Jack O. Kerby, Sr.

Published 1:32 pm Sunday, February 22, 2015

Retired Army National Guard Lt. Col. Jack O. Kerby, Sr., 86, of Demopolis, died Sunday, Feb. 22, at Woodhaven Manor in Demopolis.

A funeral service will be held at Demopolis First United Methodist Church on Friday, Feb. 27, at 1 p.m. with a visitation one hour prior to the service in the church sanctuary. Burial will follow in the Payne’s Chapel Cemetery at 3 p.m. O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home directing and the Rev. Dr. Arthur Luckie officiating. Honorary pallbearers are the members of the Men’s Coffee Class at Demopolis First United Methodist Church and the Board of Directors of Sweet Water State Bank.

He was born May 4, 1928, in Henagar. He graduated from Oak Ridge (Tenn.) High School and received his undergraduate degree at Jacksonville State University where he served as president of the SGA and was selected as a member of Kappa Phi Kappa, a national honorary society. Later he completed his Master’s Degree at the University of West Alabama.

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He was Dean of Instruction at Hobson State Technical College (now Alabama Southern) in Thomasville for 30 years. He was a director at the Sweet Water State Bank and served as board secretary. He was also a cattle farmer.

While living in Thomasville, he was instrumental in bringing a National Guard unit there and has the distinction of the building bearing his name. He was also chairman of the hospital board when the nursing home was created, and for 30 years he served as institutional representative for the Boy Scouts for which he was the recipient of the Silver Beaver Award. He also served as president of the Thomasville Rotary Club and received the Paul Harris Fellow Award.

Kerby served over 34 years in the military. First, in the Tennessee National Guard, and then he was activated into the 31st Division during the Korean War. He then completed his service in the Alabama National Guard retiring in 1988 as a Lt. Col.

Kerby was active in both the Demopolis First United Methodist Church and the Thomasville UMC, where he taught an adult Sunday School class. He was a UMC Demopolis District Trustee and served on several committees.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Elizabeth Hulsey Kerby, and father, James Melvin Kerby; and sisters, Dorothy Kerby and Pat K. (John) Shippey.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce Lewis Kerby; son, Jack Olen (Karen) Kerby, Jr.; daughters, Lucinda K. (Bill) Mason, all of Demopolis, Victoria K. (Steve) Justice of Huntsville; granddaughters, Sarah M. (Al) Lindsey of Spring, Texas, Mallory Mason of Nashville, Tenn., and Caroline Justice of Huntsville; grandsons, Clarke L. (Courtney) Kerby, Jacob O. Kerby of Demopolis; Jackson A. Kerby of Travis Air Force Base in California, and Ben Justice of Huntsville; and one great-grandchild, Chance Allen Lindsey of Spring, Texas; sister, Sybil K. Lea of Rossville, Ga.; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Demopolis First United Methodist Church; Payne’s Chapel United Methodist Church at 35 Forest Drive, Sweet Water, AL 36782; or a charity of your choice.