11 September 1905 - 13 November 1994
JAMES HERBERT KERR, SR. was born to the late Rufus and Lilla Bell Kerr. He was the eldest of six children. He received his early education in Anniston, Alabama and John C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In 1927 he moved to Cleveland, Ohio to live with his aunt, the late Edith Bell. and he joined Cory Methodist Church where he has remained a dedicated worker the remainder of his life. He graduated from the old Central High School, maintaining an "A" average. Herbert majored in Medical Science and graduated from Adelbert College (now Case Western Reserve University) in 1933 with honors in Biology and English.
During the depression he was employed as a laborer at Republic Steel (now LTV Steel) where he was elevated to the position of Expeditor Supervisor, as well as being a Union Steward and AFL-CIO representative. Having been raised in the church, he was concerned with the program of the church. He served as associate Sunday School teacher of the Mercury Class, and assistant superintendent of the junior department of the Sunday School. In addition, he held positions of Lay Leader, Secretary of Stewardship and was on many other boards and commissions in the church while being lay delegate to the Annual Conference for Cory Methodist Church as well as the Cleveland District.
In 1958 Herbert founded the Cory Credit Union with the help of Mr. Fallon, who was with the Credit Union at Republic Steel. He served as its chairperson from 1958 - I 964. Herbert was elected to and served on the Cleveland District as Associate Lay Leader on the Commission of Interreligious Affairs and others. He was a charter member of the East Ohio Black Methodist for Church Renewal and one of the founding committee members when it was organized in Cincinnati. Ohio. He was active in many community organizations.
Not being satisfied with all these activities, he served on boards of the American Bridge Assoc. and the Cleveland Congress of Bridge, traveling throughout the U.S. and Caribbean Islands in the various bridge tournaments. He gained many trophies and honors and was a senior ife master. Herbert was a licensed real estate broker, income tax consultant and a notary public.
A strong family leader: In 1934 Herbert and Rebecca A. Armstead were united in holy wedlock by the late Dr. Samuel Sweeney. They are the parents of three sons: J.Herbert Kerr, Jr. and Lawrence Charles Kerr both of NY,NY, Irving Bernard Kerr of Cleveland, OH; daughter, Beverly LaMarra Kerr of Cleveland, OH; foster daughter, Vera Louise Davis of Cleveland, Ohio seven grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren, many other relatives and a host of friends.
Humbly Submitted, The Family