Barbara Kerr

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CLINTON — Barbara Patterson Lytch Kerr, 94, passed away on Sept. 29, 2017 at her home in Clinton.

Born in Laurinburg on December 18, 1922, Barbara was the daughter of the late Edmund Shaw and Barbara Patterson Lytch. She graduated from Flora MacDonald College in Red Springs as an organ major and student of Dr. Charles Vardell. She received her master's degree in organ performance from Union Seminary in New York City as a student of Dr. Clarence Dickinson.

In 1945 she married Rev. D. Burke Kerr, a Sampson County native, and they began their minister/organist partnership.

They served churches in Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, Washington, Savannah, Ga., Kinston, Grifton, and West End. After Burke's retirement, Barbara served Warsaw Presbyterian Church for many years, retiring only after macular degeneration robbed her of her eyesight.

She joined a group in Clinton at the Bellamy Center called the 76ers, and accompanied them by ear while Burke played the drums. In the early 2000's she competed in the Senior Mrs. North Carolina Pageant in Pinehurst — the oldest competitor — playing "The Impossible Dream" for her talent selection.

Through the Bellamy Center she became interested in the Senior Games, competing in the silver arts competition and swimming. She competed at the regional, state and national levels, attending the Senior Games in Palo Alto, Calif. in 2009 winning silver and gold medals, and Houston, Texas in 2011.

In 2011, Burke passed away at age 89, after 65 years of marriage.

Despite her blindness, Barbara lived by herself for 18 months. In 2012, Barbara was able to attend her 70th reunion at St. Andrews University — the oldest alumnus to attend — and to tour the campus of Flora MacDonald, which is now a day school.

Barbara is survived by son, John Kerr and wife Colleen Liggett of Springwater, N.Y.; daughter, Pat Kerr Rowlett and husband Pete of New Bern; son, Ed Kerr and wife Carey, and grandchildren, Cameron and Natalie of Bremerton, Washington; as well as several nieces and nephews, and her special caregivers: Deborah Hunt, Vernell Worriax, and Ethel Newkirk.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12 at Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church officiated by Rev. Earl Vaughan and Rev. Elizabeth Forester.

The family will receive friends after the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church, 201 Fayetteville Street, Clinton NC 28328.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

Royal-Hall is honored to serve the Kerr Family.

Funeral Home
Royal Hall Funeral Home
301 McKoy St.
Clinton, NC 28328
(910) 592-4127
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Published in Laurinburg Exchange from Oct. 6 to Oct. 7, 2017