Tom Berryhill passed away peacefully at home due to complications from Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) on August 29, 2020. He was known for being the “ultimate optimist” with a can-do attitude that inspired everyone who knew him. With hard work and determination, Tom became a third-generation farmer and served twelve years in the state legislature while also on various committees at the state and county level.
Tom graduated from Ceres High School, attended Modesto Junior College and majored in Agriculture at Cal Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
He was most recently serving as a Stanislaus County Supervisor for District 4 and as a Member of the Board of Directors for the State Compensation Insurance Fund. Up until the day he passed, Berryhill worked trying to better the community that he lived in.
Berryhill achieved countless awards and helped introduce many bills during his time serving in the Assembly and Senate, but he took the most pride in the three particular bills listed below.
● AB 844 (2007) - Confronts the issue of metal theft by requiring payment by check with a three-day hold in order to eliminate the quick cash that motivates drug users to commit this crime.
● AB 1559 (2007) - Addresses the critical nursing shortage by ensuring that those admitted to nursing school are adequately prepared to complete the programs. This will increase the graduation rate and result in more nurses for California.
● SB 187 (2017) - Transition of California’s calendar-based fishing license to one that is valid a full 12-months from the date of purchase.
Berryhill was also proud of an award presented to him by the California Latino Water Coalition, “For his outstanding bipartisan commitment and effort” with his passage of the 2014 Water Bond. In addition, Berryhill achieved Legislator of the Year from the American Nurses Association (2008) and Senate Small Business Legislator of the Year (2013) presented by the members of the California Small Business Association.
On the personal side, Tom was an avid outdoorsman and his favorite activities included fly fishing, skiing, hunting, and golf. At the end of his days, he always looked forward to coming home and enjoying a glass of wine, whether it was with family, friends, or colleagues. Tom will be remembered as a mentor for many, but also his love for life and deep commitment to public service.
Tom is survived by his wife Loretta, daughters Jessica and Samantha, his brother Bill, sisters Jane and Betsy, and many beloved nephews, nieces, and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents Clare and Maryellen Berryhill, and his sister Lynne Berryhill Trio. The Berryhill Family would like to thank the community for their warm thoughts and prayers.
Tom would have also wanted to thank all of the firefighters, public safety members, and first responders. In remembrance of Tom, a celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Moreover, in lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Grace M. Davis FFA (1200 W. Rumble Road, Modesto, CA 95350), the MSA Coalition (7918 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 300, McLain, VA 22102), Community Hospice, or the charity of your choice.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Charles Berryhill, please visit our floral store.
4368 Spyres Way, Modesto CA 95356
Grace M. Davis FFA
1200 W. Rumble Road, Modesto CA 95350
7918 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 300, McLain VA 22102