Extended Kerr Family


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Personal: Thomas Kerr III is a long distance cyclist with the Charles River Wheelmen (since 1977, and 10 years as a ride leader) and an ex-marathoner (12 marathons completed in the 1970s) and has been a student of American Combat Karate (along with his wife). As the son of the late Prof. Thomas H. Kerr, Jr. (Prof. of Piano at Howard University, and a famous concert pianist, organist, composermore, and even more:


https://searchworks.stanford.edu/catalog?q=%22%22Kerr%2C+Thomas+H.%2C+Jr.%2C+1915-1988.%22%22&search_field=search_author, whose BA and MA were from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York) and more, and even more: https://songofamerica.net/composer/kerr-thomas-h/, http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/nr90022595.html, https://www.discogs.com/artist/3543090-Thomas-H-Kerr, https://ecommons.udayton.edu/dunbar/204/,
https://www.worldcat.org/title/thomas-henderson-kerr-jr-papers-1931-2002/oclc/80942655, https://snaccooperative.org/vocab_administrator/resources/7887995,
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_H._Kerr_junior, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtzNQd3T7ws, https://www.lieder.net/lieder/get_settings.html?ComposerId=12827,
https://tidal.com/browse/artist/5611449, https://soundcloud.com/user-146089598/in-memoriam-thomas-h-kerr, http://www.archives.com/1940-census/thomas-kerr-tn-132503682,
https://searchworks.stanford.edu/catalog?q=%22%22Kerr%2C+Thomas+H.%2C+Jr.%2C+1915-1988.%22%22&search_field=search_author, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1988/08/30/. Tom 3rd had previously played the cello, recorder, flute, piccolo, viola, and oboe himself up until his sophomore year at Howard in 1965 (thanks to the actions of Andre H. Owens, his superior officer in ROTC [who Tom had looked up to in Mr. Davitan's orchestra at Banneker Jr. High School], Tom 3rd purged himself of almost all music after his sophomore year in college and replaced it with science and mathematics) but, of course, Tom still enjoys listening to music. In the long run, this was actually to Tom III’s benefit! Thanks Andre!

Tom III’s grandfather, Thomas H. Kerr Sr. (a well-known pharmacist in Baltimore, Maryland, who, along with other more standard prescriptions also sold Kerr’s “Kell-a-Kough” [any kid that was faking a cold to stay home from school would “miraculously” recover before having to take a second follow-up dose of this awful tasting stuff]), as a precedent, had also played the violin and flute well into his 90’s and had led an orchestra early on in Baltimore. Please click here to see a photograph of his grandfather’s drugstore. Tom comes from three generations of entrepreneurs, if one counts the hustling that his father did on the side by also serving as full time Organist and frequently as interim Choir Master at Plymouth Congregational Church for ~40 years, having his private piano students on the side, having organ concerts to dedicate new organs in various churches all over the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas, and playing other gigs and roasts yearly at the GridIron Club and weekly at the Tivoli Musical Theater restaurant in Georgetown (at night for more than ten years). 

Four generations of Thomas H. Kerr’s !: Sr., Jr., III, IV (The T. Henderson Kerr Senior had commuted daily by train from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.  to attend Howard University in order to become a pharmacist. Typically Chemistry classes start at 8:00AM so his daily odyssey probably started at 4:00AM.)




The Kerr's are known for their longevity (unless struck down by unnatural causes, as occurred when Thomas H. Kerr Jr. was struck by a  car while crossing a street early one AM). Click here for more on T, Henderson Kerr Sr. (Grandipop).  Click here for more on Grandipop.  Click here for even more on Grandipop.  Yet even more on Grandipop.

Tom III’s younger sister, (back then) Judith E. Kerr and now (in winning a Halloween costume prize for "Avatar" or "Smurfette" for the uninitiated who did not see Avatar), was at NBC News for over 30 years (and won a national piano competition when she was twelve in a category including all instruments and performers up to age 16 ). Judy's godmother was Evelyn White (http://www.edwcollection.com/program.pdf). As a very young child, Judy had a pet duck, Cuddles, that would follow her around in the big city of Washington, D.C. and who responded to her voice.

Tom III’s late mother, Norma Elaine Kerr, obtained her Masters of Arts in Education from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. and worked as a pupil personnel worker in the D.C. school system. On Toms mothers side, one uncle, the late Prof. Winston Kermit McAllister (Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan by age 18 and enlisted in the Army in Europe during WW II) at Howard University in the 1960s and 70s simultaneously held the following positions: Chairman of the Philosophy Department, Head of Admissions, Chairman of the Freshmen Orientation Assembly Program, and Head of Peace Corps Training during the summer while also teaching summer school. Uncle Kermits daughter, Kathleen McAllister Donoho, is currently a civilian Information Technology (IT) intelligence officer for the Department of the Army and is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the reserves.

Another uncle, the late James Winfred Wint McAllister was an assistant District Attorney in Baltimore, Maryland and later had a very successful law practice there. One of Uncle Wints daughters, Singleton B. McAllister, former General Counsel of the United States Agency for International Development is at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo in Washington, D.C. (see her photo in Friday, 22 July 2005 issue of The New York Times on page C-5) and was a partner in associations with several prior law firms. 

