Monsignor William A. Kerr, 68, was laid to rest on Tuesday next to his parents at Rose Lawn in Tallahassee, Florida. The funeral services were held in Tallahassee’s Co-Cathedral St. Thomas More.
The Cathedral was packed as many wanted to bid their goodbye to a man they knew and loved. The Tallahassee Mayor John Marks and former Florida State University (FSU) President Sandy D’Alemberte were among those who attended the funeral.
Rwanda was represented by the Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera accompanied by the Rwandan Ambassador to the United States Eng. James Kimonyo as well as former Rwandan students at La Roche College.
A former President of La Roche College and Executive director of the Claude Pepper Center for Intercultural Dialogue at FSU until his death, Monsignor Kerr was recognized for his dedication to the promotion of human rights and intercultural dialogue.
In his message of condolence, H.E President Paul Kagame described Monsignor Kerr as a man “who was dedicated to serving God and his fellow men, and a dear friend of Rwanda whose commitment to bridging the divides across communities and promoting constructive dialogue through education touched the lives of countless individuals”.
“He will always be greatly remembered in Rwanda for his tireless efforts to provide invaluable learning experience to numerous students through his scholarship program”. The President’s massage read in part.
A former La Roche College student, K Patton commenting on the blog described Monsignor Kerr as “a genuine and compassionate man who lived everyday to help those who were in need. He leaves the world a better place for so many”.
Kerr passed away on May 13th 2009 after more than a week at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. He suffered a stroke while celebrating mass at Co-Cathedral of Thomas More church on May 3rd 2009.