Richard "Rick" Berry

richard berry

Rick Berry, 67, founding co-owner of Goodness Grows plant nursery in Lexington, Georgia, died Friday, November 12th, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. at home. He founded the nursery with his late partner, Marcus “Marc” Richardson, 43 years ago.

He passed peacefully at home and is survived by his husband, Kurt Wolfe; his beloved attack dog, Kaydee; siblings Cathy Crawford, Coy Berry (husband Bob Richardson), Doug Berry (wife Cee Cee) of the Atlanta area and nephews Alan Nettles of Sarasota, Florida and Benjamin Crawford IV of Houston Texas. His parents were Walter and Florence Berry of Orangeburg, South Carolina and Beaufort, South Carolina respectively.

Rick attended Sequoyah High School in Doraville, Georgia and the University of Georgia where he was a math major with particular interest in calculus (straight A’s, and he described calculus as “fun”).

Rick’s Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, January 21st, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. at The State Botanical Garden of Georgia in the glass conservatory.

Rick requested in lieu of flowers that donations be made to animal rescues of each donor’s choice or to St. Mary’s Hospice House.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Catherine Crawford says:

    We will miss our beloved brother Richard so very much. He was so special – smart, kind, hard-working, funny, he loved animals and had many dogs and cats over his lifetime. His work at the nursery was amazing and he was very well respected in his field, receiving numerous awards and accolades over the years. Our hearts are broken to lose this very wonderful and loving brother.

    • Christine Brown says:

      How much I would love to hear you say “Hey, Sweetie” one more time. Funny how I thought you were older than me, and you thought I was younger than you. Age is a state of mind, right? Now you are forever young, happy, and growing even more beautiful flowers. Please give Larry a hug for me and tell him he is missed today just as much as ever. I’ll see you both sooner than later. Til then, have a ball!!!

  2. Linda Medlock says:

    Always enjoyed visiting Goodness Grows and seeing his many introductions to the Plant World. He was a great speaker at many plant symposiums and willingly shared his great knowledge with plant lovers. I will miss his smile and kindness.

  3. Stephen Atwood says:

    I met Rick when my wife and I moved to Lexington in 2015. He was always friendly and loved to show off his beloved Goodness Grows. What a wonderful place. He was always helpful in recommending plants and flowers, and even suggested where to plant them in regard to sun and shade exposure. Rick also cared about people and I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. He will be missed (he already is).

  4. Andreas Renner says:

    My wife and I only discovered Goodness Grows in 2018, and it quickly became our most anticipated road trip from ATL every spring. There are so many funky plants dispersed in our yard from Goodness Grows – Bird of Paradise, Plum Yew, Blackberry Lily, Ryan’s Russet Mum, Georgia Blue Veronica, Dr Moy Ginger Lily, Bigleaf Magnolia, etc. We kept coming back not because of the wonderful plants but for Rick’s company and his gentle and kind demeanor. I just got on the computer this morning to plan our Apr trip and read the sad news. He was a bright light and we miss him. Our condolences to Rick’s family and loved ones.

  5. Kyle says:

    Had the pleasure of working a brief summer/fall at the nursery; Rick “bossman” was always such a delight to be around – I will cherish memories and keep kindled the loving spark of plant appreciation that he inspired in me.
    Many blessings!

  6. Maureen Mortenson says:

    I loved the garden.. always inspired me plus what a sweet man Rick was. I’m now tending my tropical gardens in Cozumel but was inspired to garden when seeing Hoodness Grows.

  7. Bobby Turner says:

    I have so much to say about my dear friend Rick Berry and Mark Richardson. I knew them about 45 years ago. We were very close. I finally met a boy and we visited one weekend so they could meet my new love. When we were getting ready to leave on Sunday morning Rick insisted we wait and see what they did for fun. Mark took us to the main road behind their home and Rick disappears for a moment only to come back with 2 bugs. Then he said says this is what we do for fun and then he puts the bugs on the centerline of the road and we bet on which bugs could get back to dirt before getting squashed. We all rallied for our favorite bugs. Well this time they all escaped death but the oncoming traffic were confused as to what we were doing. Will never forget that morning. Driver byes thought us nuts. Was a great day. Wish I could have told that story at the memorial but I have major problem talking in public. But the thought is always there. Love you Rick and Mark.

