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Senior Center commemorates life of former mayor Kerley

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Town officials joined family and friends of the late Linda Kerley last week for the grand opening of the senior center named after the former mayor and alderman.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the Linda Kerley Senior Center on Tuesday after several public servants were given time to reflect on the life of Collierville’s first female mayor.

Mayor Stan Joyner welcomed those in attendance and Rev. William Parham gave an invocation and blessing.

Former alderman Justin Mitchell and current Vice Mayor Maureen Fraser spoke of Kerley as a mentor.

Town officials unanimously approved a construction contract for $871,354 in March to renovate the 18,750-square-foot “aircraft hangar style” gymnasium on College Street.

Ken Kerley

Ken Kerley

The 56-year-old building includes two large activity areas, an area for catering and a central gallery.

There was no argument to be made last summer that Kerley should have her name attached to some portion of the renovated College Street gymnasium.

But rather than name a section of the future multi-use recreation and senior center after the town’s first female alderman and only female mayor, the Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to name the entire facility for Kerley.

A recommendation was initially made at a Parks Advisory Board meeting to name the senior wing of the center after Kerley, who passed away in November 2013.

A plaque in the center of the facility features one of Kerley’s favorite quotes: “A bad day in Collierville is better than a good day anywhere else.”

Kerley served as alderman from 1995-1999 and mayor from 2000-2008.

Some of the key town projects completed under Kerley’s tenure include the dedication of the new Town Hall, the Collierville Burch Library, the Carriage Crossing retail center and the expansion of Highway 385.

She was known for having a passion for providing seniors with opportunities for social interaction and intellectual stimulation, as well as meeting their basic needs through programs like Meals on Wheels.

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