LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – After the death of former U.S. Rep. and native Arkansan Marion Berry was announced Saturday, several lawmakers from the Natural State have released statements remembering his legacy.
Shortly after the announcement, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement remembering Berry and extending her condolences to his family.
“Bryan and I are saddened to learn that former Representative Marion Berry has passed away,” Sanders said. “A son of the Delta, Marion was a farmer and a statesman, whose mix of homespun wisdom and hard-won political knowledge always made him a formidable representative for our state. His work took him to Washington and around the country, but Arkansas and his family farm were always home. I know that every Arkansan he served admired his loyalty to our state. I extend my deepest condolences to Carolyn and the entire Berry family in this difficult time.”
Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin released a statement on Twitter about Berry standing strong for Arkansas farmers.
“Saddened to learn of the passing of Congressman Marion Berry. He stood strong for Arkansas farmers & built a legacy through his former staff and scholarship program at ASU for students interested in public service. My prayers are with his friends and family today,” Griffin stated.
Current Arkansas congressman Rick Crawford released a statement offering his condolences and prayers for Berry’s family.
“Stacy and I join so many others across the First District in offering our condolences and prayers for the family of former Representative Marion Berry. His time in public service was spent working on behalf of constituents across farming and agriculture to infrastructure and economic development. Representative Berry was known not only for his quick wit, but also his dedication to his hometown of Gillette, which to this day hosts one of the most well known political and philanthropic events in Arkansas. I ask the people of the First District to remember the entire Berry family during this time of remembrance and mourning.”
Former U.S. president and Arkansas governor Bill Clinton released a statement on Berry, celebrating him as a great friend.
“Marion Berry was a fine leader, a completely authentic person and a great friend,” Clinton stated. “For more than 40 years, Hillary and I treasured his support, valued his no-nonsense advice and loved his amazing sense of humor. I’m grateful for his service in my administration and later in Congress. He never forgot where he came from, and he loved bringing other people to Gillett for the annual raccoon supper, which for me is full of unforgettable memories. I’m so grateful to him. Our hearts go out to Carolyn, Mitch, Ann and all the Berry family.”
Another former Arkansas governor, Asa Hutchinson also remembered Berry as a fully devoted public servant.
“Marion Berry was a loyal democrat and fully devoted to serving his constituents in the 1st District. You never knew what Marion would say on the House floor but he always spoke with passion and humor. Susan and I appreciate Marion’s service and his love of Arkansas,” Hutchinson stated.
In a statement from the Democratic Party of Arkansas, chairman Grant Tennille remembered Berry as someone who never forgot his roots.
“Marion Berry believed that government should work for the people,” Tennille stated. “Congressman Berry never forgot his roots, growing up on a farm in the Arkansas Delta, and he worked tirelessly to improve the lives of working Arkansans, particularly our farmers. His straight talk and sense of humor attracted attention on the national stage, but those who knew him recognized that delivering results for his constituents was the Congressman’s highest priority, always. He was a great Democrat and an even better public servant.”
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe also released a statement remembering Berry for being both a farmer and a pharmacist.
“Marion Berry was, at heart, a farmer with a pharmacist’s degree, and during his years in the House of Representatives, he was a natural advocate for agricultural issues and for the health of his rural constituents,” Beebe stated. “He was plain-spoken, loyal, and worked hard every day for the people he represented.”
A memorial service for Berry will be held June 24 at the Gillett Methodist Church in Gillett, Arkansas.