Jim was born November 15, 1951 in Carbondale, Illinois. He was the son of Harry Milton & Joan (Crawford) Kerr.
Jim was united in marriage to Peggy Lapsley on July 26, 1971 in Carterville. To this union 3 children were born. Peggy passed away on November 1, 1980. He was later united in marriage to Bonnie (nee Laws) Foster on February 13, 1999 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. She survives.
Jim is also survived by: his children – Melanie (John) Jones of Tunnel Hill, Angela (Brent) Jones of Buncombe, and Derek (Erin) Kerr of Buncombe; a stepdaughter – Shayne Bundren of Vienna; 6 grandchildren – Assiah Mercer, Henry Bundren, Cassandra Jones, Alyssa Jones, Clayton Jones, and Tristan Kerr; 2 sisters – Kathryn Kerr of Bloomington and Marie Kerr (Joseph) Emery of Gainesville, GA; 3 nieces – Margaret Kerr Emery (Aaron) Trimble, Nancy Kerr (Kyle) Sessions, and Sarah Palmer; an uncle – Doyle Kerr of Wood River, IL, as well as a host of other extended family members, including special cousins – Gus, Joe, Ron, Mike, Jack, & Kevin. Jim never met a stranger and was a dear friend and neighbor to many. He also leaves his beloved canine hunting companion, Josie.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents.
In his youth, Jim was an outstanding athlete. He excelled in basketball, baseball, and track during his school years at the Buncombe Grade School and later at the Vienna High School, where he graduated in 1969. He attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and earned an Associate Degree in Forestry from Shawnee Community College at Ullin. Jim was employed for 30 years by the U.S. Postal Service, serving as a rural carrier. He retired in 2010. He was a member of the Illinois Rural Letter Carriers Association.
Jim had a love of the land and was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting, particularly coon hunting, as well as turkey and pheasant hunting, with his hunting buddies Joe Kerr, Joe Spurlock and John White. Jim also enjoyed fishing, gardening and raising cattle. He was happiest working on his farm, alongside his loving wife Bonnie. Jim had also worked for Mount Farm and High Meadow Farm operations. Jim was a member of the Union County Coon Club and was a proud life member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Jim had coached his son Derek’s youth khoury league team and encouraged his daughters Melanie and Angela in their school sports activities and cheerleading. Jim was a faithful and devoted Christian and was an active member of the Vienna First Baptist Church, where he served currently as a trustee, church van driver, choir member and food pantry volunteer. He had previously served as a Royal Ambassador’s (R.A.) leader.
Funeral services will be conducted Monday morning, May 26, 2014, at 11 AM at the Vienna First Baptist Church. Dr. Ed Hollis will officiate. Burial will be in the Mt. Zion Cemetery, east of Buncombe.
Visitation will be conducted Sunday evening, May 25, from 6 PM – 9 PM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna and Monday morning, May 26, from 10 AM – 11 AM at the church.
Memorials may be made to the Vienna First Baptist Church (for either the Phase II building project or the food pantry program), PO Box 727, Vienna, IL 62995, the Heather Harper Treat Memorial Fund, PO Box 98, Vienna, IL 62995, the Mt. Zion Cemetery fund, c/o Owen Lee Webb, 2190 Mt. Zion Road, Vienna, IL 62995 or to the charity of the donor’s choice.
To share a memory of Jim or to leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit www.baileyfh.com