A visitation and memorial service for Shirley Jeanne Kerr, 96, will be held Monday, August 7, 2023 at St. John Berchman’s Cathedral, 947 Jordan St., Shreveport Louisiana. The Visitation is at 11:00 AM and the Memorial service at 12:30 PM. Officiating the service will be Dr. Raney Johnson
Shirley was born May 10, 1927 in Breckenridge, Texas to Homer Wiley Dick and Minnie Ola Ball and left this earthly plane on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 in Shreveport, Louisiana.
She grew up in the company town of Phillips, TX as her father was an electrical Engineer for Phillips Petroleum Company and she spent her summers with her grandmother in Santa Monica, CA. Shirley graduated Phillips High School class of 1944 and then when on to attend Texas Tech for college. She was a member of Phi Nu sorority chapter which eventually became the national sorority of Tri Delta. She met her beloved husband, Armour James “Jay” Kerr, at a Texas Tech college social picnic; it was love at first sight. Shirley majored in Business Administration and Home Economics and Jay graduated with a dual degree in Engineering and Geology. Shirley and Jay were blessed with two children, Dr. Sherry Jan Kerr and Jay Dick Kerr. After college, her husband’s employment with Lane Wells Company took them to places such as Wichita Falls, Midland, Abilene, and Shreveport LA. It was in Midland, TX that Shirley and Jay purchased a home from the George H.W. Bush family. Their family home is now a historic site and restored to the condition in which they lived in it. Where ever they moved Shirley created community quickly. She was president of the geology wives club, a was a bluebird leader, and spearhead women’s clubs to create a sense of community and support for her family.
After moving to Shreveport, LA her husband became terminally ill. They relocated to New Orleans LA, and Lafayette, LA to seek treatment. He passed September 3rd 1966. Shirley returned to Shreveport as a widow and went on to become an entrepreneur. She opened “The Gift Shop” on Jewella in 1969 and in 1980, she moved her shop to Pierremont Commons and rebranded as “The Side Porch”. Shirley grew her business and ran her shop with multiple employees where she sold fine china, dinnerware, tableware, gourmet kitchen items as hospitality gifts and registry for brides to be.
Besides being a wife, mother, grandmother, and entrepreneur, she was a champion of women and was a fabulous friend. Shirley was very social and was an accomplished ballroom dancer, a competitive bridge player, and a skilled horseback trail rider.
All who met her knew that Shirley’s greatest joy in life were her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She was lovingly called Nana and was a mentor of spirit and grandmotherly figure to all she was close to and that crossed her path. Her best friend and figure of support was Mildred Walker; she remained close to the entire Walker family.
She also remained particularly close to her former son-in-law Thomas St. Paul Keaty II and was a figure of love and care to the entire Keaty family.
Her sense of mirth and love was so gentle and yet so powerfully moving that people felt from across the room and felt forever changed by her presence. Shirley will never be forgotten. She is a legend of love.
She is preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Armour James “Jay” Kerr. Her memory is survived by her children, Dr. Sherry Jan Kerr and Jay Dick Kerr and wife, Denise Kerr; grandchildren, Thomas St. Paul Keaty III, Dr. Emily Elizabeth Blair Kerr Keaty, Ashley Kerr Speckman and husband Tyler Christian Speckman and Jacob Tyler Kerr and wife, Dr. Katie Bourque Kerr, MD and great-grandchildren, Patrick Michael Kelly, Jr. and Callan Kerr Kelly.
The family would like to send a special thank you to the caregivers JoAnn Martin, Lorena Tejeda, Carolyn Boyce, Betty Robinson, Norma Rivera Solis, Marie Carmen Claramut, Blanca Garcia and Socorro Imelda Budde
The family is especially grateful to Thomas Alexander Giles; he is considered family and has been a source of support throughout her life.