Nellie Kerr, beloved mother, sister, teacher and friend, passed away peacefully in the early morning of June 23, 2017, at the venerable age of 98.
Nellie was born on June 19, 1919, in Bisbee, Arizona, and spent most of her adult life in Arizona and California. After losing her darling husband, Alex Kerr, she moved from Tujunga, California, to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2011 to live closer to her son and his wife.
Whether you were one of her former kindergarten students, a long-time friend, relative or a new acquaintance, Nellie had an impressive way of disarming everyone immediately with her arms wide open, a dazzling smile and sharp sense of humor. There wasn’t a name she forgot or birthday or anniversary she let pass without commemorating it with one of the hundreds of cards she sent each year to her loved ones. The value she placed on friendship was reflected in the phone calls she placed and hand-written notes she mailed; a chronic regret of hers was that she couldn’t have given more bear hugs in person.
Nellie was a respected elementary school teacher, talented artist and lover of dogs, music and dancing. Her mobility was limited in recent years although she didn’t let that put a damper on her social life. She was deeply appreciative of the time people took to spend with her. She cherished visitors, especially young ones, and was always up for a celebration. A few days before passing away, Nellie marked her 98th birthday surrounded by family and friends, clapping and dancing to a live mariachi band serenading her in the backyard.
In her spare time, Nellie was a resolute student of telenovelas, which she credited with helping keep her proficient in Spanish. She was also an avid newshound and a champion list maker.
As much as she loved angels, Nellie so sweetly illustrated what one really is. Her gentle presence cast a wide net on everyone she knew. The tremendous empathy she demonstrated towards others will leave an inedible mark on too many to count, but especially on her son, Carl Miranda, daughter-in-law, Brenda Burkholder, her sister, Edna Haugh, and brothers Alfred, George and John Smith.
A service remembering Nellie will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks for contributions in Nellie’s memory to Pathfinders, P.O. Box 11799, Aspen, Colorado, 81612.
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