John Smith Kerr (better known as Junior Kerr), 94, passed peacefully on Thursday, July 13, 2023. John was born June 22, 1929 to John Leishman Kerr and Hazel Kilfoyle Smith on the family farm in Wellsville, Utah.
Being the youngest sibling and with a couple of other “John Kerrs” living in Wellsville during his childhood years he got dubbed with the “Junior” moniker early on and it pretty much stuck for nine decades.
Junior lived most of his life in Wellsville. After graduating from South Cache High he continued working on the family farm with his father and his older brother Lewis. During this time he also attended Utah State Agricultural College part-time to study engineering. At the age of 20, Junior began working in the construction industry as a heavy equipment operator in 1949.
While working on a construction project in Southern Idaho during the summer of 1950, Junior met an Idaho “Spud” by the name of Carol Dawn Wakley. He was smitten by the Bannock county rodeo queen and a romance that would last for 70+ years began, However the Korean War had begun in June of ‘50 so within a few months Junior and one of his best buddies from Wellsville reported to the local recruiting station and enlisted. By September they both had orders to report for service in the United States Navy. Carol and Junior were married on the 22nd of September and he then reported for basic training in San Diego, California the next week.
Following his initial training he received his assignment as a “Seabee” heavy equipment operator. While Carol waited in Idaho for his return, Junior was deployed to Japan in support of the Korean conflict. He served in the Navy for nearly four years and received an Honorable Discharge in July ‘54.
After working for a year in Idaho, Junior and Carol returned to Wellsville to raise their family. He spent the next 60 years working in the construction field as an heavy equipment operator, project manager, and site supervisor. He loved to work in his vegetable gardens and toiled endlessly to improve his pasture lands where he raised sheep, ducks, cows, and pigs.
Junior and Carol have four children (Don, Scott, Shauna, and Michael) and 13 grandchildren with a growing number of great-grandchildren. Junior was preceded in death by his parents and his five siblings.
Funeral service will be held Tuesday July 25, at 11:00 am at Allen-Hall Mortuary, 34 E Center St, Logan. A viewing will be held prior from 9:30-10:30 am.
Condolences and memories may be expressed online at