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Thomas L. Kerr - October 31, 2013

Thomas L. Kerr, 74, of Black Hawk, Colo. passed away Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, after four days in I.C.U. at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood, Colo. He had developed severe COPD and cancer and had been failing in health this past year.
Tom passed peacefully with family and friends by his side, as the chaplain celebrated his life with prayer and a solo violinist played the beautiful music of Amazing Grace and Over the Rainbow.
Tom grew up in Grant, Neb. and attended school there. He graduated from Perkins County High School. He was an outstanding musician on his trumpet and a member of the Honor Society. He participated in sports, as well. Tom especially enjoyed playing football under Coach Ed Haenfler, who had also coached his father. He attended Doane College in Crete, Neb. While attending college he played lead trumpet.
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 a heating and air conditioning technician and master plumber.
These past 34 years, Tom loved living in Gilpin County, Colo. among many friends and acquaintances. He was self-employed in high efficiency heating and other mechanical systems. He passed these trades on to 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. Tom was currently on the Black Hawk/Central City Sanitation District Board and was also a life member of the Central City Elks #557.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Betty J. Shirley of Grant, Neb.; Lloyd R. Kerr and Geraldine Kerr of Lewellen, Neb.; brother Ronnie Claire Kerr of Grant; brother-in-law Daniel L. Olson of Holdrege, Neb.
He is survived by his wife, JoAnne (they recently observed their 50th wedding anniversary), two sons Ron and Kelly Kerr, all of Black Hawk; sister, C.J. Rezac and father, Lolen (Whitey) Shirley, both of Grant; sister-in-law Mary L. Olson of Holdrege; three nephews, John Rezac of Houston, Texas; Dr. James Rezac of Ogallala, Neb.; Michael Olson of Holdrege and all their families.
Memorial graveside services will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. at the Black Hawk Dory Hill Cemetery in Gilpin County.
A celebration and remembrance of Tom’s life will be held at Crook’s Palace, Black Hawk at 3 p.m.
A memorial will be established to the Salvation Army or the American Lung Association.
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