Sarah Louise Berryman

Published 5:34 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2022

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Sarah Louise Berryman passed away from complications of a cardiac arrest at WellStar Hospital in LaGrange, Georgia on May 27, 2022. Born in Columbus, Georgia on June 12, 1954, to the late Edward Franklin Berryman and Mamie Jane Cox. She was the youngest of ten siblings. Sarah suffered from severe physical and mental debilitation since her birth and has been taken care of by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Services from three-years-old until her death.

Miss Berryman resided in a Georgia State Mental Institution for 56 years until the State of Georgia changed its approach to long term mental healthcare and moved patients from institutions to privately contracted group homes. Sarah lived in a group home for the final nine years of her life. There, Sarah received quality individualized care in a home environment located in a very nice residential neighborhood in the country.

Many thanks and appreciation to the State of Georgia and to Sarah’s caretakers at the Georgia Mentor operated group home for their genuine care for Sarah. Those that have known and cared for Sarah requested the picture used for this obituary as it is the best representation of Sarah in their eyes. Sarah was 4’8” tall, 80 pounds, nonverbal and legally blind but she made her presence known to all with a howl, a laugh, a grab, constant movement, sad stillness, always ready for a fight and treating every day as clothing optional. She has tenaciously persevered as only those limited by circumstance can endure and will be a witness in the day of the good and evil of mankind.  Special thanks to Dr. Jean B. Copland, Sarah’s oldest sister, who oversaw her care and her husband John Copland who was instrumental in getting Sarah the long-term care she needed. As well as appreciation to the staff at WellStar Hospital for their attentive care of Sarah in her time of passing.

Sarah is survived by sister Connie D. Irvin of Brooklyn Park, Minn. and brother Thomas Berryman of Palisade, Minn. She is predeceased by her remaining siblings to include Dr. Jean B. Copland, Betty Lynn Smart, Anna Faye Ingram, Jane Owens, Edwin Joseph Berryman, George McArthur Berryman, and Wanda Berryman.

A memorial reception will be held for Sarah in Pine Mountain on Friday, June 10 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Please call (478) 214-0033 for directions.

In lieu of flowers please send donations in Sarah’s memory to: Cancer Research, ATTN: Dr. John Copland III, PH.D., in care of the Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road S., Jacksonville, Florida, 32224.