Kerri Bennett Eaker

kerri eaker

May 11, 1967 ~ June 28, 2024

Born in: Haywood Co., NC
Resided in: Mooresboro, NC

Kerri Bennett Eaker, age 57, of Mooresboro, North Carolina, passed away on June 28, 2024 at the Elizabeth House in Hendersonville. She was the daughter of Winston Bennett and the late Barbara Bennett. She was born in Haywood County and was a graduate of Enka High School.

Kerri is survived by her two sons, Matthew Kirkland (and his wife Bree) and Dakota Kirkland; grandkids, Hayley and Mason; identical twin sister, Sherri Sitton (and husband Mike) and sister, Linda Towles (and husband Brian); much loved nieces and nephews; and dear friends including Lora Holcombe and Ray Hemachandra. She was preceded in death by her mother Barbara Bennett and her husband Darrell Eaker.

In her 57 years on earth, Kerri was able to touch more lives and hearts than can be imagined. During her 11-month battle with cancer, she fought so hard. But anticipating the outcome, she made sure everything was in place for her family. Kerri was amazing, humble, and kind hearted, and she loved God.

After her relationship with God she was a Mom. She never hesitated to let everyone know her boys came first. She spent her life as a single parent trying to juggle work and taking care of a child in the IDD community with months spent at hospitals. She never let Dakota feel alone at those places regardless the consequences, while feeling guilty that she wasn’t with the other son. She always figured out a way to give them everything they needed. Her pursuit to get support led to her career.

Kerri was a passionate disability and special-needs advocate who touched the lives of countless families and children. She worked with the Family Support Network of WNC, the Mental Health Association, and ECAC. Kerri chaired the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities and co-chaired the Cleveland County Children’s Collaborative. She won the 2022 Jack B. Hefner Memorial Award for her lifetime of work in disability advocacy.

Two services will be held. Kerri requested attendees wear pink—her favorite color—if they choose.

The first Celebration of Life will be 11:00 am on Saturday, July 13, 2024 at Prospect Baptist Church, 2610 Prospect Church Road, Mooresboro, N.C. Pastor Tim Elmore and Steve Cooper will be officiating. The family will receive friends in the fellowship hall immediately following the service for a celebration.

The second Celebration of Life for colleagues and friends will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 20, 2024 at Groce Funeral Home, 1401 Patton Avenue, Asheville, N.C. The family welcomes friends and colleagues to lunch after the service in the room adjacent to the chapel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Arc of North Carolina in support of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in Western North Carolina using the online form at or by mailing a donation in Kerri’s name to The Arc of North Carolina, 353 E. Six Forks Road, Suite 300, Raleigh, NC 27609.


Celebration of Life: July 13, 2024 11:00 am

Prospect Baptist Church
2610 Prospect Church Road
Mooresboro, NC 28114

Celebration of Life: July 20, 2024 11:00 am

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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Memories Timeline


  1. Such a wonderful person. I was blessed to have known her. Fly High sweet girl. Prayers to all who loved her.

  2. Sherri and family I am so sorry for the loss of Kerri…she was always a sweet wonderful friend. As I sit here I think of all of us at Candler Elementary. We had many fun times together. I will miss her dearly. Love to all.

  3. Sherri and all your family I am so sorry for your loss and pray for peace and comfort during this sad time

  4. Sherri & family, we’re thinking of you All with ongoing prayers. Love & peace, sweet friend. Big hugs of comfort. Karen & Tim 💓💓

  5. Love you Kerri, you were one of a kind. The world was definitely a better place with you being in it. Those who got the chance to be around you, related to you, and loved by you were forever changed in a positive way. Your two sons had the best mom, and couldnt have been raised with more love than them. Our family will keep a look after them, as you go to be with your mom, mamaw, and those that went before you. I will see you again in heaven someday. Until that day love you bunches, and I will see you again!!

  6. I worked with Kerri at DSS many years ago and she was a lovely person. She was very devoted to her chlldren. May God give the family peace and comfort.

  7. Kerri, what a huge and generous heart you had… It’s been a couple years since I’ve seen you and more since we really worked together, but I was always inspired by your knowledge and passion and you clarity around putting your family first. You will be missed.

