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Posted on 06.24.2014 3:21 p.m.

H.S. ‘J.R.’ Kerr of Santa Maria, 1925-2014

Source: Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary

H.S. Kerr, also known as J.R., passed away June 20, 2014.

H.S. Kerr
H.S. Kerr

H.S. was born June 9, 1925, in the old Mobeetie, Texas, jailhouse building to parents Anna Eubanks and Henry Kerr. He was the eldest of eight children — six boys and two girls.

In 1935, during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, his parents decided to move to Compton, Calif. J.R. found work on a milk truck at age 11. He worked at various jobs while attending Willowbrook High.

During World War II, J.R. served in the Merchant Marines and Navy. Most of his career was spent driving a truck for companies including his dad's and his own. He drove the longest time for, and retired with, L.R. Denney Trucking and Conoco.

J.R. was married in 1943 to Betty Jo Carrell. They were married for 28 years and had daughters Carolyn and Terri. By the late 1970s, he had moved to Santa Maria. He married Arlene Hixon on Feb. 19, 1983.

J.R. was a longtime member of the Elk's and Grace Baptist Church. He was an avid car collector of both real and model cars. He was an extremely devoted husband and son, taking excellent care of his mother in her later years. He was a caring father, grandfather, brother and uncle. He will be missed greatly by his family and friends.

J.R. is survived by his wife of 31 years, Arlene; his two daughters, Carolyn Schroeder (Dennis) and Terri Hensperger (Dick); stepchildren Steve Prow (Kim), John Prow (Susan), Sue Hooley (Gary), Mike Prow (Mary) and Sharon Ryle (Mark); 18 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Arlene Bazan, and brothers Elvin and Roger Kerr, as well as many special family members. J.R. was preceded in death by his father, Henry Kerr; his mother, Anna Kerr-Wester, one of Santa Maria's oldest citizens when she passed away in 2012 at age 106; his brothers Richard, Gary and Chuck Kerr; and sister Cheryl Whatley.

The service to celebrate his life will take place at Grace Baptist Church at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 1. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in J.R.’s name to the Grace Baptist Church, 605 E. McCoy Lane, Santa Maria, CA 93455.

Click here to leave a condolence for the family. Arrangements entrusted to Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary.


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