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June H. Kern

 

June H. (Dunn) Kern, 93 years young, passed away at Sunrise on Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Wolf Point, Mont ., and went home to be with her Lord.

A Celebration of her life will be held at 1 p.m. at Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel in Wolf Point on Wednesday, July 30. Interment will be in the Greenwood Cemetery in Wolf Point.

She was born June 12, 1921, to Amzey and Lydia Dunn in a farmhouse south of Whitetail, Mont. She attended school in Whitetail in the early years by riding a horse-drawn wagon (or sleigh in the winter). After graduating high school, she attended North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, Minn.

When WWII broke out, she and her best friend, Pauline, moved to Oregon and worked in the shipyards to support the war effort. While there, she met a handsome Army soldier from Missouri named Michael Kern. They fell in love and were married July 9, 1943. They celebrated 71 years together just a few weeks ago.

She followed Mike as the Army moved him between Oregon, California and Washington. In 1944, when Mike shipped overseas, she was pregnant, and loaded their belongings in a 1938 Plymouth and headed back, by herself, from Oregon to her parents' farm in Whitetail. Gas, tires and certain commodities were rationed in those days. What a brave woman she was to attempt - and complete - this journey! She had a can-do spirit that never left her.

While Mike was overseas, she lived with her parents and gave birth to their first child, Mike Jr. After the war was over, Mike joined June in Montana. They lived in Scobey where their second child, Nancy, was born.

In 1950, they moved to Frazer, where Mike and June were in charge of the dormitory where high school students who lived too far out in the country to commute daily, lived. Mike also drove bus and she cooked all the meals daily for the students. Many memories and wonderful lifelong friends were made during their time in Frazer. Years later, stories of those times would be shared sitting in Mike's Furniture store when the student would come in to buy a sofa or a bed. In 1952, a small trailer was bought and they traveled following work in the oil fields and the building of Garrison Dam in North Dakota.

In the spring of 1954, the family moved to Wolf Point in a car pulling a 37-foot house trailer and arriving with 35 cents in their pocket. The next day, she got a job as the cook at the Cozy Café and Mike was hired by the local Buick dealership. Wasn't long before she was hired as head cook at the Sherman Hotel where she cooked for several years.

A big oops, surprise, came along four years later when Patti was born. Mike Jr. was 13 and Nancy was 11.

Around 1962, she was hired in the government-run Federal Crop Insurance office in Wolf Point. She and a business partner later opened their own crop insurance agency. She subsequently sold her interest in that business to her partner, but after a short period of retirement, her former customers encouraged her to go back into business, and she opened Kern Insurance Agency in Wolf Point. When she sold that agency, she retired for good.

Not long after she retired, Mike closed the two furniture stores and retired also. They then enjoyed almost 25 years of traveling in a motor home or fifth wheel trailer, visiting all but two or three states and most of the Canadian provinces. They even drove their motor home into Mexico and spent one summer in Alaska.

She loved to cook and having her family over was the highlight of her day! She loved having her grandchildren help her in the kitchen, and because of her patience with them, all are pretty good cooks! Her cinnamon rolls were the best. When she wasn't in the kitchen, she was at the table doing whatever new craft project was going around. She sewed hundreds of Christmas stockings for the children through missionary work.

She adored her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She lived these last few years knowing that there were more grandbabies on their way.

She became a Christian as a child. She loved the Lord, her church and serving people. While attending the Wolf Point Assembly of God Church for over 50 years, she taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, organized and cooked for 100s of church gatherings. She was president of the youth group until she had to give up that position when she turned 35. On the day she resigned, she was elected president of the Women's Missionary Council, a position she held for probably 20 years. She was elected to the church's Board of Directors and may have been the first woman to serve in that capacity in an Assembly of God Church in Montana. She was known as a prayer warrior. She was a shining example of God's grace and leaves behind a great legacy for her family to embrace.

Wolf Point was June and Mike's home for over 58 years. In 2011, they moved into Nemont Manor in Glasgow and she had just recently moved into Valley View Home because of declining health and to be closer to Mike.

She was preceded in death by one daughter, Nancy, in 2013.

Survivors include her husband of 71 years, Mike Kern Sr .; one son, Mike Jr. and his wife, Grace, of Detroit, Mich .; one daughter, Patti (Kern) Parcel and her husband, Duane, of Wolf Point; son-in-law, Don Turner of Glasgow; eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, with one more on the way. She will be forever in our hearts.

 

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