Doris Lucile (Shoemaker) Kerr , 94
Memorial Graveside Services for Doris L. Kerr will be conducted from the Alma Cemetery in Alma, Nebraska on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. with her family officiating.
Doris Lucile (Shoemaker) Kerr , 94 years of age, went home to be with her Lord on Monday, June 10, 2013 at Ashton Court Care Center in Liberty, Missouri. Doris was born on February 12, 1919 in Alma, the third daughter of Ray and Sarah (Santee) Shoemaker. Her oldest sister, Mildred had died in 1915. Doris and her remaining sister, Ruth spent their childhood years in Alma, growing up in the family home on the northeast corner of First and Brown Streets. Doris was blessed with a beautiful soprano voice, studied piano, and played by both sight and by ear. During high school she was active in plays and musicals. She graduated from Alma High School in 1936, second in her class. This was the first Alma group to wear caps and gowns.
In 1936 and 1937, Doris attended Kearney, Nebraska State College and completed requirements for a lifetime elementary school teaching certificate from the State of Nebraska. While in Kearney, she had her own weekly radio show on the local A.M. station, singing popular romantic ballads. In the late 1930's and early 1940's she taught in several rural schools in Harlan County and Republican City, Nebraska; and during those years, she sang for weddings, funerals, and other special events.
In January of 1942, Doris married her high school sweetheart, Paul Kerr. The couple moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where Paul took a position with the Manor Baking Company, and their oldest son, Gary was born later that year. World War II was on and Paul was inducted into the Army in December and Doris and Gary returned to Alma to live with her parents. During the War years, Doris taught school in Alma and resumed her vocal music performances for special events.
After the War, Paul got his old job back as a driver for Manor Bakery, and the couple settled in Raytown, Missouri. Their second son, Mickey was born in 1946. In 1949, the family moved to North Kansas City, where Paul took a position as service manager for an automobile dealer in that community. Doris would spend the next 60 years of her life in North Kansas City. The family became part of the First Baptist Church fellowship. Doris participated is several community activities, including Cub Scout Den Mother, and P.T.A. She worked for J.C. Penney, and also served as a substitute teacher with the North Kansas City School District.
In 1958, Doris began a retail career with Russell Stover Candies, and would eventually manage their North Kansas City Store until it closed in 1983. Through the years, Doris and Paul would make regular trips back to Alma for family visits, and to attend the annual Alma High School Alumni Banquet on Memorial Day weekends. In the mid 1980's, the couple remodeled the Shoemaker family house, and it became their retirement home for regular, extended retreats.
In 1986, Paul lost a six-year battle with cancer, but Doris continued to lead a full and busy life. Her three granddaughters and four great-grandchildren were always a source of joy for her. She so appreciated her fellowship with the senior women's group at the Baptist Church. During those retirement years, Doris did product demonstrations for various supermarkets, and also found time to serve as an election clerk at various polling precincts. From 1988 until 2004, Doris would return to Alma and Holdrege periodically to visit and care for her sister, Ruth Hardin.
Throughout her life, Doris maintained a strong work ethic. She put God and family first, and always tried to see the best in people. The two words which would best describe Doris Shoemaker Kerr are: loving kindness.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Paul; sister, Mildred; sister, Ruth Hardin and her husband, Jack; brother-in-law, Glenn E. Kerr, Jr; sister-in-law, Jean Tubridy-Brown; and brother-in-law, Lester Kerr and his wife, Nina.
Doris is survived by her two sons: Gary Kerr and his wife, Edie of Oak Grove, Missouri, Mickey Kerr and his wife, Candy of Liberty, Missouri; granddaughters: Jennifer Nelson and her husband, John, Kelly Lewis and her husband, Tim, Shannon O'Bryan and her husband, Patrick; great-grandchildren: Brett and Alex Nelson, Nicole and Leah Lewis, all of the Kansas City Area; nephews: David Kerr and his wife, Jeanie of Parker, Colorado, Matthew Kerr and his wife, Cindy of Grand Island; and a host of other relatives and friends.
A memorial service was held in Gladstone, Missouri on June 15, 2013.
A memorial has been established in Doris's honor and will be designated at a later date.
Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at www.nelsonbauerfh.com.
The Bauer-Torrey & Mach Funeral Home in Alma is in charge of the arrangements.
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