Diane Beverley Alix Kerr was born on Wednesday the 14th of December 1949 in Toronto to Norman and Ann Leddy. She grew up with her brother Larry, who chose the name Beverley or Bev which stuck to the present day. She lived to the age of 70 and passed away on Sunday the 5th of September 2021 in Ottawa. She is survived by her loving husband Mr. Michael Lang and her two sons Drs Jeremy (Laura) and Nicholas (Charlotte) Kerr.
Beverley spent her formative years in and around the Oakville area. She had some early interest in creative pursuits such as art but this seed would bloom later. Beverley showed some promise in athletics as a teenager and was involved in sprinting as well as extra-curricular figure skating.
As she was preparing to go to university, she met her first husband, George Kerr, in Toronto. Together they headed south to attend the University of Windsor, she majoring in Communications. Whilst a student she met Kelly and Joanne Hoppe who remain close friends. Unfortunately around this same time, tragedy befell Beverley when her mother passed away. George and Bev were married in 1970 and Jeremy Thomas was born in 1971. After graduating, she started working at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a reporter.
The family moved to Ottawa around 1981 after the birth of their second son, Nicholas Alexander in 1980. She worked at the Farm Credit Corporation where she met Louise Neveu, initially her mentor and since one of her dearest friends. Louise brought Bev to Agriculture Canada as a communications director, a role for which she received many accolades. Whilst in Ottawa she made many more life-long friendships. The first of these many bonds was with Alison and Juan Plaza and their two children – a friendship that later distance has never dulled.
She met the love of her life, Michael Lang, in 2005 and never slowed down. Together they built a beautiful home, shared a love of cycling, taught spinning together, and went on many travels to exotic locals.
Anyone who was privileged to know Bev was instantly aware of her overwhelming optimism and humour she effortlessly produced. She was able to focus absolutely on a task but knew exactly when to inject her own brand of silly to brighten the room with her beautiful laughter. She never took herself seriously and was able to laugh at her own missteps. A conversation with her father when the first video conferencing software was available using the word “Over” to not interrupt each other was a family favourite and was often quoted.
After her retirement Bev was able to revisit her initial love of the creative arts. She became heavily involved in art classes where she sped through many phases of expression and settled on abstract art. This involvement in the art community was able to help her through the prolonged COVID isolation but also allowed her to paint many beautiful works. She always loved to share the newest painting or technique with those around her. So strongly did she want to spread the joy of art, she would organise painting sessions with her close friend Canin Potetsianakis. To this day we remain unsure of how many works of art were generated from these sessions but many laughs were shared.
She inherited many characteristics from her father she could never deny. Firstly, Bev had an absolute weakness for any kind of gadget. She was always the first in the family to buy the newest electronic toy or kitchen aide even if there was no discernible use. Like Norman, she would love to try to figure out how this new gadget would fit into the ever-growing library without using the instruction manual. She had no intuition for how these things worked. Many drawers of the house act as gadget piles for the discards that did not fit any niche. The most used gadget in the kitchen was the ever-present Bluetooth meat thermometer – the way she talked about this convinced her family she was on commission. Sadly her sons have developed this trait as well.
The second comedic similarity she shared with her father was the ability to find the most expensive thing in a room. When shopping anywhere, presented with options, she invariably chose the most stylish (and expensive) with no knowledge of price tags. It was possible to see this easily in her kitchen with the selection of high tech coffee makers she had accrued. The coffee she made was always presented with a flare of a professional machine used at the most basic level – it sure did look nice.
In the last several years she pushed herself to make food at a gourmet level. Bev was always scouring the internet for the newest cookbook or instructional video. Mike, the ever willing canary, never once signalled danger. Before introducing her friends and family to a recipe she would try it out in different ways to perfect it. Bev also had her family favourite recipes she learned from her father in law Thomas Kerr and was always keen to share at family occasions. Her roast beef and Yorkshire puddings were always an equal source of pride and anguish depending on how high they rose that particular dinner. The height of the puddings, if pleasing, would be casually mentioned for the rest of the week and would have to be met with an appropriate amount of awe.
Finally, none could deny that Beverley was an adventurous woman willing to throw herself into just about anything. Early in her life in Ottawa she decided she would pursue horseback riding. She took lessons right away engaging quickly with this new passion. She tried jumping but thankfully for the rest of us settled on dressage. She competed and eventually owned two internationally successful competition horses. She moved subsequently to motorcycle riding for several years causing the accumulation of white hair shared out to the rest of her family. She briefly owned two motorcycles – a Honda, followed by a Harley Davidson Hog! Luckily for everyone this passion was short lived and went to the less dangerous cycling passion that she would later share with Mike.
Bev lived a long life she filled with love, laughter, and adventure. She filled her quiet times with her painting producing a volume of beautiful work enough to fill a gallery. Bev will continue to keep us all company when we have a fit of laughter, gaze at a piece of abstract art, unbox a gadget with no discernible use, set out to do something a little scary and look deep inside for courage, or feel the wind in our hair.
If thinking about sending flowers, the family would prefer charitable donations to the Ottawa Humane Society or the Canadian Cancer Society instead.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Beverley Diane Alix Kerr Sunday September 5th 2021..
Death notice for the town of: Ottawa, Province: Ontario