Kerry Lou Ketchum King, aka Mama Bear, Ms. King, Mom, Big Blonde Tiger, Helga, and Speak No Evil, shuffled off this mortal coil June 17 at 4:20 a.m. in her sleep. One can only assume late-night TV literally bored her to death. Her soul is free of her cancer-wrecked body and is currently gallivanting about the universe, or the beach, where she was happiest. The rest of the world has suffered a loss but Jackie Ward has gained a partner in crime in the afterlife.
She came into the world on June 28, 1954, the daughter of former Burlington mayor Kenneth Lynn Ketchum and Gloria Joosten Ketchum, both deceased.
A graduate of UNCG and an employee of ABSS schools, her love was education and her home was at Eastern Alamance. For over 20 years, whether it was teaching in B2, or A6, her great joy came from impacting the lives of students who needed someone to stand in their corner and whisper, "you can do this" when others told them otherwise. Operation Eaglehook, a service learning literary program, was the first of its kind in Alamance County. It was made possible with her determination and the steadfast belief of Marie Alston that a little love goes a long ways and can impact generations.
She was the Lorelai Gilmore to her daughter's Rory and the two had the inseparable bond only a single parent/only child team can have. The support she had for her students is second only to the love, support and devotion she showed as a mom. Her daughter wishes to express her condolences to everyone who didn't have a mom as staggeringly stupendous as hers. Really, you missed out.
She is survived by a daughter, Kyle Lauren King of Burlington, Warren Jennings Berry, her significant other of 10 years, one slightly brain-addled Chocolate Lab, Hershey, countless brilliant friends and two Jeep Grand Cherokees that will most likely survive the nuclear holocaust along with cockroaches and Keith Richards.
A celebration of a life well-lived and hefting a defiant middle finger to a cancer that insists on trying to steal joy will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 21, at Lowe Funeral Home in Burlington. A colorful dress code would be appreciated as black was not her color.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the NC Lab Rescue http://labrescuenc.org or the Katie Moore Foundation for families impacted by rare cancers http://www.katiemoore.org
You may sign the online register book at www.lowefuneralhome.com
Published in TheTimesNews.com from June 18 to June 19, 2014
Lowe Funeral Home & Crematory
2205 South Church Street Burlington, NC 27215