Singleton McAllister was the commencement speaker at the University of Maryland School of Sociology graduation on Thursday, 23rd May 2019. She is pictured here 
with Professor and Chair of the Department, Dr. Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz. Please see link below for additional information about the commencement and 
the other honored speakers with whom Singleton was featured.

Another daughter, Donna McAllister, married a Baltimore judge. Toms cousin on his mothers side, (the late) Harvey J. Anderson, who was a chemist, retired from the National Bureau of Standards. His son, a lawyer, was recently (~2019) named to be Head or Chief General Counsel at Hewlett Packard (HP) hardware or was that at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, software.  Go to Top  

Tom III’s god mother, the late Alma Montgomery Blackmon, a music educator and choir director extraordinaire, took Tom to Europe with her for 2 months while visiting 8 countries during her funded research fellowship to study European kindergarten education in 1960. She also enrolled him in the book-of-the-month club as his birthday present when he was in the fifth grade. This was a wonderful, perspective-altering, start in life that Tom greatly appreciated then and even more now in retrospect. Alma Montgomery Blackmon's picture appears next below. 


Her (late) ex-husband, Henry Blackmon (who later was an expatriate singer making a splendid living in the Hague, Netherlands), was a wonderful baritone who played the character, "Sportin' Life", in the international production of George and Ira Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" opera, which went to the U.S.S.R. in the mid-1950's, as reported with copious photos in Life Magazine. https://www.thehagueonline.com/top-events/2014/05/14/henry-blackmon-memorial-concert-31-may-2014 

Alma was originally a kindergarden teacher in the D.C. public schools as well as a choir master in the 7th Day Adventist church there. Later in life, she went to Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama to teach in the English department at first and then later reassigned to teach in the Music department, and resurrected the Aeolian Choir and served as its choir master until she retired, but returned for several successive years to lead their Christmas Choir Concert.

Alma Montgomery Blackmon:




She beat cancer twice at different times in her life. Her loving daughter, Brenda Blackmon Wood, was an award winning television news broadcaster with the NBC affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia until she retired.

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When Tom was in the 8th grade, he made this model of the Cutty Sark from scratch out of balsa wood (from Corr’s Hobby Shop on 9th St. in Downtown Washington, D. C.) Knowledge of the various parts of a Clipper Ship came in pretty handy when he had to read Herman Melvilles novel, Moby Dick, in the 10th grade. Tom also excelled in making model airplanes from scratch out of balsa wood.  Bullwinkle J. Moose claims that the sailing contest was held on Veronica Lake. Rocky Squirrel claims that he saw the name Omar Khayyam inscribed on the front of the ship, where the ship's name should be, and, furthermore, that the ship was made entirely of rubies and consequently was the Ruby-Yacht of Omar Khayyam”. Get it? The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam!                                                    

Nowadays (and for the last 40+ years), he works with mathematical models of physical systems, as represented in state variable form. He also has a facility for handling systems described by Partial Differential equations or differential-difference equations of the retarded and neutral type.  Go to Top  

The above photo captures the diorama that served as Toms Science Fair project back when he was in the 9th grade (and he also began running long distances at that time despite his asthma, which soon vanished). [It is indeed a small world, since for this particular Science Fair project, Tom was sent to talk to Dr. Eugene DeLoatch about it at an evening meeting at Howard University. Dr. DeLoatch wanted Tom to postulate an experiment, collect pertinent data, and arrive at a correct conclusion using the Scientific Method. Tom prepared this diorama instead since he had no time to think about or perform an elaborate experiment in Junior High School. However, Prof. DeLoatch was teaching at Howard University four years later when Tom attended HU but Tom never had any courses from Prof. DeLoatch, although he would like to have had some but there was always a schedule conflict. Shucks! I see after going to Morgan University, Dean Eugene DeLoatch is still active in BEYA in 2019. That is an impressive time span.] Instead In Junior High School, Miss Orr started Tom onto a life time journey in mathematics by giving him a workbook to practice for the Mathematics Olympiad. Tom worked through the problems but neglected to alert her to the fact that he had done so. A turning point in Tom’s life at Benjamin Banneker Junior High school was when Miss Clark arrived to apprentice as a new student teacher by assisting Miss Orr in teaching 8th grade mathematics. That really turned Toms attention even further to mathematics, as his adolescent hormones kicked in, since Miss Clark looked like she could have starred in one of Russ Myers’ movies! Forget the Golden Ratio, three other numbers constitute the Divine Proportions. [The previous cartoon represented only an internal psychological view. His deportment was always proper. Nothing could be detected from his external behavior.] Evidently, Tom was drawn to mathematics at an early age, perhaps, for the wrong reasons! (Nah, he was already intrigued by mathematics and the rules of arithmetic even earlier, as he practiced multiplication with Roman numerals, extracting square  roots and cube roots via longhand [as prescribed in Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary], and by working out logic puzzles that his uncle, Prof. Winston K. McAllister, introduced him to in the 7th grade.)

