Shirlee Yvonne Kerr, 77, passed away Oct. 25, 2013, in Hood River, Ore. She was born Jan. 11, 1936, in Hood River to Nathaniel Earl Scrogin and Ruby Amelia (Stanley) Scrogin.
Shirlee was a lifetime resident of Hood River, growing up in the Rockford area with her sister, Bette. She attended Barrett School and Hood River High School, graduating in 1954.
Her high school years were busy ones; in addition to her editor-in-chief duties for the school newspaper, she was also involved in cheerleading and the Ushers group, and appeared in the senior play, "Clementine.”
After graduation, Shirlee was working as a waitress and planning to go into beauty college when she met the dashing Jack Kerr. They were married in August 1955 and moved into the new home they had just built on Frankton Road, on acreage near Jack’s parents’ home.
In 1956 they began their family with the birth of daughter Kimberley, who was followed by another daughter, Jill, 16 months later.
Besides working as a housewife and mother, Shirlee also found time to participate in the Jayceettes, Beta Sigma Phi sorority, Elks club and the Hood River County Fair. One of her duties as a Jayceette was to chaperone one of the contestants in each year’s Miss Hood River pageant.
Her involvement in the county fair began as an entrant, winning many ribbons and even the title Queen of the Kitchen (and a deluxe mixer prize) in 1963. She went on to serve 25 years with the fair, many of those years as superintendent of the home economics department.
Shirlee also worked seasonally for many years, including 17 years with Diamond Fruit and 12 at Duckwall-Pooley; she retired in 1995.
She had an eye for photography and also loved doing handwork, collecting (she was well-known for her collections of Barbies, Beanie Babies and antiques) and gardening, with flowers, flowers and more flowers. She has also done a lot of research on her family history.
Until only recently she would spend her summers canning fruit, pickles, jams and jellies, and baking quick breads and other goodies. Her family will greatly miss her homemade holiday cookies and candies.
Shirlee and Jack worked hard to create a beautiful yard and garden surrounding their home, and decked it out each Christmas with an elaborate display of lights, adding a few more each year. In fact, holiday decorations were a big part of Shirlee’s life: She would decorate her whole house, inside and out, for each major holiday — including an array of specially outfitted Barbies.
Her ties with family and longtime friends were strong, and she was heavily involved in reunion planning for both family and schoolmates, including those from Barrett and Hood River High.
Shirlee is preceded in death by her parents, her beloved Jack, and her sister, Bette.
She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Kimberley and Steve Lelli, of Bend, and Jill and Jim Holmes; the world’s greatest grandchildren, Alix Lelli, of Portland, and Cole Lelli, of Bend and Corvallis; sister-in-law Arlene Rose and her husband, Jack Rose, of Portland; as well as other beloved family and her many friends.
Remembrances may be made to the Meals on Wheels program at the Hood River Adult Center, 2010 Sterling Drive, Hood River, OR 97031.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, at Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave., followed by a graveside service at Idlewilde Cemetery and a reception at the Elks Lodge, Third and Cascade in downtown Hood River.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 541-386-1000. Please visit andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for family.
Condolences are being received online.
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