Earl Kerr Jr

Earl L. (Leroy) Kerr, Jr., passed away on February 27, 2024, at University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City, with his son, Jeffrey S. Kerr, by his side. He was born June 22, 1934, to parents Earl L. Kerr, Sr. and Alma Kerr (Anderson) in Mt. Pleasant, IA. 

Earl was preceded in death by his son, Tony Lynn Kerr, in 1960; his wife, Rita Mae Kerr (Lane), in 2009; his son, Dannie Jon Kerr, in 2019; and his dog, Heidi, in 2021. He is survived by his son, Jeff, and daughter-in-law, Lisa Kerr, of Selbyville, DE, and his granddaughter, Tamra Janell (T.J.) Chambers (Kerr) of Mountain Home, AR.

While attending Mt. Pleasant High School, Earl was a fixture in the Choir, known for his good singing voice and ability to “really cut a rug” on the dance floor. He was also a skilled boxer, winning the 1951 state championship. After graduation, Earl enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served on the front lines of the Korean War as a radio operator with the 5th Air Force’s 8th Bomber and Fighter Group. Following the war, he was stationed at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, IL. While there, he met and married his beloved Rita. They were married for 51 years.

After the Air Force, Earl worked his entire career for the Department of the Army, Logistics and Supply Command, including on the Patriot Missile Program. Earl shared his love of sports and fierce competitiveness with his sons, coaching many of their childhood teams and never missing a football, basketball, or baseball game. Earl and Rita raised their sons in St. Louis, MO, from 1967 to 1977, then in suburban Washington, DC, from 1977 to 1982, before returning to St. Louis until his retirement in 1989.

He and Rita then built their dream home in Danville, IL. They were longtime members of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, where Earl was a Eucharistic Minister and a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus. Earl was a Mason and a Shriner, devoting several years to transporting sick children and their families to Shriner’s Hospital for care. Earl and Rita were longtime members of the Danville Boat Club, where their swing dancing skills were on display at every event. Earl was an avid golfer playing with Jeff and in his regular foursome long into retirement. Earl was devoted to Rita, caring for her throughout her cancer battles.

In 2010, Earl reconnected with his dear friend from high school, Marilyn Alter, and in 2015, he returned to live near her in Mt. Pleasant, where he was lovingly accepted into her family. Shortly after moving to Mt. Pleasant, Earl adopted his beloved dog, Heidi, who was his constant companion. Earl was a member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and most recently resided at Addington Place, where he was known for his smile and witty comments.

Visitation will be from 1-2 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 1303 N. Walnut St., Danville, IL 61832, followed by a funeral mass at 2 p.m. He will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at Sunset Memorial Park. Arrangements were entrusted to Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 3940 N Vermilion St., Danville, IL, 61834. Please join us in remembering Earl’s life by posting photos, memories, and videos to his tribute wall at sunsetfuneralhome.com.

A celebration of Earl’s life will also be held from 4-5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 18, at Kimzey Funeral Home, 213 N. Main St., Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Earl’s name can be made to Disabled American Veterans, https://www.dav.org/ P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301, or St. Paul’s Catholic Church https://www.stpauldanville.org/ 1303 N. Walnut St., Danville, IL 61832.