“She was just so good at life,” Lisa Kerr’s daughter, Loretta, told a packed Pinestone Resort room Feb. 18 as family and friends gathered to say farewell to the Minden woman who touched so many Highlands lives since 1998.
Kerr died Feb. 15 after an eight-month battle with brain cancer.
Looking around the Pinestone ballroom, her husband, Bill Kerr, said, “Lisa would have loved this. She would be having the best afternoon with all you people.”
He recalled how he first laid eyes on Lisa at a University of Toronto lecture theatre in Scarborough in 1982 and almost immediately fell in love with her. They married in their last year of university. He said Lisa was a bright and gifted lawyer but sacrificed “and became a great mom” to their four children.
When he wanted to move from Scarborough to the family cottage in Minden Hills, Lisa thought it would be best for the children and agreed to the shift. Bill said she always had his back. “She’d take a bullet for me, basically.”
When he had the dream of starting Volunteer Dental Outreach for Haliburton County, despite Lisa already being extremely busy, her response was, ‘let’s do this.” He said she did “everything” along with the VDO’s board members. It was the same way she handled the dental trips to Honduras.
After her diagnosis, Bill said, “she was just peaceful and calm. We were all a mess and she was just the strength of our family. And her faith kind of flourished at that point.”
Bill said his wife felt people of all religions were praying for her. She thought God might be using the disease to bring religions together. He added she had an inner peace, was never afraid, and remained optimistic. “She was just amazing. She was fearless through this battle. She just wanted to live.”
After brain surgery, they went to the Sound of Music in Haliburton. She went to see Elton John in concert and attended TIFF with her girlfriends. The family made a trip to Turks and Caicos. She wanted to make a magical Christmas for the family in case it was her last. Bill said she was always thinking about other people. “She was just so selfless.
“She was the most amazing thing that ever happened to me. I only got 40 years but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I will always love her…” Kerr was also remembered for being part of the Those Other Movies, Doc(k) Day and HIFF family, and playing in the Highlands Chamber Orchestra.
Daughter Loretta recalled introducing the term yolo (you only live once) to her mom – and Lisa saying ‘Oh, I definitely have a yolo attitude’. She had a contagious zest for life and really did live to the fullest…” Loretta said even after the diagnosis, her mother said she had no regrets and just wanted to live, radiating joy and kindness, and having fun.
Lisa’s brother, Michael, said growing up she was his go-to person, his accountability, a natural born leader, who was reliable and trustworthy.
He said she was hopeful and optimistic in her journey. He spoke of her faith in the last months of her life, realizing God was in control and she was drawing closer to him. She believed there was a purpose to her illness, to bring others closer to God. He said reading devotionals to her drew him closer to the Lord, fulfilling her purpose.
“We know she’s at peace. There’s no more tears. There’s no more sorrow.”
See the full celebration of life at livestream. funeralscreen.com/gordon-a-monk-funeralhome/lisa-marie-kerr.