Catherine J. Kerr
Longtime Lake Oswego and West Linn resident Catherine Joan (Wollett) Kerr passed away May 11, 2019. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. June 8 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake Oswego. A funeral mass will be followed by a reception lunch in the church hall. Catherine "Kay" was born Jan. 2, 1925 in Portland, Ore. to Frank Cepulo Wollett and Matia (Marzic) Wollett, immigrants from Croatia. For her first six years they lived in a logging camp in Cathlamet, Wash., where her father built logging railroads. Kay graduated from Grout Elementary and Franklin High School in Portland and attended Oregon State University. She served our country in the Portland shipyards in the ranks of the "Rosie the Riveters" during World War II alongside the rest of the greatest generation. For 30 years she was a medical secretary with the Veterans Administration in Portland while taking time off to have her five children, Bruce (Renee), Barbara (Gary), Bryan (Katherine), Bradley, and Brent (Shanna). While working at the VA Mental Hygiene Clinic, she was twice awarded commendations for handling dangerous situations with patients - once for disarming a patient who brought a gun to the clinic to kill his doctor. Catherine was preceded in death by her husband, Jean Milton Kerr, who passed away Jan. 6, 2019. Kay was widowed early in life after losing her first husband, Ernest "Lucky" Williams, who blessed her with
her first born, Bruce. Catherine is survived by her children, the "five Bs" (Bruce, Barbara, Bryan, Bradley and Brent); grandchildren Sean, Tim, Erik, Gavin, Matia, Turner, Nellie, Eli, Halle and Karson; and eight great-grandchildren, Matt, Rachel, Amanda, Natalie, Dylan, Skylar, Aven, and Mara; her sister, Frances Crouse, and numerous nieces and nephews. The majority of Kay's life was enjoyed in the woods on her land at the end of Fairview Way in West Linn that has since become Robinwood Park. One of our annual rituals was to see who could find the very first blooming of the hundreds of trilliums to bring to Mom. She loved her flower and vegetable gardens, the fruit orchard, and peacefulness of the woods. She was the Den Mother to her Cub Scouts and her Camp Fire Bluebirds, drove the "taxi" to every practice, brought refreshments to all the ball games, and was always a spirited cheer leader. She was renowned for her ability to can and preserve "industrial-size" lots of homegrown food. Upon retirement from the VA, Kay co-founded the West Linn Senior Center with her friend Jean Green. She loved to travel, even if it was someplace new just around the corner; camping at her favorite beach at Neskowin, Ore., or far off in China or Croatia. She was active with the Lake Oswego Neighborhood Action Coalition and Lake Oswego and West Linn garden clubs, secretary of the computer group at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, treasurer for the Northwest Scots Guards, and active with the Hollywood Senior Center in Portland. For a number of years, she wrote a column in the Lake O s w e g o Review and West Linn Tidings to keep the senior citizen community up to date with events. Because of her wonderful energy, the word retirement always carried more than a bit of irony. Catherine inspired so many with her can-do interminable spirit and love of living. She was very giving of herself and continues to inspire her loved ones to help others. Catherine inspired people innately, by simply being her spirited giving self. She was engaged and physically active right to her last day.
Her favorite color was purple. Loved ones are encouraged to bring a bit of purple with them to her memorial. It could be a single flower from your garden along with your favorites or simply wear a bit of purple to honor Catherine. For those wishing to donate instead of flowers, the family suggests donations to Catholic Charities or West Linn, Lake Oswego or Hollywood senior centers. Friends who love flowers can also get involved in a memorial wildflower garden for Kay to be created at the home place that is now Robinwood Park in West Linn. Visit www.AquaHabitat.com/Mom for details. Links for donations: https://www.classy.org/give/232764/#!/donation/checkout https://www.myowngiving.com/QuickGive.aspx http://lakeoswegomealsonwheels.org/donate/memorial/ https://www.mightycause.com/donate/Hollywood-Senior-Center