Obituary of Dennis John Kerr
Dennis John (DJ) Kerr, 87—beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and friend—passed away peacefully at his home in Pensacola, Florida, on October 20, 2023. Born in Hibbing, Minnesota, DJ lived a life of service to family, friends, and country. DJ’s service to his country began in 1954, when he enlisted as a private in the Minnesota Army National Guard and culminated with his retirement 27 years later from the U.S. Army as a First Sergeant in Company A, 2/8 Cavalry. DJ did two tours of duty in Vietnam as well as serving in Korea, Germany, and numerous locations across the U.S. His tours of duty included the 1st, 7th, 8th, and 47th (NG) Infantry Divisions, 3rd Armored Division, and 1st and 2nd Cavalry Divisions. DJ’s commendations include the Combat Infantry Badge, Legion of Merit, and Bronze Star (M), among many others.
Following his retirement from the U.S. Army, DJ worked as an instructor and training developer for General Dynamics Land Systems. He was the project lead for the M1A2 Main Battle Tank training program and the lead for the integrated logistics training program, collaborating with Hyundai Precision Industries during the development of the K1 tank. DJ attended Hibbing Community College, Winona State College, and Central Texas College. He was an Honor Graduate of Army Recruiting School and a graduate of the M-60 Master Gunnery course.
After DJ retired from General Dynamics in 1995, he and his wife, Katherine Kitty (Kuoppala) Kerr, moved to Pensacola, Florida, and he continued to serve his country and community for the next 27 years as a volunteer for the Retired Activities Office on Naval Air Station Pensacola. He also volunteered at the USO from 2005 to 2023, donating over 4,140 hours in support of U.S. Service Members and their families. In his spare time, DJ traveled with Kitty in their motorhome to visit family and friends, read voraciously, and met his many friends for coffee and conversation. “Tank Driver” Kerr golfed with the Wild Bunch for 20 years, always sharing a cart with his best friend and golfing partner of almost 30 years, Hank Mercado. DJ exemplified kindness, generosity of spirit, decency, humility, and humor in every aspect of his life. He never met a stranger and never hesitated to lend a hand to those in need. The world has lost a truly good man. Rock Steady.
DJ is preceded in death by his wife, Kitty, and parents, John (Brud) Kerr and Jeanne Kerr. He is survived by his son, Michael Kerr (Belinda); daughters Kathleen Kerr, Kristine Webber (Rob), Linda Rock (Trent), and Cheryl Kerr-Volz; grandchildren Raymond Bryson (Meghan), Christopher Bryson, Chad Prater, Jared Webber (Emma), Sean Webber, Taylor Rock, Jordan Rock, Tyler Volz, and Briar Volz; great-grandchildren Oliver Bryson and Jasper Bryson; and brothers Martin (Judy) and Michael.
At DJ’s request, the family has designated Disabled Veterans of America and the USO for memorial contributions in lieu of flowers.
A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 with visitation at 11:00 AM and service at 12:00 PM at Family-Funeral & Cremation, 5627 N. Davis Highway, Pensacola, FL 32503 followed by graveside at Barrancas National Cemetery.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dennis Kerr, please visit Tribute Store