Dr. Samuel Long Kerr, D.D.S., a resident of Sugar Hill, NH was born on November 28, 1933 in Oil City, PA and died on October 17, 2020 at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, NH after a brief illness. He was the fourth of the five children of Mary Kiskaddon Kerr and Dr. Charles Todd Kerr, D.D.S.
Sam graduated from Oil City High School in 1951, attended Pennsylvania State University, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Dental School in 1957, and married Kay Harper Kerr, also of Oil City, the same year.
During his dental career he served in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1959 in Nuremberg, Germany, practiced with his father in Oil City from 1959 to 1962 and from 1962 to 1985 practiced as a children’s dentist in Erie, Pa.
His daughter Linda was born in Germany and sons David and Glenn were born in Erie. His daily participation in their upbringing and in their activities growing up were central to his life and brought joy to him as a loving father.
During his time in Erie he was active in many organizations including various dental societies, Kahkwa Country Club, Erie Yacht Club, and Peek’n Peak ski resort.
After retiring from his dental practice in 1985, Sam moved to Lincoln, NH along with his three children and began a new career when he opened Loon Gallery, an art and framing store at the Mill at Loon Mountain. He met and married his second wife, Melanie Brown, while in Lincoln. Sam and Melanie later moved to Stowe, Vermont and jointly owned and operated the Logwood Inn for several years.
He and Melanie returned to New Hampshire after the sale of the Logwood Inn and Sam continued to live an active lifestyle. Until last year he worked every summer season as head groundskeeper at Sunset Hill House golf course in Sugar Hill where he gained fame as the oldest working groundskeeper in New Hampshire and was the subject of a WMUR Chronicle news segment.
Sam was truly a renaissance man. In addition to his professional life, he was an avid and skilled sportsman in numerous areas. In high school he was active in football, track and field. He was also a passionate golfer, sailor, skier, tennis player, ice skater, voracious reader, banjo player, and artist in several different types of media including oil painting, jewelry and wood carving.
His family members and friends recall many fond memories of him over the years. Some examples include:
From his brother Steve - I remember incidents growing up in Oil City, such as one of Sam’s temper tantrums when he received his first skis for Christmas and the weather didn’t cooperate with snow; his passion for football and the time he was so anxious to get in a game that he forgot his helmet when the coach finally sent him in to play; his compassionate side when he spent hours teaching me, his younger brother who was also a fellow leftie, how to tie my shoelaces.
From son David – Dad is remembered fondly by all of his kids’ childhood friends for the 1970’s era annual ski trips to Vermont, piling up the station wagon with teenagers to take them on skiing weekends that would change their lives.
From son Glenn – Sam was excited to share his passions with others, especially people who realized this might be the only chance to try something new; helping friends learn to windsurf, ski, golf, sail, or just fix something that some engineer poorly designed. He loved to share fun. It was important to him to try to help others, and that’s what it really is all about.
For his passionate love of life and enthusiastic dedication to everything he put his mind to, and for uncounted other reasons, Sam will be long remembered with love and affection by all those whose lives he touched over the course of his lifetime.
It is important to note that over the course of their marriage Melanie, Sam, his children and former wife Kay worked together determinedly to form a unique relationship. It took dedication and patience but what they created proved to be an admirable model of how to share responsibility and love as a blended family.
Sam is survived by his wife, Melanie Kerr in Sugar Hill, NH; daughter Linda Bradshaw (husband Russ) in Lincoln, NH; son David (wife Cheryl) in St. Johnsbury, VT; son Glenn (wife Susan) in Driggs ID; grandchildren Erin, Lindsey and Eli Kerr, former wife Kay Harper Kerr in Bethlehem, NH; sister Jane Erickson (husband Carl) in Willoughby, OH; brother Stephen Kerr in Santa Fe, NM; dear friends including Steve Baum, and a multitude of nieces and nephews around the country.
Sam was preceded in death by his parents and brothers James Todd Kerr and John Kiskaddon Kerr, and his beloved niece Judith Kerr.
Contributions in Sam’s memory can be sent to :
Aaron Rothberg, Office of Development & Alumni Relations, CHaD - Dartmouth-Hitchcock/Geisel School of Medicine, One Medical Center Drive (HB7070), Lebanon, NH 03756 (Make checks payable to CHaD & write “IMO Sam Kerr” in memo field).
Condolence messages to his wife and family may be sent care of his daughter:
Linda Kerr Bradshaw, PO Box 695, Lincoln, NH 03251