William Berry

Bill Berry was twice an All-Pacific Coast Conference Wrestling Champion and twice all-conference in football at Washington State University. He was a two-time Washington state high school wrestling champion and an All-State football selection, playing both offensive and defensive line positions at 165 pounds.

Graduating in 1962 from WSU, Bill received a Commission in the United States Air Force and served until 1970. He was an outstanding wrestler on the Air Force team for seven years and consistently placed high in the National Freestyle and Greco-Roman Championships. He was first alternate for the 1968 U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman Team and also served as a competitor coach for the Air Force Wrestling Teams. He has always been a superb competitor, coach, role model and ambassador for the sport of wrestling.

Bill not only excelled in athletics, he was also cited many times for his academic accomplishments and leadership roles. He was President and house manager for his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, and was a student representative on the WSU Athletic Council.

He earned his Masters in Business Administration at Michigan State University in 1967 and became a very successful Certified Public Accountant and real estate broker.

On July 3, 1982, Bill was injured in a tragic swimming pool accident which left him a quadriplegic with only limited use of his arms. With the help of his wife Jeanne and the support of his three daughters, Bill has fought the past 19 years the same way that he fought on the mat. With the aid of a computer and a speaker phone, Bill has successfully continued his work in real estate and as a CPA. He has also maintained his interest and involvement in wrestling to the greatest extent possible. His positive, upbeat and enthusiastic participation in life in spite of his limitations is an inspiration to all who know him.

"Any award of courage should go to my wife. A catastrophic accident affects the lives of all family members," Bill said.

He credits Jeanne, his wife of 37 years, for giving him the strength and emotional support to accept his condition and enjoy his limited lifestyle.


Medal of Courage

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