Republic Parking Founder ‘Jim’ Berry is Dead at 82
James C. “Jim” Berry, Founder, Owner and CEO of Republic Parking System, as well as a Chattanooga real estate magnate, died Nov. 26, 2013, at his home in Georgetown, TN. He was 82.
Mr. Berry founded the business in 1966 that would become a nationwide leader in parking management, after having begun as an operator of airport parking under the name Air Terminal Parking. He was the owner of Republic Centre and Liberty Tower in downtown Chattanooga.
He also was active in banking circles in Chattanooga, having been chairman of United American Bank of Hamilton County in the early 1980s, when he tried to save that bank as the Jake Butcher United American banking empire crumbled across Tennessee. The local United American Bank was eventually acquired by Union Planters Bank of Memphis.
The following 2010, tribute, in recognition of one of the Berrys’ gifts to Chattanooga State, is typical of the feelings the community held for him:
James C. Berry and his wife, Carlydia P. Cloud, embody the philanthropic spirit that resides in their deep commitment to making Chattanooga the finest mid-size city in America. Their generosity to this college is inspired by their profound sense of civic responsibility and desire to help fellow citizens and neighbors obtain access to the opportunities that reside within these walls. Their vision for each student is to ensure that each has the quality education needed to pursue his or her chosen field in a manner that is challenging and rewarding.
In Mr. Berry’s own career and from his early beginnings as a parking lot attendant, he built Republic Parking System, a Chattanooga-based company, and made it one of America’s leading private companies. Originally from rural Mississippi, Mr. Berry is now doing business throughout the world and employs more than 2,500 people. Mr. and Mrs. Berry, in their own remarkable journey, have chosen to follow the rainbow, rather than the plow. It is, therefore, appropriate in the philanthropic spirit that made this auditorium and classroom possible, in a place where each student’s journey begins, that it be named the Berry Auditorium. (June 23, 2010)
Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Carlydia Cloud Berry; four daughters, Bridget Nichols (Nick), Pamela Stansell (Kenny), Susan Perruso (Mike), and Angela Berry Gentry (Eric); one son, James Marshall Berry (Ashlee); and many grandchildren. Arrangements were by Heritage Funeral Home in Chattanooga.
For more about Mr. Berry, please go to the “Parking Czar” feature story April 30, 2011, in the Chattanooga Times Free Press at www.chatterchattanooga.com/news/2011/apr/30/parking-czar.
Article Abstract from January, 2014