George T. Berry Dies at 81; Was N.Y. Power Authority President
October 25, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
George T. Berry, former president and chief
operating officer of the New York Power Authority and a longtime
consultant in the electric utility industry, died on Oct. 23 at his home
in Ancramdale, N.Y. He was 81 years old.
The apparent cause of death was a heart attack, Mr.
Berry’s son Jan said.
As an engineer for Charles T. Main, Inc., Mr. Berry
worked on the design of the Power Authority’s St. Lawrence-Franklin D.
Roosevelt hydroelectric project in Massena and designed the major
hydraulic elements of the Authority’s Niagara hydroelectric project near
He joined the Power Authority staff at the Niagara
Project in 1961 and was promoted to director of power utilization in
1968. From 1973 until his retirement in 1982, he served in the
Authority’s top staff position, first with the title of general manager
and chief engineer and later as executive director and as president and
chief operating officer.
During that period, the Authority completed the
James A. FitzPatrick and Indian Point 3 Nuclear Power Plants, which it
sold to Entergy Corp. in 2000; the Charles Poletti Power Project in
Queens; and a 765-kilovolt transmission line from the Quebec border to
Marcy, near Utica.
After leaving the Power Authority, Mr. Berry worked
until the time of his death as a consultant to public and private
“George Berry was a major figure in the history of
the New York Power Authority and of New York State’s electric utility
industry,” Power Authority Chairman Joseph J. Seymour said. “During his
career of more than 20 years at the Power Authority, including nearly a
decade with responsibility for its day-to-day operations, the Authority
and the people of the state benefited from his keen intellect, sound
judgment and engineering expertise. He has left his mark on the
Authority, through the projects that he helped to build and the
standards that he set.”
Mr. Berry was born in Gage, Okla., on Oct. 20,
1924. He graduated as the valedictorian of the local high school and
later earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from
Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) and master of
science and master of engineering degrees from Harvard, where he
specialized in soils mechanics and structural design. Mr. Berry, a
licensed professional engineer, also studied at Georgetown University
and the University of Puerto Rico.
He worked as a civil engineer for the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation from 1949 to 1953, with involvement in a wide range of flood
control, water supply and hydroelectric systems. He was also a chief
planner for a hydroelectric project in Pakistan.
While working at the Niagara Power Project, Mr.
Berry served as a lecturer in a graduate course in water resource
planning at the State University of New York at Buffalo and as a
consultant to the university’s cooperative program on curriculum
planning with the University of Paraguay.
In 1969, he became the first United States citizen
to win the Keefer Gold Medal of the Engineering Institute of Canada,
sharing the award with John B. Bryce, a Canadian, for their
co-authorship of a paper on the Lake Erie-Niagara River ice boom.
Mr. Berry is survived by his wife of 60 years, the
former Ana Brunet Casals; three sons, Paul of Denver; Jan of Guilford,
Conn.; and Mark of Eugene, Ore.; and seven grandchildren.