Cover photo for Merle "Moe" E. Kerns's Obituary
Merle "Moe" E. Kerns Profile Photo

Merle "Moe" E. Kerns

January 13, 1923 — January 24, 2010

Merle "Moe" E. Kerns

BRITT - Merle "Moe" Kerns, 87, of Britt died Sunday (January 24, 2010) at the Westview Care Center in Britt.

Memorial services will be held 10:30 A.M., Thursday at the United Methodist Church in Britt with Rev. Robert Dodge officiating. Inurnment will be in the spring at Evergreen Cemetery. Military rites will be conducted by the Britt Veterans Ceremonial Unit.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 P.M., Wednesday at the Cataldo Funeral Home in Britt and will continue one hour prior to services at the church.

Memorials may be directed to the Britt United Methodist Church, Hancock County Memorial Hospital, Hospice of North Iowa or the Alzheimer's Association.

Merle "Moe" Eugene Kerns, the first of three sons of Paul and Lura (Cruickshank) Kerns, was born January 13, 1923 on a farm near Marshall, MN. He graduated from Plover High School where he played trombone and basketball. After high school, he joined the Army Air Corps serving in Egypt, India and Italy during WW II. In junior high Merle met the love of his life, Betty Trimble at a church youth group. On January 8, 1945 they were married at Rochester, MN and made their home in California. After his honorable discharge they moved to Iowa where Moe worked at a John Deere dealership in Ringstead. In 1951, they moved to Britt and established their own business, Kerns Implement Company, which included John Deere, Behlen and Honda motorcycles along with other sidelines. Moe was the first Honda motorcycle dealer in Iowa. Betty was the bookkeeper. After 48 years in the business both retired at the age of 76. Moe enjoyed spending time with his family. His passion was riding motorcycles in every state and Canadian province. He loved music of all kinds and had a large collection. He loved traveling in his motor home and enjoyed the Minnesota State Fair. Moe was a hard worker known for his generosity, kindness and compassion. He had a heart for helping those less fortunate. He was always willing to give someone a chance. He had strong moral values and instilled a sense of right and wrong and patriotism in his daughters. Moe always flew a flag in his yard.

He was a member of the Britt United Methodist Church, BIDCO, Britt American Legion and VFW and served on the hospital board. Moe was instrumental in establishing the Britt Medical Clinic, the Alzheimer's wing of Britt nursing home and the Summit House in Britt. He was the first Grand Marshall of the Hobo Day parade. His daughters remember his love, generosity, support, wonderful sense of humor, playful nature, card playing and great love for their mother. Moe and Betty celebrated 61 years of marriage on January 8, 2006. His friends will remember his loyalty, strong opinions and letters to the editor. One always knew where Moe stood on an issue. He will be greatly missed.

Moe is survived by his daughters, Pamela Kerns of Garner, Patricia (Bill) Hopes of Treynor, Deborah Kerns of Adel, Linda Kerns of Omaha and Rebecca (Mike) May of Britt; grandchildren, Nicholas (Lisa), Ivy, Lucas and Paige May and Clay, Alex and Jacob Hopes; great granddaughter, Kylie May; brothers, Laurice (Beryl) Kerns of Ankeny and Larry (Jeanice) Kerns of Britt; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his wife Betty; parents; and step-mother, Diamond.
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