Memorial set for Alpine County, Calif. Social Services Director | NevadaAppeal.com

Memorial set for Alpine County, Calif. Social Services Director

by Regina Purcell

A “Celebration of Life” for the late director of the Alpine County Social Services Department will be held 4 p.m. Friday at Turtle Rock Park in Markleeville, Calif.

Katherine Kerr, 44, died Friday in a collision at Highway 88 about 3 p.m. Sept. 13, just west of Crystal Springs Road.

In honor of her life, the Alpine County, Calif., Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed Tuesday to dedicate the county’s Health and Human Services Department building in her name.

Kerr was director of the social services department, where she worked for eight years. Judy Molnar, assistant to the board of supervisors, said Kerr will be sorely missed.

“It is a tremendous loss to our organization and our community,” Molnar said. “She was responsible for so many services and acted in a volunteer capacity for many things.

“Kathy was a very unique person. She was very positive and used buzz words like enhance, enrichment, collaboration and partnering. She was always looking for ways to improve the lives of other people.”

Joyce DeVore, president of the Alpine County Elders, agreed Kerr had a tremendous impact on the area.

“She was a very focused and capable leader,” said DeVore. “She ran social services with the most upbeat attitude.

“We have a million-dollar building thanks to her. We have transportation in the county, and while state regulations are unbelievably strict, she was able to facilitate children and seniors.”

That million-dollar building is the Health and Human Services Department, which will soon bear a plaque honoring Kerr, who Molnar said “fought tooth and nail and kept prodding away for the beautiful” facility built in 1998, and home to the mental health and social services programs in Alpine County since 2000.

According to law enforcement reports, Kerr was traveling west on Highway 88 when another vehicle exited a side road causing her to swerve and lose control of her 2001 Jeep Cherokee.

Det. Tom Nagel of the Alpine County Sheriff’s Department said Kerr’s Jeep skidded in front of a semitrailer rig, and hit it broadside, killing her instantly. The driver of the big rig was treated and released.

A California Highway Patrol officer said a 55-year-old Gardnerville man pulled his van onto Highway 88 from Acorn Loop Road in front of the Kerr’s vehicle.

She managed to drive on the dirt shoulder, but her Jeep struck the right front of his Dodge Ram van. It forced her SUV to skid into the path of the westbound semi driven by a 39-year-old man from Winters, Calif. The semi broadsided the Kerr’s Jeep and totaled the vehicle, according to officers.

No arrests were made at the scene, and Nagel did not know if anyone was cited.

DeVour added Kerr had “given unconditional support” to area senior citizens.

“We are missing a friend and a leader,” said DeVore.

Kerr is the daughter of Frank W. and Gloria Kerr of Carson City. She reportedly is also survived by two brothers, but no information was available as of press time.

Co-workers at the social services department said they were “still pretty raw and very upset” about Kerr’s death and would not comment.

n R-C Staff Writer Regina Purcell can be e-mailed at rpurcell@recordcourier.com

Memorial set for Alpine County, Calif. Social Services Director