Berryhills preserving history of Bellbrook

“Mom and Dad wrote the first history of the area in 1966 for the celebration of Bellbrook’s sesquicentennial,” Steve Berryhill said of his parents, Harold, now deceased, and Genevieve Berryhill, who still lives in Bellbrook.

Berryhill grew up in Bellbrook and graduated from Bellbrook High School in 1961. A star member of the BHS baseball team, he attended Morehead College on scholarship and went on to earn a degree in education with a focus on mathematics and geography. In addition to gaining a degree in college, Berryhill also came away with a wife whose ancestry rivaled his. Sharon Thompson Berryhill traces her own family back to a Revolutionary War veteran who acquired land in Kentucky after the war and moved there with his family. Sharon grew up in Flemingsburg, Ky., and graduated from Fleming County High School before attending Morehead College, where she studied education with a focus on English and health physical education recreation. She also worked part time for local newspapers.

The couple married in 1967, and returned to Bellbrook where they were named citizens of the year the same year for their volunteer activities. Both taught at BHS for 30 years, and during the years served as sports coaches, class advisors, yearbook advisors and coordinators of their respective departments, English and math.

In addition to his work at school, Berryhill also designed and built the home where he and Sharon raised their children. Anji Berryhill Erickson is a 1987 BHS graduate and an office manager who married software developer and 1986 BHS graduate Mark Erickson, the son of Lance and Carolyn Erickson. Anji and Mark Erickson live in Bellbrook and have two children, Stephen Lance and Matthew.

The Berryhills’ son, Andrew, is a 1991 BHS graduate who lives in Bellbrook with his wife, Kim, and son, Jake. Andrew works at Green Velvet Sod Farm, and is also a member of the band Duophonix.

During the years, the Berryhills have been very active in the Bellbrook Sugarcreek Historical Society with Steve serving as president for six years. He currently has a number of photos on exhibit at the Bellbrook Historical Museum of the earliest existing structures in Bellbrook. Steve gives Bellbrook historical tours, including some in colonial clothes, to schoolchildren, local antique clubs and other interested groups. In 2010, Steve was named volunteer of the year by the Bellbrook Lions Club and served as Grand Marshall of the local parade.

In addition to their civic work and participation in the Bellbrook Sugarcreek Education Foundation, the Berryhills also are involved at Bellbrook Presbyterian Church, where Steve serves as a trustee, while Sharon uses her quilting skills to make quilts for the Beds for Babies program. Sharon also is an active member of Philanthropic Educational Organization, a volunteer group that raises money for scholarships.

Contact this columnist at (937) 432-9054 or jjbaer@aol.com.

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