ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Petronella Berry, 89 years old, born on October 12, 1931, and passed away on April 10, 2021. We will remember her forever.
Posted by Joann Duray on May 5, 2021
Pat was a long-time member of the Woman's Club of Playa del Rey and had a wonderful manner in welcoming new members. She has been missed by those who new her.
Posted by Willy and Cor Veth on May 2, 2021
As Nelly (or Pat as she is called in the US) was almost 15 years older, she was more like an older sister to me than my niece. And as she lived in Amersfoort and I in Amsterdam, we only saw each other when I went with my parents to visit hers.

Nelly moved to the United States when I was not even 10 years old and from than on the contact was only through letters and Birthday or Christmas Cards.

In the summer of 1985, my husband (Cor) and I went to the United States for the first time. We had a wonderful time with Nelly and she was a great tour guide. It was the beginning of several visits to her thereafter, almost every time when we went on vacation.

Nelly loved everything that was colored in Delft-Blue, and any present in that color was always welcome. Also, the famous Dutch stroopwafels (syrup waffles) or chocolate were enjoyed very much. Nelly loved to read magazines of the Dutch royal family, which we have send regular.

Nelly will be dearly missed. May she now rest in peace.

Our condolences go to Mike, Rob, Laura and Kristin.
Posted by BETTY SMITH on April 30, 2021
I remember my dear friend the very proud woman that she was, We met through our sons (Richard and Robert) when they attended school together in Playa del Rey/Westchester . Boys were about 12. Pat and I would see each other at sports events. Being a single parent and working I did not have too much social time. We both loved our clothes shopping and of course she looked like a stunning model and smiled at the world very proudly. Pat will never be forgotten and I pray she is looking down at us all here and so happy
Posted by Patricia L Chavez on April 28, 2021
Pat and I have been friends since 1964 . I had just moved to Santa Monica when this beautiful lady knocked on my door and said she wanted to know if she could see my baby girl, who was just three weeks old. Since that first day we became fast friends! I admired her so much! She has been such a kind, thoughtful loving person to me, so elegant, a wonderful mother to Michael and Robert, my mentor, and my best friend. We have kept in touch for 57 years. Countless cups of tea and shared memories. I will forever miss her!  I love you Pat, sweet dreams my friend!
Posted by Brenda M Rodriguez on April 28, 2021
My most vivid memory of "Pat" (Petronella) was meeting a woman whose physical presence was statuesque and beautiful, with a spirit that was equally vibrant and captivating. She spoke candidly, and with each anecdote, you recognized there was some interesting, untold story somewhere in the corners of her mind -- waiting to be told. Just listen and reveal your curiosity -- and hang on!

As I look at the pictures, I see a woman who lived a life full of change, challenge and style. A woman with no fear or compunction to "enter" and fill a space, a new country, a new era, a new identity. When I see a photo of her moving, I notice her stride captured in motion with intensity and purpose. She is stunning as she moves through her life journey expressing herself through her sense of fashion and charisma. 

It is funny how many of us wait until it is too late to get curious instead of asking the questions of what shaped them when they are right there in their full light in front of us! Pat was always ready to share. As we mourn, we also remind ourselves of the person we think we knew. We find ourselves curious about the person we see in the picture and longing for those nuggets of memory, longing to rekindle and reconnect to a life, to a feeling.  I can imagine that those who knew and loved Pat best were touched by her beauty, courageous spirit and persistence in living a life well-lived and on her own terms no matter the challenges! We celebrate and memorialize this.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Joann Duray on May 5, 2021
Pat was a long-time member of the Woman's Club of Playa del Rey and had a wonderful manner in welcoming new members. She has been missed by those who new her.
Posted by Willy and Cor Veth on May 2, 2021
As Nelly (or Pat as she is called in the US) was almost 15 years older, she was more like an older sister to me than my niece. And as she lived in Amersfoort and I in Amsterdam, we only saw each other when I went with my parents to visit hers.

Nelly moved to the United States when I was not even 10 years old and from than on the contact was only through letters and Birthday or Christmas Cards.

In the summer of 1985, my husband (Cor) and I went to the United States for the first time. We had a wonderful time with Nelly and she was a great tour guide. It was the beginning of several visits to her thereafter, almost every time when we went on vacation.

Nelly loved everything that was colored in Delft-Blue, and any present in that color was always welcome. Also, the famous Dutch stroopwafels (syrup waffles) or chocolate were enjoyed very much. Nelly loved to read magazines of the Dutch royal family, which we have send regular.

