Ned Joseph Kerr, a resident of Nampa since 1975, died at home with family and friends by his side on February 10, 2021. Ned was born on July 12, 1936 in Clinton, Iowa, the firstborn son of Leslie A. and June Romig Kerr. After several moves, his family settled in New Albany, Indiana where he grew up as an only child until he was joined by a sister, Margaret, when he was fourteen. Ned was a precocious child, full of stories, antics and adventures. He graduated from New Albany High School in 1954 and attended Indiana University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business in 1958. He met Lucy Anderson, the love of his life in New Albany in 1955 and they dated, mostly long distance, until they married on December 17, 1960 and remained devoted to each other until Lucy’s death in 2007.
While at Indiana University, Ned was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and participated in the Advanced ROTC program. He entered the Air Force in 1958 as a second lieutenant upon his graduation from college. While in the Air Force he continued his education, completing Squadron Officer School, Air Command & Staff College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and received his Master of Political Science degree from Auburn University in 1973.
Ned’s military career was one of the joys of his life. He thoroughly enjoyed his service to his country and the opportunity to learn new skills and embrace new challenges. He and Lucy formed many lifelong bonds and friendships through Ned’s 22 years in the military, many of which began when he was assigned to the 461st Bomb Wing in Amarillo, Texas in 1960.
He flew over 4,000 hours as a radar navigator in the B-52 aircraft with more than 100 combat missions over Vietnam. Additionally, he spent several years at Grissom AFB, Indiana as a radar navigator in the B-58 aircraft program until its end. During his military career, he was honored with many commendations and decorations including the Air Medal with 5 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross.
Ned became Commander of the Wilder Radar Bomb Scoring (RBS) site in 1975 where he and Lucy fell in love with Idaho and their life here. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel but chose to decline the promotion and retire in order to remain in Idaho. He retired from the Air Force in October 1979 as a lieutenant colonel.
He spent several years as the Business Manager at James Oldsmobile-GMC before he was appointed to the position of Canyon County Clerk. After his initial appointment to the position, he was elected to serve several more terms as Clerk. Ned relished his time in this role overseeing the county’s auditing, elections, recording, courts and welfare departments. He had great fondness and admiration for the employees of the county and spoke often of how fortunate he and the county were to have such dedicated and capable servants.
Throughout his life, Ned dedicated himself to service. He was devoted to Nampa and Canyon County and spent many hours serving his community in various volunteer positions. He was active in Rotary Club of Nampa and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was president of the Idaho Association of Counties and served on numerous state and local boards and committees dedicated to bettering his beloved communities of Nampa and Canyon County. He was a Nampa Chamber of Commerce board member from 1996-2000. He served on the Snake River Stampede Board of Directors from 1998-2006 and was honored to be the Snake River Stampede Parade Marshall in 2009. He served on the Mercy Medical Center Foundation Board for several years. He began a term on the board of Mercy Medical Center Board of Directors in 2001 and was president of the board when they became part of the Saint Alphonsus Health System, serving until 2010.
Ned enjoyed life and always had a ready smile and a story to tell. He loved his family, learning, laughter, and people. Until a knee injury sidelined him, he enjoyed walking and was an avid fan of college basketball and Boise State Broncos football. Ned and Lucy loved to travel, especially to Germany and wherever good beer was customary. Upon his retirement from the county in 1999, Ned and Lucy took many trips through Europe by train and later on river cruises. After Lucy’s death, Ned continued to travel, taking trips to Europe with each of his children, as well as trips with other friends and family. He particularly enjoyed a trip to Africa with the Onion Growers’ Association.
Ned was preceded in death by his wife, Lucy Anderson Kerr, and his parents Leslie A. Kerr and June Romig Kerr. He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer Kerr of Nampa, and his son, Andy Kerr of Girdwood, Alaska, sister Margaret Kerr Rice (Gabe), nieces Sarah Rice Habegger (Josh) and Lucie Rice Wulliman (Kurt), and two great nephews and a great niece. He is also survived by his Gourmet Club family and dear family friend Lauri Chavez.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Boys & Girls Club of Nampa, 316 Stampede Dr, Nampa, ID 83687 or the Warhawk Air Museum, 201 Municipal Dr, Nampa, ID 83687.
A celebration of Ned’s life will be held later in the summer when it is safer to gather.
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