  8. I am so sorry to hear the news of the passing but I pray give you and this precious family peace God Bless my thoughts and prayers are with you all❤️🙏

  9. My heart breaks for you sweet brother_ HA and Sherri and Linda and Matthew and Dakota… and everyone who loved Kerri. I will never forget the day The Twins were born. Barbara and HA were two very proud parents. I remember getting to babysit the Twins …so their parents could have a date night. I’ve always loved all my niece’s and nephews. As a Aunt to twins always felt special. I know Kerri is a sweet Angel in heaven and so happy to be with her Mother! See you in heaven sweet niece! 💗

  10. Kerri was such an instrumental force in helping us with our daughter. She will be greatly missed. ❤️

  11. Kerri was a tireless advocate. Your mom always spoke so highly of you. On the occasions our professional paths crossed, you were an absolute ray of sunshine. You will be greatly missed.

  12. Kerri,
    I’ll miss your smile so much, it was just like your mom’s! I’ll miss our talks about the past, the Bible, and about going home. Most of all, I will miss my loving niece and great friend!
    Until I meet you in Heaven,
    Aunt Susie

  13. A wonderful person who will be forever missed & dedication to others never forgotten…Words fall short of expressing our condolences but know that our thoughts are with you during this challenging time.

  14. The impact and legacy that Kerri leaves behind will continue in her honor. Keeping her beautiful family uplifted in prayers during this difficult time.

  15. Dear Matthew, Dakota, Sherri, Linda and Winston,
    Thinking of you as you mourn and celebrate Kerri’s beautiful life. Her time on earth was short but she will live on in your hearts. Praying for each of you.

  16. I know that Kerri will be in your hearts daily. Hoping that gives you comfort until you meet again! Hugs!

  17. Kerri my sweet friend, I will never forget everything you taught me and the doors you opened for me and the encouragement you gave me to walk through them. I am so grateful God had our paths cross and that I was able to work beside you for 7 years! I will miss your laugh and all our long talks and the dreams we shared to save the world! I pray peace for your family and for Gods face to shine upon them.

  18. We met Kerri and her family a little over a year ago and never did we hear her say she felt bad even on days we could tell. She would always smile and say the LORD is taking care of me! Her FAMILY knew that when that glorious day would come, that the LORD would be waiting with open arms to receive her into HEAVEN and there would be no more suffering and pain. Sending our thoughts and prayers to all the family with love..
    Vicki and Danna Gregg
    Silver & Fern Floral Studio

  19. I met Kerri many years ago through the Family Support Network . She was a shining light to so many families caring for a child with disabilities. Her love ❤️ was evident in every aspect of her life. I know she will continue her journey in Heaven. Her laughter, ongoing care and compassion will be greatly missed!

  20. As I travel down the road today to your funeral I think back of all our wonderful childhood memories. The many times we traveled to and from Forest City to Asheville for the weekends. I always loved staying with you & Sherri & Linda. The family trips to the beach. Growing up together and then having our own families. Watching our children play ball together and Brittany cheering them on! What wonderful memories! They say cousins are one of your first best friends and I was blessed with a wonderful cousin & friend. You have touched many lives and anyone who knew you loved you. You were a great daughter, sister, Mom, grandmother and friend. You will be missed by so many. I know you are in heaven having the greatest time playing cards with your mom & mamaw, Chris & those who went on before you. Gone way too early but never forgotten. Until I see you again sweet cousin I love you ❤️ RIP

  21. I really enjoyed being friends with your mom, dad and your sisters. You were such a sweet and kind person. RIP Sherri God Bless you and your family.

  22. I am so sorry to hear about Kerri. I had the privilege of getting to know Kerri as a colleague in the profession, as a fellow parent and as my friend. Kerri presented about FSN and her parent story to numerous college students who are now special education teachers across the state of North Carolina. She helped to change the way that special education teachers interact with families who have children with disabilities. Kerri also taught me how to advocate for my children with special needs and she stood with me when the system refused to serve my child. She also connected with the highest level of administration in NC who then did work with the agencies that needed to serve my child. Kerri stood with me until the services were in place. Kerri supported me as a parent at a time when no one else did. I know Kerri did this for numerous families. She had a beautiful gift. She was always kind, sure of what to do, and active to make the change happen. I am forever grateful for her support. Most of all I am grateful for her friendship. She was always smiling, laughing and full of hope. I will miss you Kerri. Thank you my friend. Karena Kerri’s impact will be felt for years to come.

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