Service measured not by GOLD,
but by the GOLDEN RULE
WOOSTER – Mary Eugenia Kerr, 95, of Wooster, passed away on August 15, 2019, in her home, after more than a month of declining health. She was a patient of LifeCare Home Hospice and Cambridge Home Health Care; the family gratefully acknowledges the service of both these organizations.
Friends may call Sunday, August 18, from 2 to 4 PM at McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., in Wooster. The service celebrating her life will take place at Wooster United Methodist Church, 243 N. Market St., Wooster on Monday, August 19, at 10:30 AM, followed by a reception at the church. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wayne County Historical Society, 546 E. Bowman St., Wooster, OH 44691 or Wooster United Methodist Church.
Mary was born on March 9, 1924, daughter of Leonard and Ellen (Duckett) Lawrence. She lived in Massillon until age 6, then moving to the Wooster area where she lived the remainder of her life. Her mother died when she was 18 months old, and she was reared primarily by her father and paternal grandmother, Ida (Simon) Lawrence. After graduating from Wooster High School in 1942, she married William Kerr of Fredericksburg on April 15, 1944, in Wooster. The couple first lived on the Kerr family farm outside Fredericksburg before raising their children in Wooster Township, including 10 years living on the grounds of Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, now the ATI. They moved to Smithville in 1975; twelve years after her husband’s death she moved back into Wooster in 1997.
She spent years raising a family; then, after completing study at Wooster Business College in 1960, she worked as a secretary for various organizations including Rubbermaid and the College of Wooster. During the 1970s she also served as bookkeeper for the Wayne County Community Federal Credit Union for which her husband was secretary-treasurer. She then attended the College of Wooster, graduating in 1983 at age 59 with a B.A. majoring in English. In her 70s, she taught elementary grades as a substitute for Wooster City Schools for two years.
Much of Mary’s life was devoted to the arts. She was an accomplished pianist and organist, performing in local churches and groups and teaching piano for a time. In 1965 she organized the first handbell choir in Wayne County, and conducted the choir for several years, at First Presbyterian Church. In the late 1990s, she was chair of the Women’s Committee for the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, charged with its financial support. She created numerous oil, acrylic, pastel, and water-color paintings. Prior to her passing, she assembled a collection of poetry she had written over her lifetime.
She also enjoyed reading, especially on the topic of history; and she produced the scripts which she then used to enact in local performances the lives of several U.S. First Ladies. For several years she served on the Board of Trustees, and volunteered as a tour guide, for the Wayne County Historical Society.
From 1983 to 1987 she served on the Community Mental Health Board of Wayne and Holmes Counties. Over the years, she was a member of the United Presbyterian Church in Wooster, where she sang in the choir and taught Sunday school. She later joined First Presbyterian Church, and later Westminster Presbyterian Church, before her more recent faithful membership in Wooster United Methodist Church.
Other organizations she had enjoyed in recent years were Thursday Club, Word Works, Fireside Club, and Wooster Music Club.
Surviving are daughters Barbara (Kerr) Larcom and Elizabeth Kerr, son Jon Kerr, daughter-in-law Margaret (Grit) Youngquist, sister-in-law Martha (Kerr) Sprout, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, who passed away in 1985; by son James Kerr, who died in infancy; by daughter Susan Kerr, who died in 2014; by her parents; and by parents-in-law Harry and Evelyn (Porter) Kerr.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wayne County Historical Society, 546 E. Bowman St., Wooster, OH 44691 or Wooster United Methodist Church.
Sunday, August 18 from 2-4 PM at the funeral home
Monday, August 19, at 10:30 AM at Wooster United Methodist Church, 243 N. Market St., Wooster