Abilene Reporter News, February 24, 2007

Longtime Runnels county clerk dies at 93

Celinda Emison / emisonc@reporternews.com
Saturday, February 24, 2007

Over the years, Frankie Berryman had lots of opponents - but only at dominoes.

Berryman, who successfully ran for Runnels County Clerk 10 times, died in Ballinger on Wednesday at the age of 93. He retired from the county clerk's office in 1982 after serving in the elected position since 1946.

He never had an opponent on the 10 occasions he ran for office. Those who worked with him called him a great boss and a friendly guy. In fact, he was elected president of the District and County Clerks Association of Texas and was named ''Clerk of the Year'' in 1979.

Friends and coworkers remember Berryman for his unique personality.

Linda Bruchmiller, who retired as county clerk in 1998, worked under Berryman for many years.

''He was a very interesting man and he loved people,'' said Bruchmiller, who visited him regularly.

''He ran his office the way it should be run,'' said Runnels County Judge Marilyn Eagan.

Most folks in Ballinger will remember Berryman for his love of dominoes. He was a member of the Ballinger Domino Club and played five days a week, even on holidays.

''He was a character,'' said his best friend and domino partner, Kelly Chapman, 80.

At its peak, the Ballinger Domino Club had about 30 members, but the membership has dwindled to about 8 or 10, Chapman said.

''With him gone, we are about to run out of players,'' Chapman said.

When it came to dominoes, Berryman was serious.

''He had a short fuse sometimes,'' Chapman quipped. ''But we'd just all laugh it off.''

Even when his vision started to go later in his life, he could still play.

Berryman played his last game about 8 months ago, when a mild stroke forced him out of the game for good.

Services for Berryman, a veteran of World War II and a member of many community organizations, will be at 2 p.m. today at First Baptist Church in Ballinger.

Further Notes: