Funeral services for James “Jim” Kerns, 85, of Chariton will be Monday, February 17, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at the Chariton Christian Church. Family will receive friends on Sunday from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. at the church. Memorials are requested to the Chariton Christian Church or to the Lucas County Inter-Church Council. Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton is assisting with the arrangements.
James William Kerns passed away on February 12, 2020 at the Lucas County Health Center, Chariton, Iowa. He was born February 5, 1935 in Burlington, Iowa to Herman Kerns and Gladys (Lambertson) Kerns. His siblings are Marjorie (Kerns) Schwenker, Don Kerns, and Evelyn (Kerns) Pritchard. Jim graduated from Clarke County High School in 1954.
The childhood years were spent in Osceola. Jim was energetic. He had a newspaper route, was the Lyric Theatre projectionist, helped in his father’s business and spent an abundant amount of time in assorted outdoor activities.
After his high school graduation he served in the United States Army until 1956. Jim married Anne (Heston) Kerns on June 30, 1957. They were blessed with four children: Bill, Jeff, Jill, and Mike.
For thirty years he worked at Hy-Vee Distribution Center and Headquarters in Chariton. He began as a truck mechanic. Eventually, a position was created for maintenance supervisor. The job required Jim to supervise the maintenance of the distribution center and headquarter facilities. He worked this position for 15 years. He gave back to the community as Boy Scouts leader, Adult Education, Interchurch Council (founding member) and Chariton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Jim and Anne loved to travel both long and short distance. When the family was young they had fun traveling to Minnesota, Colorado, California and Oregon. Jim and Anne took trips to Spain and Alaska to see their daughter Jill when she lived in these places. In Jim and Anne’s later years they loved to do day trips to sightsee in Lucas County and southern Iowa.
The family spent much time outdoors through picnics, hiking, canoeing, sightseeing and sledding. He had a passion for traditional country music and classical music and would listen to other styles of music as well.
Retirement did not slow him down. He continued to live a lively existence through woodworking, stained glass, auctions, building primitive furniture, collectibles and antiques. Without fanfare, Jim helped many people with home repairs, donations to outreach groups and other ways.
Jim was a man of faith. He was baptized at the Osceola Christian Church and was a member at the Chariton Christian Church since 1960. His faith reflected many Christ-like qualities: fun, humility, kindness, generosity, forgiveness and love. Through his faith he was comfortable and cared deeply for the poor and marginalized as well as the most successful person.
Jim passed away February 12, 2020 at the Lucas County Health Center. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Anne Kerns; his children: Bill (Barb Grabner-Kerns), Jeff (Donna) Kerns, Jill Kerns, and Mike (April) Kerns; five grandchildren: Jacob, Emily, Abby, Elizabeth, and Samuel; 8 great grandchildren; and sisters: Marjorie Schwanker and Evelyn (Art) Pritchard.
Preceding him in death were his parents: Herman and Gladys Kerns; and brother, Donald Kerns.