty High School class of 1967.
    “We played basketball together on the Liberty team,” Scott said.
    They also played tennis and softball together and Scott said they were softball champs three years in a row.
    “Elizabeth was the catcher,” she said. “I played shortstop.”
    Scott said that the team played in the field behind Bedford Middle School and she recalls a time when Berry-Mosley got her father’s car “hung up” on the side of the building while going down the narrow lane to the field. They had to get help to get the car freed.
    Scott said that when Berry-Mosley took the car home, she parked it on the opposite side of the street from her home, with the dented passenger side facing a neighbor’s house. Her father didn’t see the damage when he got in the car to head for his office in the morning. He saw the damage later and thought somebody else did it.
    “We had to ‘fess up to that,” said Scott.
    Like others, Scott noted Berry-Mosley’s intelligence and character.
    “Elizabeth was an extremely smart person,” Scott said. “She was always willing to help others. She put others ahead of herself.”
    Scott described Berry-Mosley as a good servant to the community and a good volunteer.
    “I’m sure when she got to the Pearly Gates she was told ‘Job well done, good and faithful servant.”
    “I’m going to miss her,” Scott concluded.