Methuen, MA — James A. Kerr Jr., of Methuen, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on March 18, 2014. He was five days short of his 96th birthday. Jim was born in Nutley, N.J., on March 23, 1918, and was the son of James A. Kerr Sr. and Susan (Lane) Kerr. He attended Nutley High School, where he was recognized as an athlete with a particular ability as a baseball player. At the time of his induction into the U.S. Army in 1941, he was playing ball with a farm team of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was dispatched to Australia where the troops served under General MacArthur for the war effort against Japan in the Philippine basin. He met and married his beloved wife, Marion (Cedergren), upon his return to Nutley. They moved to Massachusetts in 1955, and were residents of Methuen. Jim served as a town councilor, a school committee member and was an active member and officer of several Masonic lodges, most recently St. John’s Lodge in Newburyport, Mass. He was also a member of the Aleppo Shrine in Wilmington, Mass., and an officer of the Methuen Eastern Star Chapter. Jim was a member of First Church Congregational, United Church of Christ in Methuen since 1955, where he served with distinction as treasurer and Deacon for many years. He played softball on the church’s softball team, and worked tirelessly with his family on the fundraising projects to pay off the mortgage for the church’s parish hall. Jim had a long career in accounting and finance, and a second career with the U.S. Postal Service after his first retirement at age 65. He was a member of the Methuen/Salem NH Rotary Club, where he served as president and was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International’s highest distinction.
He is survived by his beloved wife Marion (Cedergren); his daughters, Merrilee Kerr Ford of Salem, N.H., and Methuen, Susan Kerr of Methuen, and daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth Kerr Guyott and Scott Guyott of Melrose and Chelsea, Mass.; and his only grandchild, Greg Guyott Jr. of Melrose and Lynn. He loved and cherished the friendships he enjoyed with his numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, James A. Kerr III; his brother, Joseph Kerr; and his sisters, Muriel (Kerr) Hagert and Marie (Kerr) O’Brien.
ARRANGEMENTS: Calling hours will be held at the Dewhirst Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen, Mass., on Friday, March 28, from 4 to 7 p.m., followed by a Masonic service. A memorial service to celebrate Jim’s long and outstanding life will be held on Saturday, March 29, at 11 a.m., at First Church Congregational, 26 Pleasant St., Methuen. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Memorial Fund of First Church Congregational, Methuen.
To leave a condolence, please visit www.dewhirstfuneral.com, or facebook.com/DewhirstFuneralHome.