October 5, 1930 ~ June 21, 2021

Services for Cecil Rae Murff Berry, of Normangee, are set for Monday, June 28, 2021, at

Hilltop Lakes Chapel in Hilltop Lakes, Texas. Following a visitation 11:30–12pm, the

funeral will take place from 12–1pm, with interment at Gum Springs Cemetery, in

Flynn, from 1:30–2pm.

Cecil Rae was born October 5, 1930, in Normangee, Texas, to parents William Adair

Murff and Janie Estelle Murff, and grew up in Flynn. She was raised in the Assembly of

God during childhood.

Cecil married the love of her life, Neil Berry, Sr., also from Flynn, soon after he returned

from serving the U.S. Marines in the Battle of Iwo Jima. The couple lived in Houston,

where he began his career as a welder. She first worked at Saks Fifth Avenue before

attending beauty school, then opened her first hair salon in Houston. The couple moved

to Normangee in 1962, where Neil founded his own firm, Big B Industries, and Cecil

founded Berry’s Beauty Salon.

The couple had four children, three daughters and a son, and they raised their family in

Normangee. After their children had grown, Neil and Cecil traveled the highways in

their motor home for mini-reunions of fellow Marines, once even flying to Hawaii for a


In her adult life, Cecil Rae Berry was considered a “force of nature” and even earned the

nickname, ‘The Texas Tornado,” for her ability to be frank. Her family saw in her great

courage, forthrightness, and a spirit of competition (she loved dominos, especially

“42”). After Neil Sr. died, Cecil stayed active in the Normangee and Hilltop Lakes

communities, and she worshiped regularly at Hilltop Lakes Chapel, in her favorite pew.

Cecil was preceded in death by her parents, William and Janie Murff; her husband, Neil

Berry, Sr.; her brother, William Adair Murff, Jr.; her sister, Esther Byrd; her daughter,

Becky Brantley; son-in-law, Donald Sanders; and granddaughter, Amy Hines. She is

survived by daughter, Margo Sanders; daughter, Deborah Archer and husband, Ronny;

son, Neil Berry, Jr., and wife, Deanna; and son-in-law, Rodney Brantley; 10

grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and 2 great-great-grandchildren.

Services are in the care of Cozart Funeral Home in Normangee, Texas.

Express condolences at CozartFuneralHome.com

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  1. Condolences to the family during this time of sorrow. It's not an easy thing when a loved one passes, but it is wonderful to have the many memories of them during the time they were with us. May all of the family's grief be eased by those memories and the knowledge that Cecil Rae, Neil, and other members of the family that went before her, are not rejoicing together.

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