Mrs. Julia Jones Kerr, of Waltham, died Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at Lahey Clinic in Burlington. She was 85. Julia was born in Charleston, West Virginia on October 27, 1928, a daughter of the late Joseph R. and Lucy (Cash) Jones. After her mother's death her father married MaeBelle (Arrington) Jones who helped to raise her and her brother, the late Joseph R. Jones, Jr. She was raised in Charleston where she graduated from Garnet High School. After that she earned her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia State College in Institute, WV. It was at West Virginia State that Julia met her future husband, Chicago native Otho E. Kerr, Jr. After graduation the couple married and lived for a time in Chicago where Otho did post graduate studies at Northwestern University and later moved to Massachusetts where those studies were continued at MIT. They moved to Waltham in 1956 where they settled and raised their family. Otho and Julia were married sixty-one years until Otho's death on November 7, 2011. After the move to Waltham, Julia became deeply involved with the community. During the 1950's she and her husband were active with the Fair Housing movement. She was formerly a member of First Baptist Church in Waltham and was a member of Christ Church Episcopal for more than thirty years. Professionally Julia was a well-known and much loved biology teacher at Waltham High School. Before that she taught science classes at North Junior High School and at the Whittemore Elementary School. A former Waltham High School Teacher of the Year, Julia was the embodiment of the old adage: A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others. During her teaching career Julia did continuing education in biological studies at Brandeis University and at Tufts University. She was a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Jack and Jill of America, Inc. During her kids growing years she found time to be a Cub Scout leader and had been a longtime member of the Plympton School PTA. She also belonged to the Waltham College Club, the Piety Corner Club, the Waltham Historical Commission and the Massachusetts Audubon Society. At home Julia loved her garden and birding. A lifelong learner, she also developed a talent for photography, knitting and water-color painting. She was also an avid bridge player. She leaves her children, Mary E. Kerr of Waltham, Otho E. Kerr, III and Gregory E. Kerr, both of New York City. A Funeral Service was held on Friday, March 7th, in Christ Church, 750 Main Street in Waltham. The Rev. Sara H. Irwin officiated. Burial followed in Newton Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Christ Church, 750 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451 or to the Julia J. Kerr Scholarship Fund, c/o Gregory DeMeo, Waltham High School, 617 Lexington Street, Waltham, MA 02452. To offer condolences online, please visit www.joycefuneralhome.com
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Joyce Funeral Home
245 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02453
Published in Waltham News Tribune from Mar. 13 to Mar. 20, 2014