The funeral Mass for Father John V. Kerber was to have been celebrated April 5 at Holy Infant Church in Ballwin. Father Kerber died March 28 at Mother of Good Counsel Home in Northwoods. He was 85 years old and had been an archdiocesan priest for 60 years.
Born in St. Louis, Father Kerber attended Cathedral Latin School, St. Louis Preparatory Seminary and Kenrick Seminary. He was ordained March 22, 1958, by then-Archbishop Joseph E. Ritter.
His first assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Sebastian Parish in north St. Louis County, serving until 1963 with a three-year stint (1960-63) as a part-time religion teacher at nearby Corpus Christi Parish High School in Jennings. In 1963, he became assistant pastor at Sts. John and James Parish in Ferguson and was appointed as a full-time religion teacher at Rosary High School. He then served as a part-time associate pastor at St. Casimir Parish in north county (1971-74), associate pastor at Assumption Parish in south county (1974-75) and associate pastor at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Riverview Gardens (1975-76) before joining the pastor ranks for the next 37 years.
From 1976 to 1981, he was pastor at Most Holy Trinity Parish in north St. Louis, moved to St. Cletus Parish in St. Charles from a 13-year tenure from 1981 until 1994, then spent nearly 20 years as pastor of Our Lady Parish in Festus, 1994-2013. He was granted retirement status with residence in 2013 at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in south St. Louis, then moved last month into Mother of Good Counsel Home.
Twice in his priesthood, he studied at The Catholic University in Washington, D.C. — Workshop of Catechetics, in the summer of 1963; and Religious Education, in the summer of 1966. In 1969, he was appointed to the Archdiocesan Commission for Religious Education.
He is survived by a sister, Lynn Wharton.