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1929 - 2016
March 27, 1929 - February 8, 2016. Betty Lou, age 86, died peacefully at home after a five year bout with Alzheimer's. She was born in Pittsburgh PA, the first of two daughters to Mary (Briggs) and B. Louis Kerr. Betty Lou displayed many talents and pursued many interests. As a child, first it was tap dancing and piano playing, then majorettes in Jr. H.S. At Taylor Allderdice H.S., it was modern dance club and bass viol, not only in her orchestra there, but she was also chosen to play in the All City and All County orchestras and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony. At her high school Commencement, where she graduated with Honor, she played an organ solo, accompanied by the orchestra. But it was the drug store business that beckoned her, from an early age. Her dad, in the wholesale drug business, earned extra money during the Great Depression years of the 1930s by performing annual inventories of independently owned drug stores. From age eight, Betty Lou assisted him by operating a desk calculator. At age 13 she started working as a clerk in drug stores. She attended the Duquesne Univ. School of Pharmacy where she was elected to the Rho Chi National Honorary Pharmaceutical Society and to "Who's Who Among American College Students." She was also a member of Lambda Kappa Sigma pharmacy sorority and Sigma Lambda Phi social sorority. During her senior year there she married David Robertson, a Navy fighter/attack pilot who had just been released from active duty to resume his college studies. They had first met in their H.S. orchestra where they both played bass viol. Graduating in 1950, she started her profession as a registered pharmacist in Pittsburgh, and continued it in other states when her husband returned to active duty. When Dave brought home exotic fabrics from a deployment, such as Japanese silk brocade, Betty Lou would create and model glamorous dresses. With four sons she was actively involved in community activities. In Little League she was a team mother, president of the ladies auxiliary and member of the executive board. In Boy Scouts she was a den mother, merit badge counselor, member of district and council committees, PTA president (sponsoring a pack and troop) and scouting liaison for a council of PTA presidents. She enjoyed family activities with her sons, from water skiing on Lake Powell to backpacking in Sierra Wilderness areas. Betty Lou completed more than 25 seminars in advanced ceramics, and many of her ceramic art objects are displayed in her home. She gave others to her children and grandchildren and she also made many clothes and quilts for them. She was a member and supporter of the San Diego Zoological Society and ensured that all of her sons and grandchildren had children's membership there. She enjoyed playing Bridge, and played in four different Bridge groups. She was a longtime member of St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in La Jolla and taught Jr. High Sunday School there for five years. Since they first met, Betty Lou and Dave had a common interest in classical music and attended many symphonies, ballets and concerts. They also enjoyed several cruises, from the Yangtze River in China to islands of the Caribbean to ports of Scandinavian countries. Betty Lou is survived by her husband of 66 years, Dave; by sons, David, Jr., Keith and Todd; her sister, Joanne Lane; daughters-in-law, Barbara, Suzanne and Lisa; and grandchildren, Sean, Tarolyn, Ryan, Carly, Traci, Victoria and Nicholas. Her other son, Scott, predeceased her last year. Her Service and reception were March 12, 2016, at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, La Jolla. Inurnment will be later in Miramar National Cemetery.
Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Apr. 3, 2016
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