Harold E. “Hal” Berrian, 93, of Mechanicsburg, passed away on Monday, October 24, 2022 at Holy Spirit Hospital, Camp Hill. Born on July 27, 1929 in Poughkeepsie, NY, he was the son of Brewster and Gertrude (Palmateer) Berrian.
Hal graduated from Roosevelt High School, Poughkeepsie, in the mid-1940s, where he was a multisport athlete and lucky enough to find a sweetheart-turned-wife, Shirley. His career began immediately following high school when he obtained employment with IBM. A transfer in 1958 would bring Hal and family to Central PA, and he would finish his career and retire from the Mechanicsburg branch as a second line manager.
Upon retirement, Hal was able to volunteer and do some of the things he truly enjoyed. He and his wife started a small business, Berrian Craft, Mechanicsburg, traveling to local festivals and markets selling handmade wooden trinkets and toys as well as knitted and crocheted hats, clothing and home decor. Hal umpired softball for 20+ years and was past-president of West Shore Umpires Association; he would also play in multiple leagues into his 70s. He faithfully attended St. Theresa Catholic Church with his wife and family, and he helped run the church’s men’s basketball league when Msgr. Leech was pastor; he also participated in the parish’s bowling league. He would frequently talk about his youth, and the excitement of hunting squirrels and rabbits with his father.
He always did what was best for his family, and he worked multiple jobs while the kids were at home to make ends meet. His part-time employment with the drive-in movie theater came with the added bonus of treating his family to lots of summertime flicks. Hal also prioritized family vacations, setting aside a week each summer to take his wife and kids to the beaches of South Jersey.
You couldn’t meet a nicer guy than Hal, and the English language fails to provide the words needed to explain just how thoughtful, selfless and gracious he was in his daily life. He treated everyone as equals, and he had a knack for making those around him comfortable. He enjoyed joking around, and his world totally changed when he assumed the role of “Poppy.” From the time they were born, his grandchildren brought him immense pleasure, and he thoroughly enjoyed watching them grow.
As of three weeks ago, you could find Hal outside mowing his lawn and enjoying life. Although he was taken from those he loved here on Earth, his family is grateful for the lifetime of love and guidance he provided.
Surviving Hal are his children, Harold D. Berrian (wife, Cindy) of Mechanicsburg, Shirley B. Salzbrenner of Albuquerque, NM, and Diane B. Kuc (husband, Jim) of Camp Hill; eight grandchildren, Kristen, Becky, Matt, Megan, Jeff, Nikki, Brad and Kathryn; and eleven great-grandchildren (with a twelfth due in November). In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley (Roberg) Berrian; four siblings; and a son-in-law, Richard “Dick” Salzbrenner.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, October 30, from 2-4PM at Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services, New Cumberland. At 10AM the following morning, Monday, October 31, a Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Theresa Catholic Church, New Cumberland, immediately followed by entombment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Mechanicsburg.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in Hal’s name to a worthy charity of your choice.