Thoughts and Prayers go out to Family and Friends of this wonderful man, may God bless the family during this time… May his legacy live on.
The family will receive friends Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Smith Mortuary, 1402 Tuckaleechee Pike, Maryville, TN 37803. The funeral service for J.T. Kerr will be held on Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. at Smith Mortuary.
J. T. Kerr, age 81, of Rockford passed away Sunday, October 23, 2011 at Blount Memorial Hospital. J.T. – as he was known to his family and friends – lived a full and productive life devoted to his family and his passion for automobiles. He was a real entrepreneur who always saw challenges as opportunities. After serving in the US Navy for 7 years he drove a truck for a local dairy and later worked as a machinist at Rockford Manufacturing plant. He also worked part-time as a mechanic. His mechanic work was so rewarding that he bought some land in 1964 and opened an auto salvage business called Kerr Auto Parts. His entire family worked in the business. Many of his customers were local stock car racers, and J.T. became actively involved in racing. He changed his business to J T Kerr Racing Equipment which soon became the largest business of this type in the region. He was very successful both in the racing business and as a driver winning numerous races and track championships. He was the 1969 Nascar Whelen All American Series State Champion and in 1993 he was the runner-up in the Nascar Mid-America Point Series. He drove the #40 car and was always a track favorite. J. T. inspired many new racers and helped them start their careers – including his grandson Tommy, who is still racing. J. T. lived by the motto “be good to the sport and the sport will be good to you.” In 1992 he was inducted into the Atomic Speedway Hall of Fame, and in 2010 J.T. was inducted into the 411 Speedway Hall of Legends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Imogene Murr Kerr and his son, Tommy “Big Un” Kerr. Survivors include granddaughter, Lacretia Kerr Holbert and husband, Travis of Rockford; grandson, Tommy Kerr and wife, Kelly of Maryville; son, Roger Kerr and wife, Mickie of Rockford; daughter, Cynthia Kerr of Maryville; grandson, Ritchie Kerr of Rockford; great grandchildren, Hunter, Justin, Katie, Jakob, Logan and Kaylee; brothers, Howard Kerr and William Kerr both of Maryville; caregivers, Reba Kerr and Melissa Click. Family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at Smith Funeral & Cremation Service in Maryville. Funeral service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Smith Trinity Chapel with Rev. Barry Woods and Rev. Fred Murr officiating, eulogy by Howard Kerr and special reading by Tommy Kerr. A private family interment will be held. Memorial donations may be made to the Blount County Boys and Girls Club, 241 Currie Road, Maryville, TN 37804. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000.
Memorials: Memorial donations may be made to the Blount County Boys and Girls Club, 241 Currie Road, Maryville, TN 37804.