Former longtime state legislator John Hosea Kerr III died Sunday, the Goldsboro Daily News reported Tuesday.
Kerr, 79, died in a Goldsboro hospice after a period of declining health, according to an obituary posted online at Seymour Funeral Home in Goldsboro.
Kerr, who worked as a lawyer, served three terms in the state House and then another eight terms in the state Senate. He helped create the Global TransPark, the East Carolina University dental school, the UNC Cancer Center, and fought to bring better roads and schools to his part of the state, according to the obituary.
He decided not to run for re-election in 2008. He was succeeded by Sen. Donald Davis, a Democrat who represents the 5th district, which includes Greene, Pitt and Lenoir counties.
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His father, John Kerr Jr., was also in the General Assembly, where he was speaker of the House. His grandfather, John Kerr Sr., was in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kerr Lake is named after John Kerr Sr., the newspaper reported.
State Democratic Party Chairwoman Patsy Keever issued a statement Kerr’s passing:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of former-Senator John Kerr. Senator Kerr came from a long line of North Carolina leaders and certainly made his family proud through his own dedicated service. In his two decades in office, Senator Kerr had a tremendous impact on his community and our state. He will be greatly missed.”
A memorial service will be held at Madison Avenue Baptist Church on June 1, 2015 at 2 p.m.