American Veteran 04

Ronald E. Kern

September 12, 1949 ~ October 19, 2021 (age 72)


Ronald E. Kern, age 72, of Escanaba, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette after a courageous battle with Parkinsons Disease. His wife and son were beside him at his final breath. Ron was born on September 12, 1949 in Wauwautosa, WI, the son of Walter and Edna (DesJardin) Kern. Growing up, he worked alongside his siblings at his mother’s family-owned Mueller’s Pizza Restaurant. In 1968, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. During this time, Ron served three separate six-month tours in Vietnam, with an honorable discharge in January of 1971. While serving, he learned a trade in telecommunications. On February 11, 1971, Ronald married the love of his life, Lois King, in Escanaba. MI. They settled in Bartlett, IL and raised three children. He began working for Illinois Bell in August of 1971. In the mid-1990s, he fulfilled his dream of owning a business, and established a janitorial company called White Knight Executive Services.

Ron retired after 30 years and he and his wife returned to Escanaba in 2002.

In retirement, he enjoyed family reunions, playing cards, casino poker tournaments, and cheering on Da Bears! Ron was known as a chess champ, poker champ, and Trekki, but nothing was more cherished by him than the time spent with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

In 2010, Ron was diagnosed with Parkinson’s as a result of Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. In December of 2016, he moved to the Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette, MI where the staff and members became his extended family. They came to know his kindness, strength, and wicked sense of humor.

Ronald E. Kern is survived by his wife, Lois Kern of Escanaba; three children, Jean Kern of Galesburg, IL, Ronda (Michael) Keller of Harvard, IL, and Rich (Lily) Kern of Lisle, IL; five grandchildren, Brody, Addie, Deano, Leo, and Titus; three brothers, Greg (Rosalie) Kern of Providence, RI, Bill (Jan) Kern of Escanaba, and James (Marilyn) Kern of Escanaba; one sister, Jean Seaberg of Iron Mountain, MI; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Ron was preceded in death by his two sisters, Cindy and Mary Beth.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans for taking excellent care of Ron, and Lake Superior Hospice for their diligent and compassionate care for Ron during his last weeks of his life.

A Celebration of Life, along with Military Honors, will be held at a later date. 

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