LAKE SAINT LOUIS, Mo. – John W. Berry, Sr., a lifelong participant in the marine industry, died December 20 of cancer at the age of 63, his family reported in a recent statement.
Berry started in the marine business at age 13 working for Brenner marine in Toledo, Ohio. At the age of 23, he went to work for Dolphin Marine Paint, where he became sales manager. Berry then worked for Geneva Boat Co. from 1968 to 1969. He left Geneva Boat Co. to work for Kayot Boats as a territory sales rep.
In 1972, Berry started his own rep firm. Two years later, he started Midwest Marine in Lake Saint Louis, Mo. His dealership has been a Johnson/Evinrude dealer since its inception, his family reported. He also became known as the “pontoon specialist” by concentrating on pontoon boat sales including Lowe and Playcraft.
Berry retired in January 2003 and sold his business to his son, daughter and son-in-law, who continue the business today. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, seven children – four of which are involved with the business he created, 9 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.