Our father, Tom Kerr, got his wish to be reunited with his eternal sweetheart, Lois. We imagine them together holding hands again. Since Lois died on Christmas Day 2018, Tom has been missing her greatly. Thankfully, their time apart was short.
Tom was born on March 14, 1934 to Charles Eugene (Gene) Kerr and Florence (Flossie) Clark. He grew up in Challis, Idaho with his sister, May. Tom had many childhood adventures in Challis from shooting the neighbor’s chickens with his new bow and arrow to jumping off the barn with an umbrella breaking his leg. Tom and his beloved dog, Keno, spent many hours together roaming the mountain caves behind Challis. He played football for the Challis Vikings.
He was always very grateful for his grandparents, Lee and Blanche Clark. Tom spent many hours riding patrol with his grandfather, who was the sheriff of Custer County Idaho. Tom learned many important life lessons watching this honorable man perform his duties. His grandmother also took special care of her “Tommie”.
Tom joined the Navy right after graduating from high school. The Navy became a 20-year career with Tom rising to the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer. Tom served in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars as a Supply NCO. He received many awards for his ability to organize and ensure no vital parts were missing for critical aircraft. Tom was very proud of his service. He always reminded his family to be grateful for the sacrifices required of the military. Several of his children and grandchildren followed his example and have also served.
Tom met Lois Horton when he returned home on leave. Their courtship lasted all of two weeks, when they decided to marry so Lois could to go back to California with him. This began what would be sixty-two years of marriage. Their marriage was full of joy, heartache, challenges and great triumphs. They remained loyal and dedicated to each other through it all. After many years of marriage, Tom joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Tom and Lois were sealed to each other and their children in the Idaho Falls Temple.
When Tom retired from the Navy, he returned to Idaho to get his degree in Education. He was a very hard worker maintaining a family, three part-time jobs and going to school. In 1979 after he graduated Tom and Lois moved to Salt Lake City where Tom began teaching school. He taught elementary school where he was known for his ability to help the seemingly rough and rebellious boys. Over the years many of his students have shared appreciation for the impact he had on their lives.
Lois and Tom were the proud parents of five children, twenty grandchildren and eleven great- grandchildren. Tom was a quiet patriarch who made sure none of his children went without physical or spiritual help. He was an example of the ability to change and improve. He was loved for his sense of humor, his quiet acts of service and his devotion to our Mother and our family.
Tom is survived by his sister, May Kerr Quigley (Roy) and his children: Michael Kerr (Carmen), Dana Kerr Slabaugh, Karen Kerr Morris (Mark), Kimberly Kerr Bissegger (Dave), and Katie Kerr Groves (Tyler).
We all love you and will miss you!