Tom, as he appeared (under the sign of the cross) in his undergraduate yearbook: The Howard Bison*, in Whos Who in American Schools and Colleges. His specific graduation class celebrated the Centennial of Howards founding in 1867. Tom is in front of Rankin Chapel on the campus of Howard University. In 1989, his fathers funeral was held at this same chapel and, over three decades later, a tribute was held there paying homage to both his father and to his father’s musical compositions and performances, consisting of testimonials and a concert by the famously temperamental diva, soprano extraordinaire Kathleen Battle, in his fathers honor. She never disappoints (in both senses). Wonderful Bass Baritone William Warfield was to have been a speaker as well but canceled at the last minute because of failing health. Warfield himself died within a year. (Many may remember William Warfields wonderful rendition of Old Man Riverin the 1951 movie Showboat.)

*Perhaps this is why he is accustomed to patiently dealing with and seeing through other peoples bull. 

Although Tom lettered in Track and Cross Country in high school, he did not participate in athletics as a college undergraduate. However, in graduate school, Toms advisor, (the late) Prof. Earl D. Eyman (and here is his permanent obituary on this website), jokingly stipulated that one condition for Tom’s graduation was that he again run a mile in less than 5 minutes (as he had done in high school) and a second condition was for Tom to make his advisor, Earl D. Eyman, run a sub-5 minute mile as well. Both of these two goals were met but Tom was always much more impressed by his advisors achievement since Earl was in his 40s at the time. [His advisor went on to attain national records for the 220 yd dash and for the 440 yd run for his age group and actually climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland in the late sixties, or was it in the seventies? He attacked the mountain on the day that his flight arrived instead of resting up as the other University of Iowa youngsters did. However, after that one day the bad weather that arrived subsequently prohibited further climbing attempts so Prof. Eyman was the only member who succeeded in climbing the mountain on this particular outing. Way to go Earl! ] Later, while living in Schenectady, New York in the early 1970’s, Tom trained and ran marathons with Gage Hotchkiss (Manager of Personnel at G. E.), with Ted Bick (Professor of Mathematics at Union College and well renown for having immediately climbed up a flagpole and torn down a North Vietnamese flag that some anti-war student protester had raised), and with Tom Osler* (then teaching mathematics at RPI in Troy, NY). Prof. Tom Osler went on to become the U.S. 50 mile champion after he moved to another college in New Jersey. Last word from Osler, via e-mail ~2004, was that he is still participating in Triathlons well into his sixties. Well, there is still hope for Tom Kerr to do so too! (To date, Tom Kerr has only participated in one triathlon in the mid 1980’s. He is not a strong swimmer. His last 20 mile foot race was in 1986. The girls on bicycles are prettier” so now he confines himself to local Charles River Wheelmen (CRW) rides and to an occasional American Mountain Club (AMC) or American Youth Hostel (AYH) ride or Quad Cycles ride, where lycra and spandex rule the day.) He always found it very difficult to run through Wellesley, MA [Wellesley College being located at around 8 to 10 miles out from the start in Hopkinton] at a reasonable pace during his participation in several (~seven) Boston Marathons because of so many, shall we say, distractions (that would run along with him for several blocks). Now you know why (as do all male Boston Marathon participants)! Tom  never partakes (but his eyes sometimes stray since hes not dead yet!) Evidently, he has joined the DOM club because of his L&L imagination.  

*Tom Osler, discussed above, is also known for having essentially single-handedly trail-blazed the challenging and useful area of fractional derivativesand their applications. This fact came out when the mathematics community started having annual meetings on the subject and, after a few years of doing so, they were mapping out what remained to be done and finally noticed that Tom Osler had already done it and published it 20 years earlier in prominent mathematics journals (so that the conference attendees were now just playing catch-up)! [I found out from an Internet search that Tom Osler was called the turtle” (before I met him) because he could go far but not fast. He reports on how he drastically changed his training techniques leading up to a race. I assure you that he was never slow in a race. He was more like a jack rabbit” when I met him in early 1972.  Gee, was he fast!]

