Thomas J. Kern Sr.
Thomas J. Kern Sr., 72, succumbed to Renal Cell Carcinoma on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, at home, surrounded by loved-ones.
He was born on Oct. 1, 1940, in Urbana, Ill. and was the son of the late Stanley Kern and Blanche Adamak.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Patty Wasson-Kern; mother Sara Kern; and five sons, Thomas Kern Jr., James (Patty) Kern, Michael (Hana) Kern, Kevin (Tara) Kern and Chip Youmans. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, Nick, Kelly, Lindsay, James, Kaitlyn, Max, Sara, Brody, Felix and Haley; and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was the oldest of four brothers, Ken (Barb), Chuck (Donna) and Joe (Tracie) Kern; and four sisters, Kay (Don) Beck, Ellen (Edward) Tallach, Sharon (Jim) Goggins and Marilyn (Mark) Smock.
Tom graduated from Sacred Heart High School Class of 1958 and remained an active alumnus. He enjoyed the company of his high school classmates his entire life.
He was the first Eagle Scout of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 92.
He graduated from Notre Dame Law School Matteo Ricci Program in 1963 and served as the deputy attorney general of the state of Indiana for one term. He continued public service in the political ring, as campaign manager for Indiana Rep. Dave Evans from 1974 to 1980.
Along with his brother-in-law, Ron Palamara, he was instrumental in the formation of the publicly traded corporation Anacomp, one of the first information technology companies in the state, in 1968.
He worked with family members on many other endeavors including companies in Seattle, Wash. and Austin, Texas. He spent over a decade as an advising attorney to the Midwest Title Corporation.
He practiced as a member of the Indiana State Bar his entire life, always willing to lend his expertise to a friend in need or a good cause.
His true vocation was to the family business he shared with his father and brothers, the Valle Vista Golf and Conference Center, where he functioned as an executive. He enjoyed many hours with the Valle Vista Men’s Club as an avid golfer and poker player.
Tom, a founding member of the Indiana Golf Course Owners Association, was instrumental in the adoption of Daylight Saving Time for the State of Indiana which resulted in a dramatic increase in the operational hours of golf courses across the state.
He was an active participant in the charities Hopes Way and The Consortium Foundation. He championed the entire Kern family support of St. Mark’s Parish, as well as Roncalli High School, which many of his children, grandchildren and nieces attended.
Family and friends will dearly miss his leadership, organizational skills, and “witty quotes,” along with his sometimes unrestrained, and infectious sense of humor.
Tom will always be remembered as a gifted orator, with the ability to engage in a meaningful dialogue in any social setting. Tom made friends wherever he went and was generous to a fault.
He loved travel and adventure, always taking his family members to places they may never have experienced.
He will be sorely missed by all who loved this gentle spirit, and our loss is Heaven’s gain.
A celebration of life will be conducted on Oct. 22 at the Valle Vista Golf and Conference Center, www.vallevista.com. A private ceremony for family will begin at 5 p.m. in the chapel at Valle Vista, followed by a celebration for family and friends beginning at 6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Tom’s name to the Indiana University School of Medicine or the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org or your favorite charity.