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Passed away peacefully, on September 8, 2022 at the age of 84, surrounded by his loving family. Beloved husband, loving Dad and adored grandpa, he is survived by wife Peggy of 53 years, sons Tony (Jennifer) and Sean, and grandchildren Jacobsen, Cole and Mitchell. Jerry was a caring brother to the late Jim and Joe Kern, the son of late mother Cecilia (nee Dickson) Kern and father Oscar Kern. He is further survived by his sister Alice (Donald) Piotrowski, many friends and relatives.
Jerry had a very adventurous spirit as a young man that led him to Mexico, Cuba, Central America and Canada, During his working career, he always ensured that both of his sons were included, enabling them to experience and enjoy the benefits of travel, and the worlds it could open up for them.
He was an avid jazz enthusiast, and amateur pianist, who could play many songs by ear. He loved listening to the likes of George Shearing, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughan and collected hundreds of hours of reel to reel audio, and attended countless performances growing up and with his family. He amassed hundreds of hours of classic movies, TV shows, concerts and theatrical performances that he lovingly shared with his family.
Soon after marriage to Peggy, Jerry persuaded her to consider purchasing land in Campbellsport, where he would become a gentleman farmer and raise veal calves. Although short-lived, it confirmed Jerry’s continuous curiosity of the world and fed his varied interests.
Jerry was an avid collector and follower of Frank Lloyd Wright's life and work. After Wright's passing in 1959, he made a pilgrimage to Spring Green, to attend his funeral procession at Unity Church. Later in life, he shared that passion with his family, renting the Wright Barn House in Spring Green, for his family to enjoy a weekend retreat.
As a child, he dreamed of becoming an actor with intentions to move to Italy. Life took him in other directions, where he found tremendous success in sales as Federal Accounts Manager for Blue Cross, and winning numerous sales awards and recognition as a top Sales Counselor for the Milwaukee Archdiocese. While at Blue Cross, he also was a tireless fundraiser, sponsor and coordinator for the Easter Seals, Milwaukee Jaycees and for his sons' Cub Scout events.
During the 80's and 90's, Jerry's love of radio made him one of Milwaukee's luckiest listeners, as he frequently called into and won dial in contests, ensuring that the family could enjoy local festivals, national concert tours, fine dining and travel for years to come.
He was always supportive of and encouraged his sons to always pursue their dreams, and saw son Tony complete his law degree and Sean travel for a year abroad to France through Rotary International.
A Private Family Service will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery, 7301 W Nash St, Milwaukee, WI 53216, on Friday 9/16 at 2:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates donations to any of the following: Salvation Army, American Cancer Society or the Alzheimer’s Association.
The family also wishes to recognize the tireless work of Nurse Debbie and her Preceptor Hospice team.