Speaking of catch-up, Tom Kerrs first CRW ride in 1977 started in Hopkinton too and Tom rode 70 miles in the drizzling rain with (the late) John A. Vanderpoel of Concord, MA, at the time, a 68 year old WWII B-24 bomber pilot (having served in the Pacific theater as commanding officer of the 424th Bomb Squadron) who had subsequently worked at the Pentagon but was retired by 1977. After completing 65 miles together, Tom decided to sprint in but after 4 miles of sprinting at full tilt looked back under his arm pit and saw John right behind him drafting in his wake and then John shot pass him right at the end to come in first. Wow! At age 75, John decided to ride his bike to his air wing convention in California and got as far as Texas but was side-swiped by a truck, which broke a few of his ribs. What a guy! Earlier, John and Ralph Galen (a.k.a. Dr. Go - a dentist and early cofounder of CRW) rode to New York city at Christmas time in the snow, and upon becoming stranded in Connecticut, both requested the authorities to allow them to spend the night in jail (to keep warm) and were so accommodated. Some of Johns other accomplishments: Hang-gliding when he was in his mid 60’s; helping to build the Howard Johnson” lodge up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire (~ 5,000 ft.) in the 1950’s, when an Olympic skier of the day also helped and single-handedly carried up a sink on his back that weighed over 100 lbs. Hey! There was also (the late) Cutler West (another CRW cofounder), a physicist who held several of the original patents along with Dr. Land at Polaroid, and who continued to show up for the annual CRW New Years Day bicycle ride in Boston even when he was in his 90s (being both his age and his weight at the time). I also frequently saw Dr. West at various times around Cambridge late at night reading a newspaper under the lights outside an all night food market in Porter Square, apparently to save money. No one would have ever guessed by his demeanor and his life style that he was a multi-millionaire. I could go on and on about interesting and unusual people that I have met in CRW. Hmmm, Eric Ferioli comes to mind too! In his youth, Eric had seriously trained for the Olympics. Eric is a really nice guy (who sometimes got on Lindy King’s last nerve when he would leave a tower of empty soda cans on her front door step as a practical joke to let the King’s know that he had been in their neighborhood - an incident that occurred more than once) who, as a joke, frequently rides junk bicycles retrieved from a dumpster. On one occasion, while he was stationed in Florida for his job as an ATLAS programmer, Eric was riding with a bunch of elite racing cyclists with very expensive bikes and proceeded to pull out far ahead and leave them without sweating at all. They were upset that he was beating them so badly and “with that piece of junk!” Eric always makes it look so easy without any apparent effort at all. He frequently just bicycles everywhere (loaded down with paraphernalia) no matter what the weather (including a foot or more of snow) even though he owns a car. Nowadays, Eric wears a white painter’s smock to protect himself from too much sun exposure during the summer. Others: Jamie & Lindy King (and their son Jesse), (the late) Ed Trumbull (a prior member of the CCC, who, while in military service on Thanksgiving Day, with some buddies tried to sneak a live turkey past the guard house and onto the base so that they could fix the bird up right but the guards realized that something was up when the turkey made a ruckus; however, there was a rope around the turkey’s neck that trailed fairly far ahead and when a 2nd lieutenant joined the guards and grabbed the bird, Ed and his buddies yanked the rope hard - the turkeys head came off and blood splashed all over the guard and lieutenant while the real culprits got away scott free - well this turkey story isn’t quite as inspirational as that of WWI hero Sgt. Alvin C. York but I’ll take it never-the-less), (after being button-holed by Ed Trumbull years earlier) Tom Kerr keep his promise to Ed Trumbull by becoming a CRW Ride Leader from 1990 until 1997 (as soon as Tom’s two sons were old enough), Sam Johnson and Birdy Ellsmore, John Allen, Joe Repole (70+ year old retired engineering consultant, known as Century Joe, since every time he goes out for a bicycle ride he goes 100 miles - but in winter he puts a little bourbon in his water bottle so the water won’t freeze but, as a consequence, Joe gets happier and happier the longer he is out), Mark Lamkin, Mike Hanauer, Jacek “Rudy” Rudowski, (the late) Sheldon Brown, Ken Hablow, Barry, Linda, and Gene Nelson, Doug Klein, John Kane (an annual CRW Banquet moderator, who had 6 heart attacks while on a single bike ride and just popped a few nitro tablets and still came back up from retirement in North Carolina to ride 25 miles with CRW’s fall century the year after), Melinda Lyon (The Lion”), then there was the very athletic woman, Dee, from Rhodesia who always wore sandals while riding long distances no matter what the weather; she participated with an MIT club that disassembled their bicycles at the base of 6,000 foot Mt. Washington and put the parts on their backs and in backpacks and hiked up the mountain next to the Cog Railroad track, then reassembled their bikes at the top and rode down (otherwise, it is illegal to ride down because it is deemed too dangerous since applying the brakes too frequently to maintain control unfortunately also heats up the tires so much that the inner tubes expand and explode unless the brakes are used very sparingly) and then en masse they shot so fast past the guard at the bottom (who, otherwise, seeks to prevent bikes from ever going up) too fast to be safely stopped ... the list is endless! Likewise for Cambridge Sports Union (CSU), with Larry and Sara Mae Berman, Richard Brown (my dentist, past president of CSU, who once ran a marathon with a minor rupture that he recognized as a problem before the start), Joe & Nancy O'Connor, Joe Carlino (and his long time nemesis: Perez, at Bank of Boston), Rick Levy (master of the pun and the limerick, who used to compete with Tom in both and in corn-ball jokes as we went two laps around Fresh Pond 20 years ago), Ron Bell (the unofficial mayor of Fresh Pond), Betty Davis (eyes), Fred Young (past manager of the Computer Sciences Group at the Smithsonian Observatory, who used to smoke cigarettes at the finish-line and would have to prove that he was indeed in the over 40 age category in the middle 1970’s in order to claim his first place prize. Later, he said that he was getting bored with running and always winning and was deciding to go into dance instead. I thought that he was merely involved in modern dance or teaching it but I later found out that he did a 20 year stint as a performer with the Boston Ballet Company, and he didn’t even start until he was in his 40’s! Wow again! Rick Levy recently informed Tom that Fred returned to running about 15 years ago at his same spectacular pace. At Joe Carlino’s 50th birthday party, Fred Young related a story about how a bee became ensnared in his Afro on one occasion while he was running. In the mid 1970’s, Fred had an Afro rivaling that of Angela Davis!) Rick Levy reminded Tom of a local biathlon in the early 1970’s (before Tom arrived on the local scene in 1973 and actually ran under CSU colors before Tom actually joined CSU, as Larry Berman, then president of CSU, was trying to decipher from race results depicting Tom’s enthusiastic back-to-back participation in a Friday evening race and in a Saturday morning race), where the fastest runner around at that time, Van Dyke, was first down the road and into the water and then the whole field overtook and passed him while he was flailing around in the water. To say that he was not a strong swimmer is a severe understatement. Fred Young eventually rescued him. Van Dyke was laughing his head off since he had never been passed before and for the first time it was by the whole field! (Tom now wonders if this Van Dyke was related to the beautiful and smart Karen Van Dyke, of the Transportation Systems Center and past ION President, who married and moved to the Washington, D.C. area after 2000.) In 1989, Tom Kerr was proud to have completed CRW’s Cape in a Day”: proceeding from Cleveland Circle in Brookline (at 6:00AM) to Provincetown, MA (by 3:00PM) in order to take the last Ferry back to Boston. The total distance biked was 123 miles! Lindy and Jamie King did an excellent job laying down clear and plentiful arrows so that no one lost their way.          Go to Top  

