James Edward Kerr, born April 1, 1936, transitioned on November 20 to a place where he many times referred to as "a pure energy filled with unconditional love."
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lee Kerr and Merina Paulsen Kerr, of Sterling/Rock Falls, Ill.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Stephanie Carlson Kerr of Eureka Springs, son Zachary Ian Kerr of Louisville, Ky., and his "significant other" Summer Whalen and her family of Lexington, Ky.; a dear first cousin Jeannine Gerundo of Los Angeles, Calif.; his beloved cat "Mr. Tigger" who never left his side; and many lifelong friends and colleagues.
Jim graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English, and a Master of Fine Arts at the prestigious University of Iowa Writer's Workshop in Iowa City.
Jim was a very special, unique and creative man who encompassed many talents as an actor, comic, chef, radio personality, creative and professional writer, welcoming innkeeper and business owner of Hidden Springs Bed and Breakfast/Cottages in Eureka Springs.
He was a college professor for 30 years at the Dallas County Community College District in Dallas, Texas, and most recently, at the University of Phoenix in Rogers, Ark., where he continued his love of teaching and nurturing his students.
In death, he was still giving to others as an organ donor, and will help 40 people with his last gift. His son, Zachary, summed up Jim's life in one beautiful statement: "My father, James Edward Kerr, passed away this morning. He was an excellent man who spent his entire life working to better the lives of those around him. I only hope I can live up to the standard he set for himself, and be half the man he was."
Go toward your pure energy, Jim. You have lived a life of service and the lessons you taught will continue on through the many lives you have touched.
A memorial service in celebration of Jim's life will be held at Richland College in Dallas after the first of the year.