Delmar Kern

Delmar Kern


Delmar Donald Kern, 91, of West Union died July 20, 2020, in his home surrounded by his loving family.


Due to the COVID-19 virus, a private family graveside service with military honors will be held with long time friend Pastor Susan Friedrich officiating.  A celebration of life will take place at a later date.


Memorials may be directed to Zion Lutheran Church or West Union Recreation Foundation.


Delmar “Del” Donald Kern was born April 21, 1929, on a farm near Lone Rock, Iowa, son of Melvin J. and Nellie (Lowman) Kern.  He was the oldest of fourteen children.  Del graduated from Algona High School in 1948.  On September 24, 1950, he married his high school sweetheart, Joan Wolcott,  at First Lutheran Church in Algona, Iowa.  They were blessed with two children, Kristine and Kathleen.


During his junior and senior years in high school he earned state awards in football and was pitcher on the baseball team.  He later played on the Iowa/Minnesota Boarder League for three years.  Del served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War from 1951-1955.  He was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant.  In June, 2013, he was privileged  to attend The Honor Flight to Washington D.C with daughter, Kathleen.  He was a hog buyer for Jacob E. Decker & Sons, Armour & Company, Swift Independent and Monfort for 44 years, retiring in 1992.


Del was a long- time member of Zion Lutheran Church (57 years) serving on Church Council, Endowment and Stewardship Boards, and was a Thrivent Congregation Coordinator.  He was a member of the West Union Pork Board, Good Samaritan Resource Development Foundation, Memorial Foundation Palmer Hospital Board, West Union Park and Recreation Board and American Legion Post 15.


He enjoyed hunting, fishing, raising bald headed tumbler pigeons, woodworking, gardening, and coaching Little League baseball.  In later years he coached grandsons Ben and Josh.  During retirement years he volunteered in his church and the Good Samaritan Home. Del and Joan enjoyed golfing, riding their mopeds, traveling in their camper van and canoeing down the Turkey River with friends.  He was known in recent years for the beautiful dahlias he grew and shared with many in the community.  He was an avid fan of the Iowa Hawkeye girl's basketball team and anything his grandchildren and great-grandchildren were involved in.  He enjoyed helping daughter Kathleen with her Park and Rec Activities by volunteering to help with the annual Triathlon, getting the pool ready every spring by helping her power washing the pool, and was always there with great advice.


Del was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Richard, Gary, Bill, Kenneth, and Martin; sisters Opal Bloom, Kay Groesbeck, and Karen Hardgrove; sons-in-law Gaylord Guyer and Barry Kamm; brothers in-law John Hardgrove, Charles Bloom, and Clayton Pittman; sisters-in-law Judy Kern and LaVonne Hoover.


Those left to cherish Del's memory are his loving wife, Joan, of almost 70 years and daughters Kristine Kamm and Kathleen Guyer and grandchildren:  Molly (Jaime) Bleess, Emily (Wes Crawford) Nelson, Benjamin (Josie) Kamm, Jason (Julie) Guyer, Heidi (Christopher) Komorech, Joshua (Lindsay) Guyer; step-grandchildren Christopher Guyer and Trisha (Rusty) Davis; fifteen great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews; brothers Dale, Frank, Robert, Steve and sister Linda Grems; brothers-in-law Larry (Mary Jane) Wolcott and Merlyn Hoover.


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