  Tom at age 28.  

Finishing 1, 2 and 3 in Saturdays 13 mile mini-marathon were Charles Tatarian (center), Reginald Marden (left) and Thomas Kerr in the 18-years-and-older category 

(when Tom was 28). All three were awarded trophies. However, the other two were professional athletes. Tom definitely is not!  Tom was 2nd. (Photo by Eric Weiss)  Go to Top  

Toms two adult sons occasionally participate in our TeK Associates activities and developments. His oldest son, Thomas H. Kerr IV, (my family member, but not an employee of TeK Associates) was a U. S. Marine in Information and Communications in Iraq and ship-borne in the Pacific for 5 ½ years and keeps things humming and in ship-shape condition at TeK Associates.  He also has a second younger son (my family member, but not an employee of TeK Associates), who is currently engaged in other pursuits.   Go to Top

Another family member, Aniece Ragland Kerr, (my family member, but not an employee of TeK Associates) is office manager and handles security, travel, record-keeping, finances, and our ample library of reference and technical books, conference proceedings, and continuing education videos, DVDs\CD-ROMs, and  on-line learning references and searches (and as his wife and an experienced professional school librarian of 30+ years [for the Town of Brookline, Massachusetts] is therefore the defacto boss-of-me). [She had previously run her own library at Heath School for many years as a middle school educator also responsible for their networked computers (its servers, and its back-up) and multimedia visual aids (and their checkout and return).] She has a B.A. in history from Tuskegee University (66), an M.S. in Library Science from Atlanta University (71), and was in the Peace Corps (67-69) in Colombia, South America. She recently retired from Brookline after 33 years in education. Please click here for her photograph. 

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Dr. Thomas Kerr, CEO and Principal Investigator at TeK Associates, receives a certificate celebrating 25 years of AIAA membership from
New England Section Chair Jeanne Hartley.

A few giggles at Google's Halloween bash! Speaking of Halloween, whats a hot dog with no meat in it? Answer: A hollow weenie!” (Tim facing forward in the background.)

Another Google Shindig: Celebrating Diversity (by wearing garments representing heritage)

Celebrating Diversity: (Left to right) Pinky, Regini, Akansha (a.k.a. granddaughter), Renuka, Tom, Margo, ... eventually Wilma (Big Mike's wife), ending with Erin.

Sorry, I didn't pay attention to these guys (so I don't know their names).


Tom & Frank and their respective wives Aniece & Dee. (Photographed by Deirdre Niemann, who is temporarily absent from her place setting in front.)

Goodbye Frank Gallagher (age: 82, BSCE MIT 1945; among other things: Chief Navigator aboard a wooden minesweeper during the Korean War; progeny: 80 at his 80th birthday)! Into each life some rain must fall ...

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In earlier times, the three Musketeers plus one - Seated:  Jennifer (on the left), (the late) Frank Gallagher, Don Bell; Standing: (the late) Mike Breen; in the background: Jim Martin (all retired by now).

Paul Mancuso, Tom Kerr, Don Bell, and John Meuse

Rogue's Gallery at Peets' (but no rogues are present)

Mohammed Salem, Ph.D. in Biochemistry

On the "Falling Waters Trail" in the White Mountains of New Hampshire (across the road and down the road from the Great Stone Face and near "The Flume") on Route 3. The Indian Head Motel is nearby at the bottom of the mountain. Little Haystack, Lincoln, and Liberty are the Mountains normally traversed in encountering this landmark. The AMC Greenleaf Hut is a nearby stopping off point in the mountains above tree line, where one may replenish one's water. The usual benign route back down to the parking lot is via "The Bridle Path". Even this benign route has a fifty foot drop-off at an edge that the path is tangent to at one point. It is best to avoid traversing this at night without a light.

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http://www.nasa.gov/offices/hsf/members/lyles-bio.html  and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lester_L._Lyles 

History: LTG Lester Lyles (now retired), director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, a predecessor to the Missile Defense Agency, signs the Consolidated 
Targets Program Plan, July 8, 1997. Effective Oct. 1, the Department of the Army established the Ballistic Missile Targets Joint Program Office, the basis 
of which was the #ArmySMDC's Targets, Test and Evaluation Division's Strategic Targets Product Office and Theater Target Product Office; foreign materiel 
acquisition; and cost effective, low fidelity targets. Under the initial direction of COL George Birdsong, “the BMTJPO [provided] an effective low-risk 
integrated theater and strategic missile targets program to support the Department of Defense’s Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. As the designated 
executing agent for the BMDO Consolidate Targets program, the BMTJPO [developed] realistic, cost-effective ballistic missile targets of the U.S. Army, 
Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

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August 2009: D'Artagnan (absent from the picture further above by one minute) enjoying a Mocha Freddo at Peets! En garde! = On guard!

