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Kenneth L. Kerns, 85, of Unicoi, died Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, at the Center on Aging and Health. Mr. Kerns was a Unicoi County native, born on June 25, 1926, to the late Walter C. and Gladys Nelson Kerns.
He lived in Walbridge, Ohio until his mother died, in 1941, then returning to Erwin. Mr. Kerns was a World War II Veteran, having served in the U. S. Navy aboard the USS Franklin and the USS Midway from 1944 to 1946.
Mr. Kerns was a member, former elder and former deacon of First Christian Church in Erwin, a charter member of Watauga Valley Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society, a charter member of the Erwin Emergency and Rescue Squad, a retired member of the Carter County Rescue Squad and a 50 year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union.
He retired in 1988 as an electrician from the Clinchfield Railroad after 38 years of service. He attended East Tennessee State University.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, Agnes Kerns, in 2010, stepmother, Ocey Kerns, daughter, Saundra Kerns Booher, uncle, Carl Nelson and aunt, Mae Nelson.
Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law: Bryce and Darlene Hollifield Kerns of Unicoi; grandson: Bryan Douglas and wife, Sherrie Kerns, of Weaverville, N.C.; great-grandchildren: Caleb Bryce Kerns and Katelyn Grace Kerns and special cousin: Laurence Nelson.
Funeral services for Kenneth L. Kerns were held at noon on Saturday, Jan. 7, in the Chapel of Valley Funeral Home with Dr. Todd Edmondson and Dr. David Roberts officiating. Vocal selections were provided by Shelton Thompson.
A graveside committal service was conducted at Roselawn Memory Gardens following the service. Active pallbearers were Bryan Kerns, Doyle Hopson, David Eunson, Seth Jones, Andy Frazier, and Tommy Phillips.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Christian Church, 307 S. Main Ave., Erwin, TN 37650.
Valley Funeral Home was in charge.