Samuel Wagner Kerr

June 18, 1940 ~ January 15, 2021 (age 80)


Samuel Wagner Kerr, retired Common Pleas Probate/Juvenile Judge, passed away January 15, 2021 at the Weirton Medical Accuity Care Center after a courageous battle with the Covid 19 virus.

He was born in Steubenville, Ohio June 18, 1940, the son of the late William S. Kerr and Carolyn “Annie” Kerr. He was Protestant by faith.

He graduated from Wintersville High School and was proud to have played on the 1957 undefeated football team under Coach Kettlewell.

After graduation from high school, Sam attended Washington and Jefferson College and received his undergraduate degree and his ROTC commission.  He then went on to receive his Juris Doctorate degree from the Ohio State University and was admitted to practice law in 1966.

Sam served his country in the United States Army during the Korean conflict and was Captain of Artillery.  While in Korea he received notice that he had passed the Ohio State Bar exam. He was granted special permission by the Ohio State Supreme Court to be sworn in by a 3-Star General, Andrew J. Boyle.  This took place in an I Corp training exercise and was a very unusual and proud moment in his life.

After his military service, Sam returned home and practiced law with the firm of Quinn, Adulewicz and Kerr.

He was appointed County Court Judge, District 2, Dillonvale, Ohio and served in that capacity from 1970 to 1990.  In 1990 he began his term of Probate/Juvenile judge and served as judge of this court from 1990 until his retirement in 2015.

Sam belonged to the Amateur Trapshooting Association, Life Member of the Ohio State Alumni Association, lifetime member of the Jefferson County Sportsman Club, lifetime member of the Friendship Park Board, Mingo Sportsman Club, the Ohio State Bar Association whom honored him with a 50-year proclamation, Jefferson County Bar Association, retired Executive Board member Oakview Residential Center, Veterans of Foreign War and the Elks Club.

Judge Sam loved his “Buckeyes” and was a member of the President’s Club. He loved his hunting trips to South Dakota with his buddies.  He was an outdoorsman, loved fishing and nature, and could name most of the local trees and birds.  He loved and took care of his labrador Mac, his rescue dog Buffy and his dachshund Courtney.

Judge Kerr leaves to mourn his passing, but with forever gratitude for having him in their lives, his wife of 47 years, Emily Hayes Kerr; daughters Laurie La Rue and Melinda (Jack) Humphreys; sister Carolyn (Allan) Turner of Hot Springs, Arkansas; cousin Sammie (Fred) Zeigler of Wytheville, Virginia; grandchildren Laurianne Smith, Robert Smith, Justin (Ashley) Humphreys, Kaylee LaRue and Alex LaRue, Madison Kerr, Samuel Hayes Kerr and their mother, Rachel Kerr; great grandchildren Jaxon Basil, Lincoln Beatty, Addelyn, Mackenzie and Easton Humphreys, Aubrey Smith and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceeded in death by his son, Samuel William “Billy” Kerr in 2015.

Due to the Covid 19 virus, private services will be conducted by Dunlope-Shorac Funeral Home.

Judge Sam’s favorite charities are St, Jude Hospital, Wounded Warriors, VFW and the Jefferson County Animal Shelter.

Interment will be held at the family’s convenience where he will be laid to rest with his son, Billy.

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