(Photographed by Deirdre Niemann)

More about Tom’s family on his fathers side:

His fathers late sister, Louise Lyles Kerr (1916-2007) made a major contribution to the Civil Rights Program when she and her father, Baltimore pharmacists Thomas H. Kerr Sr., brought suit against Enoch Pratt Library for refusing to allow African Americans to be trained and employed by the library. The suit sought $4,500 in damages. In 1944, U.S. District Judge W. Calvin Chestnut dismissed the suit, saying that the library was a private corporation, not a governmental agency. The Negroes contended that since the City of Baltimore annually contributed about $500,000 to the library, the library is a public institution. They argued that by using public funds for that purpose, the city was taking funds of Negroes who were allegedly barred from the training course without “due process of law”. Although they did not win the case at the U. S. Circuit Court, the case aroused public opinion to the point where the library soon relented and admitted Negroes for employment. During the library’s 100th Anniversary Celebration, Mrs. Hines was honored for this effort. The case is now known as the “Kerr Principle” and has been applied many times since then, notably, at many state universities. Since 1997, many law school professors nation-wide have written several scholarly articles concerning this case. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Kerr_Hines?fbclid=IwAR2-HnNDs-2TohdhIp4_vgJr9WdoP9lDGVrCQMAuFyXQp6ST-KDtPNh7hl8  


For either a birthday or Christmas present in 1953, Aunt Louise gave Tom a crystal radio with a “cat's hair whisker connection that Tom personally built as an 8 year old child, having a 50 foot wire antenna strung out of our second story back window (in N.W., Washington, D. C.) and the other side of the receiver grounded in his bedroom to our home radiator with the paint scratched off to make good electrical contact (as advised). Adequate speakers (or a microphone) were later made from an empty cigar box as an acoustic resonating cavity with a small 2 inch diameter hole cut in the center of one of the two flat sides of larger area, then the carbon rods from inside two defunct D batteries (with nicks made in each using a fingernail file) were glued to the left and right sides of the cigar box bracketing the hole, and an unused carbon lead from a mechanical pencil was placed gently and loosely to bridge between the two nicks in carbon rods extending over the hole but not fastened or glued at all but left free to vibrate. Wires were run from the two metal caps of the D battery carbon rods to the output leads of the crystal radio and its "cat's whisker" when the cigar box was being used as a speaker. The crystal radio receiver worked best at night. I had used a wire-wound choke too for tuning that was somewhat like a rheostat or variable resistor. I know that choke is an inductor. My first station program reception was a performance of Jean-Carlos Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors" (at Christmas Time, when it was repeatedly broadcast ad infinitum back in those days). Ah, those were the good old days!

Tom also remembers building a Direct Current motor from a kit at home while he was attending Banneker Junior High School in the later 1950's. He had to wrap wire around the armature by hand and therefore learned to appreciate such hands-on labor-intensive activities as part and parcel of this motor/generator technology. He had to install the brushes himself and make sure they made good electrical contact with the spinning armature. By pursuing such activities as a kid, Tom gained an early appreciation of cutting flux, back EMF, Len's Law, sensitivity to good electrical contact of the brushes, the later benefit of brush-less motors as technology improved, the duality between a motor and a generator, depending on whether power were being applied to it to rotate the armature or the armature was being spun or externally rotated to generate electricity. (Brushless-DC motor systems for the uninitiated: https://www.planetanalog.com/author.asp?section_id=483&doc_id=565078) Such activities started him off in the right direction (along with his own real telegraph and viewing Don Herbert on TV in "Watch Mr. Wizard" and other good educational TV programs such as "Ask it Basket" and "You asked for It").

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His fathers late brother, Judson H. Kerr Sr., was a successful real estate agent in Baltimore, MD.  The following is according to his son, Judson H. Kerr Jr., as written in ~2005: 

My youngest son, Jerome, has the following three children: Jasmine (age 8), Jahadd (age 4) and Jenisis (age 2), a wife and a dog. He works as a social worker .... (They had been living in St Thomas Virgin Islands, but came back to Baltimore two years ago. My Oldest son, Judson H. Kerr III, is doing quite well. He works for a major property syndicate/Corporation and manages a 21 story High-rise Apartment facility in the re-gentrified area of downtown Baltimore. He has a staff, a private secretary, a glassed corner office ... and a beautiful lady friend, Jennifer Haynes. Id very much like to see him marry. Hes working on it, but she is high maintenance. He is also an erstwhile practicing minister and deliverer of the Gospel. He sings quite elegantly and professionally both during church services and in private appearances around Baltimore with a gospel group that he leads.

