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Dorothy Kerr


Dorothy May Bell Kerr, age 92, of Cambridge, MD, died surrounded by her family on Friday, March 4, 2011.

Born on August 30, 1918 in Baltimore, Maryland she was the daughter of the late Magdalena Catherine Wehrle Bell. Her biological father was the late Milton Gordon Bell, who left the family when she was only four years old. She was raised by her dear mother and her beloved German grandmother Magdalena Wehrle.

Dottie, as she was known, attended Western High School where she excelled in sports and was a prize English student.

After graduation from Strayer Business College, she worked for the Bell System presently known as AT&T. While working there she held various managerial positions. She was also very instrumental in organizing benefits for women employees.

In 1943 she married Joseph Cornelius Kerr, of Irvington, who had been a neighborhood friend for many years. Being an only child, Dottie was taken with his large Catholic family and their spirit. She converted into this Catholic religion with dreams of raising her children in the Catholic faith and having a large family of her own.

Their loving union gave them the large family she had wished. They had four children Michael Kerr of Wilmington, NC, Katherine Kerr of Cambridge, MD, Patrick Kerr and his wife Linda of Middle River, MD and Cookie Kerr deBettencourt of Timonium, MD. She is also survived by her cherished grandchildren and great-grandchildren Bruce McGonnigal and his wife Tina and their children Madison, Joseph, Henry Kerr and Georgina McGonnigal; Brett McGonnigal and his daughter Emma McGonnigal; Katherine Brigid Peterson and her husband Joseph and their children Brooks and Colin Peterson; Corbitt Kerr and his wife Liz and their son Joseph Kerr; Alexis Kerr Grumbine and her husband Lawson; Ashley Kerr and her fiance Eugene Miles; Brendan and Kevin deBettencourt.

The Kerr family moved to Cambridge in 1955 when Mr. Kerr was offered a position of managing two Eastern Shore dealerships in Cambridge and Salisbury. While being rooted in Cambridge, Dottie was very active in the lives of her children. She had been a 4H, Girl Scout, Brownie and Cub Scout leader. Dottie entertained friends of her children for many parties and always had a welcome home for them. She really enjoyed a house full of laughter and children.

Professionally, she helped to develop the United Way of Cambridge in 1959 where she held the position of Executive Secretary until 1974 when the family moved back to Baltimore. There Dottie worked as the Activities Director for Frederick Villa from 1974 until she retired in 1986. She was known throughout the community for aggressively sponsoring many activities and trips to stadiums and theatres for the patients. She worked with these venues to install wheelchair ramps and other access for seniors to enjoy what they otherwise would not have been able to. She was highly regarded and loved for her kind efforts for everyone, especially the elderly.

Mrs. Kerr returned to her home of Cambridge in 1999 where she chose to live out her life.

Her children were her passion, but she had a great love for the Choptank River and the Atlantic Ocean. She often spoke of summers during the war and the blackouts on the beach in Ocean City. She loved poetry and always read it to her children and grandchildren. She was an avid reader and loved listening to music. She was a romantic at heart and loved looking at the cloud formations and finding shapes to make real. She loved to say that she could see the woman in the moon as well as the man.

Dottie Bell Kerr left a legacy of gentleness, kindness and much love to those who were blessed to know her. She lived by the motto “It is better to give than to receive”. She was so very gracious to all.

Mrs. Kerr was cremated. Her Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 16th at St. Mary, Refuge of Sinners Catholic Church, Glasgow Street and Hambrooks Blvd., Cambridge. The family will receive friends a half hour prior to the Mass. Celebrant of the Mass will be The Rev. William J. Lawler, Rector. A brief reception will be held at the Minnette Dick Church Hall and inurnment will follow at 2:00 p.m. at the Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery, Hurlock, MD.

Memorial offerings may be made the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore, 801 N. Salisbury Blvd, Suite 202, Salisbury, MD 21801 or their website www.unitedway4us.org

Arrangements are entrusted to Curran-Bromwell Funeral Home, P.A., Cambridge, MD. To send online condolences, please visit www.curran-bromwell.com

Mass of Christian Burial

10:30 ,Wednesday, March 16, 2011
St. Mary Refuge of Sinners Catholic Church
1515 Glasgow Street Cambridge, MD 21613
Notes: Visitation half hour prior to Mass. Brief reception at Church Hall then inunment at 2 p.m. at Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery. Florists ~ please deliver floral tributes to funeral home on Tuesday or deliver to the church Wednesday morning by 9:30 a.m. It is encouranged by the family to have flowers consisting of the colors pink and white ~ Thank you.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy Kerr, please visit our flower store.


I am the granddaughter of Milton Gordan Bell of Maryland. If this is a relative please let me know.

Joan Bell Eure Jun 16 2012 12:00 AM

In the family's time of mourning I hope you will take comfort in that Jehovah God has made a wonderful promise for a resurrection into his Kingdom that is recorded at Revelation 21:3, " And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, ... With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: "Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away."

R.Cooper Apr 20 2011 12:00 AM

Sherry and I will always remember your mom for the sweet and beautiful lady she was. May she rest in peace and be remembered for the good she did on this earth. Love; Tony & Sherry

Tony & Sherry Johnson- Tamberino Mar 17 2011 12:00 AM

The entire Parsons' family, who were former neighbors in Cambridge, send their condolances. We have many fond memories from our childhood of times spent with members of the Kerr family. Christine

christine parsons fisher Mar 16 2011 12:00 AM

Brett we are so sorry for your loss. The wilhelmsen family

hans Wilhemsen Mar 16 2011 12:00 AM

I would like to express my condolences to Pat and the Family. I am a member of the class of 68 C.H.S.

Raymond E. Phillips Mar 10 2011 12:00 AM

I always loved being around Dot Kerr - she was a special part of my childhood and I always felt welcome in the wonderful Kerr home on Glenburn Ave.

Anne Harrington Mar 10 2011 12:00 AM

Dear Mike, Katie, Pat, and Cookie: Someone said that it's not death that brings us the greatest loss in life, but all that dies inside of us. As life goes on, we know that you will find ways to celebrate the memory of your mother. She would want every one of you to live every day to the fullest and continue her contagious love of life. May time speed your healing. With all our love, Kathy and Steve, Alexandria VA

Kathy and Steve, Alexandria VA Mar 9 2011 12:00 AM