The Oregon Association of Nurseries is saddened to report the passing of Oregon Nurseries’ Hall of Fame member Arda Berryhill, who founded and owned Berryhill Nursery in Sherwood, Oregon, along with her husband, Roger.
She passed away May 13, 2021, at home in Sherwood at age 86.
Arda was born April 11, 1935 to Anna Sophia Carlson and Fred Lien in Cresbard, South Dakota. She married Roger Berryhill in 1956 and graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, with a degree in biology in 1957.
The couple made their home in Klamath Falls while Roger attended the Oregon Institution of Technology. While there, she worked as a child-welfare caseworker. After Roger finished college, the couple moved to the Portland area. Roger took a job as a machinist at Hyster.
The two started their nursery in Sherwood when Arda was looking for something she could do while she was at home with their young children. They established Berryhill Nursery on 2.5 acres outside of Sherwood with a 12-foot-by-24-foot greenhouse, initially growing rhododendrons. Their home was also located there, allowing her to run the business and raise the kids.
The enterprise gradually grew as large as 40 acres, in time expanding its offerings to more than 500 plants — dwarf cypress, juniper, umbrella pine, camel- lia, hydrangea, honeysuckle, Escallonia, photinia, azalea, laurel, and Rubus, to name a few. The nursery sold containerized plants in the Pacific Northwest, as well as rooted cuttings and liners throughout the United States.
Arda did the propagation, which she learned from Bill Curtis at Wil-Chris Acres in Sherwood. She also did the marketing and bookkeeping, while Roger constructed the buildings on site and maintained the equipment. He worked the graveyard shift at Hyster and was able to help during the day.
At Curtis’ urging, Arda joined the International Plant Propagators Society (IPPS), where she became active in the leadership. She served as the first woman president of the Western Region of IPPS in 1984.
Arda also became active in the Oregon Association of Nurseries, serving on the board and as association treasurer in the 1990s. Both she and Roger served on the OAN Government Affairs Committee.
Arda received many awards for her work on behalf of the industry. She was selected for the OAN Outstanding Service Award in 1984. The IPPS Western Region honored her with the Curtis J. Alley Award of Merit in 1992, for outstanding contributions to IPPS. She was given an OAN Honorary Life Membership in 1994, and was elected to the Oregon Nurseries Hall of Fame in 2000.
Arda retired two years ago, transitioning daily management of the nursery to her daughter-in-law, Diane Berryhill.
Arda was preceded in death by her husband, Roger, in 2009, and their son, Douglas, in 2015, as well as her brother, Melvin Lien, and her sister, Audry Kaplan. She is survived by daughter-in-law Diane Berryhill, son and daughter-in-law Brian and Jody Berryhill, daughter and son-in-law Julie and David Gardener, and two grandchildren.
Attrell’s Newberg Funeral Chapel in Newberg, Oregon, is in care of arrangements, but no service has yet been announced. There is a memory-sharing page online at https://www.attrells.com/obituaries/Arda-Berryhill.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Oregon Diabetes Association.