James Franklin Kerns, Sr., the son of Elery and Sylvia (Parker) Kerns, was born February 5, 1943, in Cushing, Iowa. His childhood years were spent in the Washta and Quimby, Iowa, area where he received his education, graduating from Washta High School in 1961. After his schooling, he entered the military and served with the U.S. Navy from February 1962 until his honorable discharge in July 1966.
Jim married Barbara Haley on October 30, 1965, at the United Methodist Church in Washta. After their marriage, they moved to Spencer, Iowa, where he worked as a serviceman for Sears and Roebuck for eight years. Jim later began working at Eaton Corporation as a maintenance tech for 26 years until his retirement in 2004. Jim and Barb enjoyed golfing, vacationing in Branson, Missouri, and spending time with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a very active member of the Living Word Church in Spencer.
Jim passed away at the Ava’s House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Thursday, February 14, 2019, at the age of 76. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Barbara of Spencer; three children: Deborah (Ron) Messerschmidt of Waterbury, NE, James (Ruth) Kerns, Jr. of Sioux Falls, SD, and Jeffrey (Tamara) Kerns of Ames, IA; 12 grandchildren and their families including five great-grandchildren; four siblings: Doreen Kerns-Sambrano of Rapid City, SD, Raymond Kerns and good friend, Connie Dude of Quimby, IA, Alfred Kerns and wife, Susan of Quimby, IA and Gloria Bjorklund and husband, Bruce of Bloomington, MN; many nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.