  8. Bobby Turner says:

    Want to thank all the persons responsible for putting on Ricks Memorial. Feel as if it is for both Rick and Mark. The memorial was a first class act. Just like Goodness Grows. Thanks to everyone whom put this special event together. Much love from Bobby Turner. Was great to hear all his coworkers speak so proud to know him. Was the best memorial. Thanks to all

    • Kurt Wolfe says:

      The event on May 1st was done behind the family’s back in a sneaky underhanded way. Such disingenuousness. The surviving spouse should have been informed sooner than the Monday before the event. Such self-centeredness. it was more about the hosts wanting to make it all about themselves, and it disgusts me.

    • Ryan Pittman says:

      Bobby thank you for the compliment on the memorial for our friend Rick. We as a community loved him dearly and miss him daily. The original memorial was canceled and we all felt it to be in poor taste to not recognize such an influential person not only to the industry but to our lives as employees and friends of his. The cancellation of the original celebration of life was given numerous excuses to not have it , which everyone was delivered different reasons as to why it was canceled… Covid , food was too expensive and the one that really said it all” I don’t want to have a memorial “… I decided that in honor of Rick we would do something respectful and tasteful regardless of the numerous excuses given. Kurt was aware of it even before I secured the event via a conversation with the venue owner. Two months prior to the date we had the event. I don’t want to stoop down to his level so I’m just stating the true facts and Ricks family was indeed present. The event I planned was not in any way malicious towards anyone , instead it was to honor a man loved by us all, which should be embraced and not put down. The only reason he’s doing another is because he is the one acting like a brat because the attention was on Rick and not him. I am disappointed that those comments ended up here in such an idiotic way. Rick meant a lot to everyone and we honored him and will continue to do so, no matter what anyone says or does. Thank you for enjoying and thank you for embracing our friend and attending the event. I had some pretty special people help with it who respected and loved Rick dearly. It was a public event , anyone could attend and nobody wanted input from someone who acts that way. God bless…

      • David Powers says:

        My partner(Glen) and I just found out Rick passed, I had been waiting for a call from his as one of our friends said he was going to call and see if we would put flowers on his mom grave as we moved to beaufortSC Was he buried with him mom? Or there in Lexington? Sorry for yours and (our loss)

  9. Sandy Hay says:

    I am still shattered by the news. My husband, Ed, grew up with Marc in Donalsonville. I met Marc at Valdosta. When we transferred to UGA, l was so happy. It turned out that Rick was in one of my classes. Every girl in the class (including me) had a crush on Rick. He was so handsome with his salt and pepper hair. I miss them all, including Larry so much. When we all finally got together, it was fun and wonderful. I saw them begin Goodness Grows and helped name the company. Our times together created the greatest memories
    for me. It is consoling to know that Marc and Rick are planting beautiful flowers, laughing and goofing around in heaven.. I cherish our times together. Such special people are rare and I am honored to have them in my life. God Bless y’all. I know everyone misses y’all and their hearts ache. I know my heart aches. I can’t help but smile thinking about them. Rick was a loving, funny and giving soul. Love you! Miss you!

  10. Susan Hitchcock says:

    I hate to admit that I just found out about Rick’s death. He and Marc were very close friends with my late husband, Jim Garner. All three and many more who passed away far too soon! Rick was always kind to me and we remembered the good times he and Mark had with Jim. Rick, Mark, and Jim were all pioneers in promoting perennials when no one understood their value in the southern landscape, which at that time was dominated by annuals.

    My sincere condolences to the family, Susan

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