Earl J. Kerker, 89, of East Dubuque, Ill., died Feb. 12, 2013, at The Finley Hospital, surrounded by his family. He was born on July 23, 1923, in Nebraska City to Earl and Lucia (Boom) Kerker.
Earl worked one year at Thygeson’s Drug Store in Nebraska City after graduating from Nebraska City High School to earn enough money to go to college. He attended Peru State Teachers’ College for one semester before entering the U.S. Army. While in the Army, he also attended Southwest Missouri State Teachers College and Biarritz (France) American University. After his military service, he entered the University of Nebraska and earned a bachelor of science degree in agronomy with emphasis on conservation.
He was in the Army of Occupation in Germany following World War II. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal; American Defense, European, African, Middle East; World War II Army of Occupation; Good Conduct; and World War II Victory Medals.
Earl married Lynn Clover in Hiawatha, Kan., on Nov. 23, 1946.
In April, 1949, Earl started working for the U.S. Soil Conservation Service as a soil scientist in Maquoketa, Iowa. He later became a soil conservationist and worked in Waukon and West Union before being assigned as district conservationist in Dubuque, where he retired after 32 years of federal service.
Earl enjoyed his family, travel, fishing, bridge, and fine woodworking. He was active in St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Dubuque, and served on many committees there. Earl enjoyed working with the youth of the church and accompanied them on mission work.
He was a Past Worshipful Master of Metropolitan Masonic Lodge # 49, AF&AM, a life member of both American Legion and Veterans’ of Foreign Wars.
He is survived by his wife, Lynn, of 66 years; daughters Susan (Gordon) Landrum, Port Byron, Ill., Janet (Dr. James) Hlavacek, Aurora, Ill., and Carol (Steven) Larrabee, Eau Claire, Wis.; grandchildren Stephen (Mary) Bade, Lisa (Matthew) Kriegel, Ethan Bade, Lynn (Joseph) Silvia, James H. (fiancée Suzi Bigliani) Hlavacek II, Jenna Hlavacek, Franklin Larrabee, Charles Larrabee; and three great grandchildren, Olivia and Allison Kriegel, and Jack Silvia.
He was preceded by an infant daughter.
A Masonic Memorial Service was held Feb. 15.
A Christian Memorial Service was held at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Dubuque, Saturday with Rev. Jon Gaul officiating.
The Miller Funeral Home in East Dubuque was in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be given to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Dubuque, Iowa; United Methodist Church, Nemaha, Nebraska; Metropolitan Lodge # 49 of Dubuque; and The Wendt Cancer Center, Dubuque.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.millerfhed.com.