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Kern, Kenneth “Ken” William

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Kenneth (“Ken”) William Kern passed away on April 1, 2024, at the age of 74, surrounded by his loving family. Ken was the oldest of three children, born on February 21, 1950, to William and Margaret Kern, in Oakland, California. After graduating from Hayward High School, Ken moved to Tuolumne County to complete his apprenticeship at Columbia College and began a career in construction with his uncle at Sierra Mountain Builders. He met his wife of 53 years, Denise Mesecher-Burns, and they were married on January 23, 1971. They welcomed two children together, daughter Leanna, and son Trevor.

Ken earned his General Building Contractor license in 1975. In 1979, Ken and his family built their permanent home in Jamestown. During Ken’s life in Tuolumne County, he built many homes and businesses with his construction companies, K.W. Kern Construction, Inc., and Western Sierra Contractors, Inc.

Ken enjoyed camping in the mountains, spending time fishing at Eagle Lake on an annual trip with family and friends, traveling out-of-state for hunting, and taking care of his ranch in Jamestown. He played on many fast pitch softball teams and volunteered in numerous ways in the community. Ken helped start Muts’s Bean Feed in the 1980s and volunteered each year alongside Mut. He could often be found cooking for community events, volunteering at the Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee, and helping friends and family in a variety of ways. Ken most enjoyed spending time with his family and teaching his children and grandchildren numerous skills, including woodworking, fishing, auto repair, cooking, and supporting them in all their hobbies and activities.

He is survived by his wife, Denise Kern, of Jamestown; daughter and son-in law, Leanna and David Wood, of Susanville; son and daughter-in law, Trevor & Kelley Kern, of Soulsbyville; grandson Bryant Wood, his wife, Brooke, and great-granddaughter, Adalynn, of Newberg, Oregon; grandson Travis Wood, of Newberg, Oregon; granddaughters Brookelyn and Katelyn Kern, of Soulsbyville; brother Ron Kern and his wife Lorrie; sister Susan Hatheway and her husband Kevin; brother-in-law Kevin Burns and his wife Bobbie; sister-in-law Stephenie Burns; and aunts, numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, William & Margaret Kern, his mother-in-law, Carol Cervelli, fathers-in-law Verneil Mescher and Richard Burns, and brother-in law, Jeffrey Burns.

A service will be held on Friday, May 10, 2024, at 11:30 am at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Sonora.

  • Date of Death: 04/01/2024
  • Age: 74
  • Residence: Jamestown, CA