My wife, Deborah Knight-Kerr, is still a Director for the Johns Hopkins Health System. She is about to be published for her work in Workforce Development (WFD) for the healthcare industry. Her work is nationally known and Johns Hopkins medical Institute (JHMI) is bringing her programs to scale through a US Department of Labor (DOL) $3 million, four year grant. She is a principle in the on-going maturing of that capability at JHMI. She serves on a number of boards around Baltimore and is recognized as a leader in WFD for healthcare delivery entities within Baltimore and its surrounding area. Im very proud of her accomplishments. Ive had a tiny role over the years in making certain her approach was consistent and systematically extensible. It is now an institutionalized component of JHMI human resources (HR) department, with the attendant policy. Her programs (referred to as a Feeder System) are an integral part of JHMI WFD planning for the future. She is very good at what she does.

Im struggling to keep working as a system engineering consultant. My company does business as Applied System Engineering (ASE).

My niece, daughter to Debs brother a Viet Nam Veteran, Mr. Anthony Knight, has finished her undergrad work in International Finance at the University Of Baltimore Law school. She is trying to get into Columbia, NY for a post grad MBA in international something ....

My mom, Mrs. Jessie Darnes of Calverton Heights Baltimore, is 86 and slowing down now. She is also a master of the survival game because she bought three additional properties on her block and is a Landlady of some success. Im still learning how to run business from her. She is the champion of our lives. Aunt Louise, however, is in deteriorating condition in a nursing facility on Calvert street in Baltimore.  

My Sister, Jessie Louise Kerr works at JHMI as well and lives in one of the houses my mother owns. Her two daughters, Monique and Pone still reside in Baltimore. Jessie is divorced and Monique is a single parent of three children, Raymond, Jonathon and Crystal. Pone recently married a man from NY, a Mr. Jimmy Carter, and they reside in Baltimore as well. Jerald Kerr had three daughters by his first marriage, Joy, and twins Jewel and Janice. They all still live in Baltimore, they are all grown now with families. All three are Ph.D.s-two in education and the third-Im not exactly sure what her area is. They have about six children among them. Jerald remarried to Sharon, They live in Columbia MD, and have a daughter Jillian (age 4), who by the way, is the aunt of Jeralds three daughters children, and, at the same time Great aunt to all Jeralds grandchildren. Jerald has two other sons: Tode Kerr, a graduate of Hampton in Virginia, who teaches for the Baltimore City school System and Jerald Kerr Jr. (age 17), who just graduated from high school. Jim has two sons: Jay and Jeff. Jeff and his wife have two children, Julian (age 9) and a daughter, Jordan (age 8). They also live in Columbia Maryland.

I almost neglected to mention that my daughter, Jua Vernea Kerr, graduated from Norfolk State University with a degree in Management Information Systems, four years ago. She later married a US Navy man, one Chief Petty Officer, Robert Ewing two years ago. They live in Chesapeake VA, near Norfolk Naval Base, where he serves on the USS Enterprise Carrier as a Nuclear Engineer. He is completing his undergrad work in Nuclear Systems Engineering and will finish next year. They do not yet have any kids... but I expect to soon hear Dad, Im having a grandchild for you to watch soon.



 Tom's Cousin, David Kerr, and his family: new arrival 6 week old Cris, wife Alisa, and Sam on Thanksgiving Day 2010 at his Mother Delores' home.

(Cristian David John Kerr was born on 10/11/10 and his older brother, Samuel Solomon Eggerson Kerr, will be 3  years old on Christmas eve.)  

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Unfortunately the above book, while good, overlooks too many of the notables like the (late) David Blackwell (RAND, later Head of U. C. Berkeley’s Statistics Department, Blackwell-Rao Factorization Theorem for establishing Sufficient Statistics and well renown was Richard Bellman’s and David Blackwell’s work on Differential Games at RAND in 1947-1949, etc.) Please click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Blackwell and http://www.math.buffalo.edu/mad/PEEPS/blackwell_david.html and http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Blackwell.html (David Blackwell died in 2010).

Tom met Prof. Blackwell when Blackwell spoke at Howard University in the spring of 1967 in conjunction with a Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics Honor Society) induction ceremony and dinner while Tom III was student president of this Howard chapter of this national organization. This book also overlooks Clifton Samuels and many other notables that Tom is aware of. This oversight in the above book is indeed unfortunate.

Also see Black Mathematician: (the late) Albert Turner Bharucha-Reid:
1. Elements of the Theory of Markov Processes and Their Applications (1960), by A T Bharucha-Reid.
2. Probabilistic Methods in Applied Mathematics, Vol. I (1968), by A T Bharucha-Reid (ed.).
3. Probabilistic Methods in Applied Mathematics, Vol. 2 (1970) by A T Bharucha-Reid (ed.). 
4. Probabilistic Methods in Applied Mathematics, Vol. 3 (1973) by A T Bharucha-Reid (ed.). 

Also see (the late) Prof. Clifton Samuels (Purdue University, and later Electrical Engineering Department Head at Howard University~1967). (The late) Prof. Frank Kozin (Brooklyn Poly) cited Samuels' work on "stability with probability one" early on (while Kozin was a graduate student at Purdue University [taking related courses from Prof. Samuels there]) but then later Kozin treated it as his own ideas as a Professor at Brooklyn Polytechnic University. See reference to ONLY much earlier version of Samuels' work as ~ refs. 50, 51 of F. Kozin, "A Survey of Stability of Stochastic Systems," Automatica, Vol. 5, pp. 95-112, 1969, rather than to Prof. Samuels' more recent follow-on work along the same lines. Prof. Samuels related this story when Tom visited him while Samuels was on Sabbatical nearby at MIT in the mid 1970's. Tom personally investigated and confirmed Samuel's claims of plagiarism against Prof. Kozin. Dr. Samuels apparently turned to "drink" to assuage his pain and, unfortunately, died soon thereafter. 

