Paul F. Kerns Jr. of Apalachin, N.Y., died peacefully after a lengthy illness on Friday, July 18, surrounded by his family. He was 57 years old.
He was predeceased by his parents, Paul and Grace Kerns.
Paul is survived by his wife of almost 29 years, Lisa Keene Kerns; children Daniel, Erik, and Benjamin Kerns; siblings Susan Rosin of Vineyard Haven, Tom and Anne Kerns of Clinton Wash., John and Tena Kerns of Berkley, Patti and Paul Schuller of Clinton, Wash., Michael and Lynn Kerns of Dubai, UAE, and Kathy and Bob Bongiorno of Norwood, Penn., and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Paul and Lisa met on Martha’s Vineyard in 1976 and after a long courtship they married at Lisa’s family home in Chilmark on August 3, 1985. After many stops in several mid-western cities, they settled into their current home in Apalachin in 1996.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1982, Paul began a long, successful career in food service. In 1985, he started his career with Marriott Management Services, which was acquired by Sodexo in the late 1990s. He had held his most recent position as District Manager since 2006.
Paul will always be remembered for his great strength and courage. Even when faced with his own challenges, he was always there to give of himself without ever expecting anything in return. He has touched the lives of so many along his path and has been a great inspiration to us all.
Paul’s greatest pride was undoubtedly his family. To say Paul was a devoted father and husband is an understatement. Paul was extremely proud of his children and their academic and athletic achievements. All who knew him remember him as an avid Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots fan. His love of sports and his love for coaching his sons kept us all busy throughout the Little League and travel basketball years. He was president of Vestal Little League, President of Vestal Cagers and on the board of directors for Southern Tier Rage for many years.
The family would like to thank all the wonderful family, friends and caregivers for all of their support for the last five years. Paul fought hard and for so long to overcome his illness.
A celebration of Paul’s life will be held Saturday at 1 pm at Park Terrace Community United Methodist Church, 30 Glann Rd., Apalachin, with a luncheon to follow. The family will receive friends at the Allen Memorial Home, 511-513 East Main St., Endicott, Friday from 4 to 7 pm. Burial will be at Abel’s Hill Cemetery in Chilmark.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in his memory may be made to the Paul Kerns Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o NBT Bank, 3121 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY 13850. This fund has been created in Paul’s memory to assist students in the funding of their higher education.