Dwain Evans Kern, 1927-2017

Dwain Evans Kern, known to friends as “DEK,” died in his home on Friday, June 23, at the age of ninety, surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Three Oaks, Michigan, on June 8, 1927, to Harry and Ruth Kern, Dwain moved as a child to New Carlisle, where he lived the rest of his life. He graduated from New Carlisle High School in 1944 and joined the Navy soon after. In April 1950, Dwain wed his lifelong love, Audrey Mell, in New Carlisle.

Dwain’s early working years were spent at Studebaker’s in South Bend. In 1954, he began work with Indiana Bell Telephone as a lineman. During these years, Dwain also served as a firefighter with the New Carlisle Fire Department.

His early retirement in 1982 afforded him many years to pursue his interests and hobbies. He was always available to volunteer for community organizations such as Historic New Carlisle, The American Legion and Bendix Woods Sugar Camp. As busy as he was, he still found plenty of time to spend with his family, plant a huge garden every spring, and fish with his buddies. One of Dwain’s favorite hobbies was woodworking, and he made many beautiful pieces which are treasured by family and friends.

Dwain was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Eugene and James, and his sisters, Marilyn Bottorff and Rita Hoggard. Surviving are his wife of 67 years, Audrey, daughters, Donna Clark (John Colanese) and Marcia Kern (Shep Lovick) of New Carlisle, Laurel Kern of Kalamazoo, Michigan, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held at the American Legion Post 297, 486 East Michigan Street in New Carlisle on Saturday, July 15, from 5-7 pm for friends and family. Memorial contributions may be made to Historic New Carlisle, PO Box 107, New Carlisle, IN 46552; or to the American Legion, Post 297, New Carlisle.

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