Nelly will be dearly missed. May she now rest in peace.

Our condolences go to Mike, Rob, Laura and Kristin.
Posted by BETTY SMITH on April 30, 2021
I remember my dear friend the very proud woman that she was, We met through our sons (Richard and Robert) when they attended school together in Playa del Rey/Westchester . Boys were about 12. Pat and I would see each other at sports events. Being a single parent and working I did not have too much social time. We both loved our clothes shopping and of course she looked like a stunning model and smiled at the world very proudly. Pat will never be forgotten and I pray she is looking down at us all here and so happy
her Life
Petronella (“Pat”) Berry died peacefully on April 10 at the age of 89, surrounded by her loved ones.

Petronella was born October 10, 1931 to parents Reinier and Hendrina Gerritsen in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. She moved to the United States in the 1950’s after marrying Raymond Stack with whom she had one child, Michael Stack. Pat later married Bob Berry with whom she enjoyed 36 years of marriage until his passing. Together they raised Mike and a second son, Robert Berry Jr.

After briefly living in Texas, Pat moved to Southern California where she lived for the remainder of her life, raising her family in Venice Beach, Huntington Beach and Westchester. She enjoyed fashion and often modeled at charity events. She was a member of several women’s clubs, including the Ladies of Westchester Elks and the Playa del Rey Women’s Club and shared lifelong friendships with women from these clubs. One of her favorite annual events was going to opening day horse races at Hollywood Park with friends and taking a photo with the jockeys.

She had a creative spirit which led to her opening a small retail shop called Petronella’s, selling wrought-iron furniture which she would buy in Mexico, driving down in a van with her husband to bring it back – turned out to be more of a hobby but she had fun with it. She was an avid DIY designer well before it became trendy. She loved decorating and re-decorating many of her residences, particularly in the blue and white Dutch motif. Her family would often come home to find that she had completely rearranged all of the living room furniture, sliding it around on the wood floors. This went on well into her 70’s. She also had a passion for collecting dishes for all occasions (at one point, she had 14 different full sets of dishes). Christmas decorations were another passion, as themes and colors changed from year to year. Always resourceful and creative, her fashionable outfits and homes reflected her impeccable sense of style.

Pat was devoted to her family and pets (dog “Ace” and cat “Snooky” were her favorites) and adored her granddaughter to whom she was known as “Oma”. Very outgoing and passionate, she also enjoyed a good cup of hot tea, reading gossip magazines, pumping nickels into slot machines in Las Vegas, playing gin rummy, antique-ing, gardening and flowers (especially roses and tulips).

Her strength, passion, and sense of humor will be greatly missed by her sons, Michael and Robert, daughter-in-law Laurie, granddaughter Kristin, her cousins Willy and Cor in Holland, and her friends. Due to Covid restrictions no formal services are planned. Instead, plant some flowers in your own yard in fond remembrance of Petronella.

Recent stories

Early Childhood - The War Years

Shared by robert berry on April 27, 2021
Mom was nine years old when the Germans invaded and occupied Holland in 1940.  Towards the end of the war, conditions were tough in Holland.  Mom shared stories of watching aerial combat in the sky above and on one occasion the fighting caused a large clay tile to fall from a roof and strike mom in the head. Other than a nasty scar, she was ok. 

She also was so proud of her father, our Opa, who according to mom, participated the Dutch underground resistance efforts (not sure to what extend this was true but it made for good stories).  This childhood experience greatly influenced who mom was as a person. She was strong willed, caring and never backed down from a challenge. And if you were her friend, you were her friend for life.

Rob

Mom's Favorite Car

Shared by robert berry on April 27, 2021
This was mom's favorite car.  1969 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible (way too powerful for mom but she loved it).  We drove this car from California to West Virginia one summer. The four of us in this car with luggage; it was a little tight in the back seat. Ultimate road trip with dad driving 100 mph through the heartland of America.  I'm sure we weren't wearing seat belts...

I have fond memories of mom driving me and my friends down the coast to the beach with the top down. Definitely the coolest mom in this car.   On one occasion, mom was driving us somewhere and it had rained earlier in the day so the road was a little slick. Mom gave it a little gas and next thing we know we spun onto the center divider. This car a lot of power.  No damage to the car and my friends and I couldn't stop laughing.  I think dad convinced mom to sell the car the following year and buy a Toyota...just wasn't the same. 

Rob