May 7, 1939 – October 21, 2013
Thomas L. Kerr, 74, of Black Hawk, CO passed way Monday, October 21, 2013, after four days spent in the I.C.U. surrounded by family and friends at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood, CO. He had developed severe COPD and cancer and had been failing in health this past year.
Tom was born in Imperial, NE, but grew up in Grant, NE and attended school there, graduating from Perkins County High School. He was an outstanding musician on his trumpet, a member of the Honor Society, and he participated in sports, as well. Tom especially enjoyed playing football under Coach Ed Henfler, who had also coached his father. He attended Doane College in Crete, NE. While attending college he played lead trumpet in the college band.
Tom enlisted in the Army, followed by a stint in the National Guard for six years. Following in his father’s career choice, he became an HVAC heating and air conditioning technician and master plumber.
These past 34 years, Tom loved living in Gilpin County among many friends and acquaintances. He was self-employed in high efficiency heating/AC and other mechanical systems, and he passed these skills and trades onto his sons.
From 1994 to 2012, Tom was an Alderman in the City of Black Hawk and was instrumental in the growth of the City. He was also a current board member of the Black Hawk/Central City Sanitation District Board, and a life member of the Central City Elks Lodge.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Betty J. Shirley of Grant, NE; Lloyd R. Kerr & Geraldine Kerr of Lewellen, NE; brother Ronnie Claire Kerr of Grant, NE; brother-in-law Daniel L. Olson of Holdrege, NE.
He is survived by his wife, JoAnn (they recently observed their 50th wedding anniversary), two sons Ron and Kelly Kerr, all of Black Hawk, CO; sister, C.J. Rezac and father, Lolen (Whitey) Shirley, both of Grant, NE; sister-in-law Mary L. Olson from Holdrege, NE; three nephews, John Rezac of Houston, TX; Dr. James Rezac of Ogallala, NE; Michael Olson of Holdrege, NE and all their family.
A memorial graveside service will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. at the Black Hawk Dory Hill Cemetery in Gilpin County, CO. A memorial will be established to the Salvation Army or the American Lung Association.
A celebration and remembrance of Tom’s life will be held at Crook’s Palace, Black Hawk, CO at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, November 2, 2013.
From the City of Black Hawk
On behalf of the City Council, residences, employees and businesses of Black Hawk, we extend our deepest sympathy to JoAnn, Ron and Kelly on Tom’s passing. The success that the City of Black Hawk enjoys today was in part due to Tom’s 18 years of unwavering dedication to the City’s ongoing goals. He shall be missed and always remembered. Mayor David D. Spellman
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