Ruth Geraldine Kerns, age 96, was welcomed into heaven, Saturday, January 6th 2018, just shy of her 97th birthday. Mrs. Kerns was born on January 8, 1921 in Alderson, West Virginia the youngest of twelve children born to Jacob Edward and Menervia Alice Ripley Pence. As much as Mrs. Kerns loved her home town of Alderson, she chose to join her sisters, Edna and Evelyn in Covington, Virginia during WWII. After moving to Covington to seek employment and assist with the war effort, she met her husband Delbert D. “D. D.” Kerns, who was affectionately called “Sonny”. Mr. and Mrs. Kerns were blessed with 63 years of marriage before his passing in 2008. Mrs. Kerns was a devoted Christian and a loyal member of Mount Carmel United Methodist Church and strong supporter of the Area 18 Special Olympics.
Ruth enjoyed traveling to all parts of the United States but faithfully made return trips to her home town of Alderson, West Virginia. Mrs. Kerns was a loving and hardworking homemaker who dedicated herself to her family. She was always an open heart, good listener and a compassionate woman who held herself to high standards and exemplifying integrity. Along with her support her husband founded D. D. Kerns Construction Company, Inc. in 1954, and throughout their marriage Mrs. Kerns worked tirelessly behind the scenes supporting her husband in his business endeavors. Although she never donned a hard hat herself, she was always, even up to the end of her life, supportive of the company’s projects, progress and the well-being of its employees. The family business was like another child to both Sonny and Ruth.
In addition to her parents Mrs. Kerns was preceded in death by her brother Raymond “Buzz” Pence and wife Ora, an infant sibling who was stillborn, sister Edith Myrtle Pence Kincaid Taylor and husband Emmett, sister Lilly “Lil” Pence Carman and husband Walter, sister Daisy Bell Pence Burger and husband Harry, sister Goldie Attence Green, sister Violet Virginia Pence Ayers and husband Dana, sister Evelyn Elizabeth Pence, sister Edna Mayo Pence Boerner and brother Shelby Ray Pence. Mrs. Kerns also was preceded in death by daughter-in-law Judy Tucker and special chosen brother and sister-in-law, Neil and Eunice Entsminger.
Mrs. Kerns is survived by a large family of seven children; Marjorie Kerns Clark, Delbert Lewis “Junior” Kerns and wife Vickie Ann, Richard Duane “Ricky” Kerns and wife Belinda, Gerald David “Joe” Kerns and wife Deborah, Vickie Mayo Kerns, Terri Marsh Kerns and Parker Payne Tucker, Sr. Ten grandchildren; Gary Clark, Williams Meador Clark and wife Cordial, Jonathan Clark, Philip Duane Kerns and wife Angee, Matthew Christian Kerns and wife Amber, Justin David Kerns and wife Carrie, Alyssa Jade Jarratt and Demi Carpenter Jarratt, Andrea Suzanne Dilley-Frame and husband Chris and Linsey Dilley. Thirteen great grandchildren, Chiara Josefene Kerns and Siena Rae Kerns, Oliva Paige Kerns, Ian Spencer Kerns, Sawyer Steele Kerns and Evelyn Ruth Kerns, Bianca Renee Sink, Jabriah Faith Peery, Zebadiah Blaze Perry, Quinnton Thomas Kerns, Ava Madison Kerns and Ezekial Kal-el Perry, and Chelsea Maelynn Frame. In addition, Brenda Humphries was a special support to Mrs. Kerns and her daughter, Terry for 30 odd years. Brenda became the core of the household as Mrs. Kerns matured in age. The two became best friends and chosen sisters. The family wishes to express their gratitude to the caregivers who through their devotion allowed Mrs. Kerns and Terry to remain in their home together; Megan Humphries, Shannon Ball and Crystal Tingler.
The family will receive family and friends at Loving’s Funeral Home Wednesday, January 10, 2018 beginning at 11:30 until the service at 1 p.m. The service will be conducted in the chapel of Loving Funeral Home with Rev. Doug E. Hollenbeck and Rev. Bill Gilliand officiating. A brief Interment will follow in Alleghany Memorial Park. Active pall bears will be: M. Christian Kerns, Justin Kerns, Andrea Dilley-Frame, Chris Frame, Allen Dressler, Jerry D. Wolfe, Edward Venable and George “Buster” Givens. Honorary pall bears will be Philip Kerns, who regrettably cannot attend due to active service of his country overseas, Hollis “Butter Ball” Dressler, Charles E. “Son” Dressler and friends attending the service. The family has requested in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the Area 18 Special Olympics in Honor of Terry Kerns, 21 Southgate Court, Suite 103, Harrisonburg Virginia 22801
If the mark of an important person is the blessings one gives to their family and friends, then you will find no one more important than Ruth Geraldine Kerns.