Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Remembering Joe Kerr

Joe Lee “JL” Kerr, 94, passed away on Saturday, January 18, 2014. Born in Whitley County, Kentucky to Joe and Molly Kerr he lived most of his life in Southern California.

Joe was a passionate, hard working man who enjoyed life in many ways. His marriage to Dottie Hamilton in 1940 was followed by service in the Army during WWII. Joe soon entered service in the Santa Monica Post Office where he put his many mechanical skills to work, retiring as their Manager, Building Operations. Seemed like he could fix or build anything. His retirement was to work summers at the Friendship Flea Market and winter at his home in Morongo Valley, CA. He loved the companionship of the flea marketeers. “Everythings for sale, except the wife and kids, cause there is a law against that” was a favorite response when asked if an item was for sale.

Joe was very proud of his 4 sons, Jerry, Terry, Larry and Randy Sam. Randy was lost to him in 1983. After Dottie's death in 1979, Joe married Virginia “Chris” Greer in Indiana. This brought together two of Friendship's favorite families. Joe now included the Greer kids, Bob, Judy, Jane, Rick, and Sue as part of his family. With them and the growing numbers of grandkids and great grandkids his years in the 80's and 90's were full of love and family. After Chris's death in 2006, Joe lived with and was cared for by Larry and Andy. Their love and care gave him much comfort in his final years.

Every person he met will remember Joe for a special reason. Jeep enthusiast, electrician, plumber, mechanic, pack rat, huckster, builder, father, grandpa Joe, or friend. He has left us for now, and each of us is richer for having known him.

No services are planned. If desired, donations to your local Salvation Army would be appreciated.


1 comment:

  1. Joe was the most interesting man I have ever known. He became my grandfather when I was 7, and he always treated me like I was his. He would make his special french toast when I came to stay, which I hated, but I ate every bite because he made it for me.
    He taught me to play Euchre, taught me to work hard, and always made me laugh. He told me hundreds of hours of stories about his adventures and made the topic of "cruise control" seem like the most simple and magical thing in the world. Every time I cross a state line, or drive down a steep incline, I think of him on his cross country trek to California. Every time I pay a mechanic, I think of him counting out 1400 $1 bills to be a smart alec because the mechanic had been so rude.
    When he and grandma would pack up the Pack Rat and leave for the winter, it was always like the circus had left town, and we all waited anxiously for his return the next Spring.
    I am most grateful for the way he loved Grandma after Dottie and Fritz had both passed away. Her life had always been one of sacrifice and struggle and he treated her like a queen. Taking her to and from California by a different route every time to show her so much of what she had been missing.
    I am so grateful for our time with him and for the memories that he leaves after him. We all loved him so much and miss him greatly, as I know you do as well.
    Many Blessings to you all and thank you for sharing your wonderful father with us.
    Shane Caudill