Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 6, 2006
A photo of Senator Kerr is projected on a screen in
the Senate Chamber during a
Celebration of Life ceremony held in his honor Monday
State Senate, Friends and Family Celebrate Life of Senator
Robert M. Kerr
and former members of the Oklahoma State Senate gathered
along with friends and family members of the late Sen.
Robert M. Kerr for a “Celebration of Life”
ceremony held in the Senate Chamber on Monday.
When roll call was taken, Sen. Kerr’s grandchildren
answered for him. The children were seated at his desk,
which was adorned with 20 white roses, one for each of
the years he was a member of the State Senate.
Former Senator Dick Wilkerson recalled his friend, Bob
Kerr, as a gentle man who always thought the best of everyone.
“About a hundred years ago a visitor to America
made the observation that America was great because America
was good. And America would remain great as long as America
remained good. That was Bob Kerr to me,” Wilkerson
Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan told the Chamber
that the Senate would continue to be inspired by Bob Kerr,
whom Morgan described as always thinking of others, even
in his final days.
“We will continue to be inspired by Bob’s
legacy. Every day, when we come to this floor and we see
this empty desk, we will be inspired by what this man
did, the way he came to work and did this job even when
he was very, very ill. That inspiration will get us through
until May, and as we begin the people’s work today
we’re going to think about Bob and we’re going
to think about Bob every day after that,” Morgan
Senate Republican Floor Leader Glenn Coffee
recalled Kerr as a very brave and courageous man who continued
to work diligently even while battling cancer.
“Senator Kerr was a model public servant, someone
who each and every Senator looked up to as a man of honesty
and integrity. He was the consummate definition of bipartisan.
He always put the good of his state first, even if it
put him at odds with others,” Coffee said.
Senator Cal Hobson, Master of Ceremonies for the event,
reminded fellow members of the work they had begun to
create a world-class cancer treatment center in Oklahoma,
and urged them to continue that work in memory of the
three members who lost their lives in a brief period of
time to cancer, including Senators Larry Dickerson, Keith
Leftwich and Kerr.
“We have the chance, in the memory and honor of
the three gentlemen I’ve just mentioned, but probably
even more importantly, the thousands of citizens we represent
who cry out for us to give them a world-class health care
system in this state so that their tragedy is not amplified
by a lonely trip to the airport or a long drive in the
car. We can do that together as a legislative family.
And then on that last Friday in May…we can look
at each other with pride and say we did the right thing
in the memory of our fallen colleagues as well as the
people that we represent,” Hobson said.
The ceremony also included slide presentations featuring
images from Sen. Kerr’s service in the Senate as
well as a presentation featuring photographs from his
Senate Majority Floor Leader Ted Fisher explained that
at the end of each session one member is given the honor
of making the motion “sine die” and that Senator
Kerr had been given that honor at the conclusion of the
2005 session. As a tribute to Kerr, Fisher concluded the
ceremony with a sine die motion.
Family members, including Senator Kerr’s wife Robbie,
their children and grandchildren, were escorted out of
the Chamber as Representative Purcy Walker led everyone
in attendance in singing “Oklahoma.”
more information contact:
Senate Communications Office - (405) 521-5774