Donna Berry, the Central District chief in the Buffalo Police Department, has spent more than two decades helping citizens through difficult times.
But at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, she said, her most important call to duty occurred when she assisted her 84-year-old mother during her final moments of life.
"My mother had congestive heart failure, and I was at her apartment when the emergency medical technicians were assisting her and she died of a heart attack," Berry said. "I'm just glad I was there and I got to tell her that I love her."
Gwendolyn D. Berry, 84, of Buffalo, was born in her family's downtown home on Cary Street, where the Avant, formerly the Dulski Federal Office Building, now stands.
She attended what was then Hutchinson-Central High School before taking a job at the Federal Reserve Bank when it was located at Main and Swan streets.
"She worked as a runner for the Federal Reserve for many years," her daughter said. "She loved the work."
In 1946, after World War II ended, Gwendolyn Darker married Howard G. Berry, and they raised four children in Kenmore. He died in 1996. In later years, Mrs. Berry worked at the Hickory Farms store that had been in Main Place Mall.
"She also worked for years as a Democratic poll inspector and most enduringly at caring for her family," her son, William, said.
In addition to her daughter Donna and son, Mrs. Berry is survived by another daughter, Nancy.
A service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Lester H. Wedekindt Funeral Home, 3290 Delaware Ave., Town of Tonawanda.