He retired in 2006 and died on April 29, leaving behind hundreds of students and friends.
One of those friends is Diman Assistant Superintendent-Director and Principal Brian Bentley, who began working with Kerr in 1975.
“I worked with Ed the whole time he was here,” Bentley said Monday.
“He started as a culinary arts teacher in 1975 but in 1976, he was promoted to head of the Culinary Arts Department,” Bentley said.
“Until then it was called ‘Food Trades,’” Bentley said of the Culinary Arts program. “Ed made it a culinary program. He had the experience. He’d worked in restaurants in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.”
Kerr was also an honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.
Bentley said it was Kerr who made sure students were exposed to every part of the restaurant business.
“He was the gentleman who put the program on the map,” Bentley said.
Bentley said students had a lot of respect for Kerr.
“They feared him because he had a little bit of a bark,” Bentley said. “He was very strict but he was very fair.”
Kerr was also the founder and administrator of the Thomas Rodrigues Memorial Scholarship Fund.
An Army veteran, he served as an enlisted aide to a three-star general. He was an active member of St. Patrick’s Parish in Somerset and was awarded the Marian Medal by Bishop Sean O’Malley. He had served as president of the Cape Cod and Islands Chapter of the American Culinary Federation.
His funeral will be held Thursday 8:45 a.m. from the Auclair Funeral Home, 690 S. Main St., Fall River, with a funeral Mass in St. Patrick Church, Somerset, at 10 a.m. He will be buried at St. Patrick Cemetery in Somerset. The visitation will be held Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m.
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