Ford - Ustick Funeral Home
(Died August 12, 2012)
Mavis Louise (Wilder) Kerr was born February 20, 1914 to Sylvia Olive (Bacon) Wilder and Guy Elmo Wilder in Rocky Ford, Colorado.
She became a member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1922 and remained a valuable, active member there, serving in all areas of the church. She sang in the choir, held many local and state offices,served on many church boards, taught Sunday School, was a member in CWF, and was happily involved in countless church activities.
In 1931, she met her first love, Charlie Weatherford, married, moved to Montana and had one child, Barbara Lee Weatherford born August 5th, 1933. Mavis was sadly widowed a few days after Barbara's birth, requiring a return to her family in La Junta to help start Wilder's Market with her father.
In 1934, George Bryce Kerr married Mavis and the Kerr clan began. Their children are G Bryce, Guy Maxwell, Franklin James, and Casey J. Her husband George, also active in the church and Oddfellows, was a farmer, a baker, and a Crystal Sugar factory foreman. He passed away in December 1977.
Mavis was a proud Colorado native, a Republican and a busy homemaker. She nursed many family members though her caring touch and hard work. She was a very good cook who would make fine fried chicken from scratch starting with the live chicken. She canned her garden's fruit and vegetables and knew how to stretch every dollar. Her angel food cake was a birthday staple and she is known for making the best homemade ice cream in the world. She was a talented seamstress who also crocheted beautiful baby blankets and booties. She loved crossword puzzles, reading everything she could put her hands on, dabbled in painting and loved playing cards with friends and family. She was ready for a car trip at a moment's notice and enjoyed having folks drop in anytime, day or night. The coffee was always perking on the stove. She walked for health, danced for fun and went to water aerobics classes because she could. She was a member of the Rebekkah Lodge, a leader and lifetime member of Weight Watcher's, a 4-H leader,taught several home management classes for Home Demonstation Extension program and volunteered as an East Elementary kindergarten teacher's aide.
Mavis became quite a daredevil in her latter years taking a long-awaited balloon ride, jumping on the back of a Harley for a spin and seeing the Arkansas Valley from a helicopter. Mavis lived in Rocky Ford most of her married life, moved to La Junta's Santa Fe Village and then to the AVRMC Nursing Care Center where she enjoyed acting as a resident advisor. While there, she made many friends of both residents and staff. This nonagenerian gave comfort to those who needed a kind word or gentle touch.
In 2008, Mavis was crowned the Arkanas Valley Fair Silver Queen and was a runner-up in the Colorado state pageant for her many contributions including crocheting blankets for Operation Smile. She had a quick wit, good sense of humor and she knew the value of a smile. She made the best of every situation and enriched the lives of everyone she met. Her strong faith directed her life and her service to God was shown in all she did.
She passed away surrounded by the love of her family and caring staff. She was 98 years young. Those preceding her in death are her parents; first husband; her husband George; a brother, Lee B. Wilder, and three sisters~infant Verna Wilder, Mary Wilder Hostetter and Alice Wilder Wade.
Mavis is survived by 5 children, 12 grandchildren,23 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren with numerous nieces and nephews: Survivors are: daughter, Barbara Lee (Weatherford) Grooms,nee Kerr, La Junta; son, George Bryce Kerr, Denver; son, Guy (Sandy) Kerr, Mission, Texas; son, Frank (Marlene) Kerr, Omaha, Nebraska; son, Casey (Loretta) Kerr, Golden; granddaughter, Christine Grooms Benscheidt, La Junta; granddaughter, Leann Grooms (Steve) Busch, Broomfield; granddaughter, Vicki Kerr (Steve Ramsey) , Denver; grandson, Rick (Kara) Kerr, Denver; grandson, Jim (Jennifer) Kerr, Greeley; grandson Kirby (Carolyn) Kerr, Greeley; grandson Kevin (Renae) Kerr, Mandan, North Dakota; granddaughter Kay (Doug) Newmann, Overland Park,KS; grandson Dennis (Naoko) Kerr, Omaha, Nebraska; grandson Scott (Suzanne) Kerr, Omaha, Nebraska; grandson Stefan (Heather) Kerr, Wheatridge; granddaughter Leah (Jon) Stockham, Golden;
A memorial service will be held Saturday August 25, 2012 at 10 a.m. at the Valley View Cemetery with a reception following at The First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 400 South 9th Street, Rocky Ford.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to: *Rocky Ford First Christian Church(Disciples of Christ) *AVRMC Nursing Care Center Activities *Arkansas Valley Community Concert Association or to a charity of choice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Ford-Ustick Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to www.fordustick.com.