As can be seen from Ref. 25 of  A. S. Willsky, "A Survey of Design Methods for Failure Detection in Dynamic Systems," Automatica, Vol. 12, pp. 601-611, 1976, my Two Confidence Region (CR2) predated Willsky's investigations. My even earlier "One Confidence Region" (CR1) approach to failure detection, took a geometric perspective of the underlying Gaussian Confidence Region but was NOT published in the open literature [but did use the same working tools exhibited in Earl D. Eyman and Thomas Kerr, "Modeling a particular class of Stochastic System," Int. J. of Control, Vol. 18, No. 6, pp. 1189-1199, 1973] but the specifics of my CR1 approach only appeared in a 1973 report to SP-24: Fagan, J., Kerr, T. H., and Uttam, B., “Poseidon Improvement Studies,” TASC Technical Report TR-315-1, Reading, MA, June 1973 (Confidential) for Navy, SP-24 of Strategic Systems Project office (Crystal City, VA), which Willsky was privy to, as a later TASC consultant, and which he rewrote as the several terms within double summations consisting of finite additions [all in just the same day that he was allowed to view this report]; however, Willsky gave it a different name: Weighted-Sum-Squared-Residuals (WSSR), although it appeared within my PL/1computer program implementation in Matrix Language 1 (ML/1) as exctly that when the quadratic forms were expanded out, and I immediately recognized the copying which had occurred). Please click this link: http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ501/Hallam/documents/Quad_Forms_000.pdf, where the first line of Eq. 1 for an expression used for the CR1 (Ellipsoidal Confidence Region 1), where "Q" within CR1 is taken to be the symmetric (n x n) inverse of the positive definite covariance matrix for the n-dimensional random vector x, and the last line in this Eq. 1 is the double summation expression corresponding to what Alan S. Willsky used for what he renamed as WSSR. They are exactly equivalent expressions obtained merely by expanding it out as double summations representing the matrix products of my original (as also present in my ML/1 software implementation)!)

This served as motivation for my later clarifications: (1) Kerr, T. H., “Examining the Controversy Over the Acceptability of SPRT and GLR Techniques and Other Loose Ends in Failure Detection,” Proceedings of the American Control Conference, San Francisco, CA, 22-24 June 1983; (2) Kerr, T. H., “Decentralized Filtering and Redundancy Management for Multisensor Navigation,” IEEE Trans. on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol.23, No. 1, pp. 83-119, Jan. 1987; (3) http://ieee-aess.org/contact/thomas-kerr. My later response to: Brumback, B. D., Srinath, M. D., “A Chi-Square Test for Fault-Detection in Kalman Filters,” IEEE Trans. on Automatic Control, Vol. 32, No. 6, pp. 532-554, June 1987 pointed out that their suggested modification of my original CR2 failure detection technique, documented well before their modifications, would now have their suggested change in initial condition, as

                          [ P_same-small | P_same-small  ]


P_bigICmatrix = [ P_same-small | P_same-small ] ,

as their recommended initial condition to be used with their repackaging of my result that incorporates both my Ricatti equation and my Lyapunov equation into one larger augmented partitioned matrix equation. However, it is obvious from the structure of their augmented partitioned Covariance Initial Condition that they now recommend for starting the computations that it now lacks positive definiteness and will therefore cause severe numerical problems upon start-up. Acceptable initial conditions must at least be positive definite and (diag{P_same-small},diag{P_same-small}) should properly suffice. When I pointed out this crucial vulnerability or fatal flaw during my review and author's reply, they dismissed it with mere "lip service". The technical referee then nominated them for an award for my work that I had already clearly and adequately documented elsewhere: JOTA (1977), IEEE AC (1980), and IEEE IT (1982). They received the IEEE Control Systems award for MY work, which now had a fatal flaw in it, which THEY introduced.

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Also see the book: Black Jack: African American Seamen in the age of Sail by W. Jeffrey Bolster (Associate Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire, who held James H. Hayes and Claire Short Chair in the Humanities there. His book documents the contribution of Black people in naval and maritime history in the days when skilled and master seamen of color were the norm rather than the exception. Worldwide, the crews at that time were about 20% Black. He also conveys the corroborating artwork of the time.

Another Black Mathematician who is referenced in “the souls of Black folks“; who graduated from Howard University and Johns Hopkins University. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_Miller_(scientist


Lamenting that I missed my earlier opportunity to make the following joking retorts: 
[1] Surrey with an (interference) fringe on top is a song from Oklahoma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss1CXo8QMi8  
[2] Peano man, Piano axioms, Peano axioms: http://homepages.math.uic.edu/~kauffman/Peano.pdf  
[3] A Dedekind cut. The most unkindest cut of all.”    Groan!    Blame my grandfather!       Go to Top


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