Cover photo for James M. Kerr's Obituary
James M. Kerr Profile Photo

James M. Kerr

May 26, 1938 — August 16, 2022


James M. Kerr

James M. Kerr, 84, of Southington, passed away on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. Jim was born in Lewiston, Maine on May 22, 1938, eldest of four brothers, to the late Robert Spencer and Dorothy (Holmes) Kerr. In addition to his parents, Jim was predeceased by his youngest brother, Sidney Louis Kerr.

Jim had a fascination for machinery and hard work. He grew up in Buckfield, Maine and later graduated from Wilmington High School (Mass.) in 1956 and attended Northeastern University, majoring in engineering.  Jim apprenticed at Pratt & Whitney Precision Machine Tools and was later employed by W.E. Shipley, the Robert E. Morris Co., P.D. Browne Co., and Moore Tool Co. He loved the machine tool business and worked until his mid-70's, traveling extensively throughout his career, including the U.S., Europe and China. 

Jim lived life to the fullest, engaging in skeet & trap shooting, cycling, cross-country skiing, curling, kayaking and sailing. He also loved automobiles and owned many sports cars in his youth. Jim was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (Mass.) and served honorably in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. 

Jim married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Ann (Odiorne) in 1962, and raised his two children, Stuart (Donna) & Sue Ellen (Jim Seigle) in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Upstate New York, Texas and Connecticut. He moved his family for better economic opportunity and for adventure. Jim and Barbara spent their pre-retirement years in New Haven and retirement in Eastern North Carolina. They cherished many friendships that lasted a lifetime. Jim's primary mission in life was to make Barbara laugh, every day, with his quick wit and dry sense of humor. Jim and Barbara walked through life together, side by side, never divided. Jim was extremely proud of his brothers, John (Jeanne), Bob and Sidney and their families, as well as Barbara's extended family. He leaves many nieces and nephews and their children. In addition to his family, Jim loved excelling at anything he attempted.

He was driven to succeed and to provide for his family. His motto was to work hard and play hard. Jim will be remembered at the helm of his sailboat with the wind blowing across the bow, and the yacht heeled over a bit too far -- with a big grin on his face -- embracing the thrill of life. 

Jim's family would like to thank all who provided care for him at home from Visiting Angels, Newington, CT and in his final months at LiveWell, Southington, CT. Donations in honor of Jim’s memory may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

A private interment will be held in Rye Central Cemetery, Rye, New Hampshire. Plantsville Funeral Home has been entrusted with handling the arrangements. For online condolences, please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James M. Kerr, please visit our flower store.


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