Phyllis D. Kern

Phyllis D. Kern, 87, of Clear Lake, passed away peacefully on Dec. 24, 2022 in Clear Lake.  As the bone chilling temperatures and the storm pummeled outside, she was able to spend her final days in comfort and warmth, surrounded by her daughters “Her Girls”; a time they will treasure forever. 

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 1001 9th Ave. S., Clear Lake, with Rev. Josh Link, Celebrant.  Burial will follow in St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery, Garner.

Visitation was held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, and one hour prior to Mass at the church on Thursday.  The Rosary was recited on Wednesday.   

In lieu of flowers, please practice a kind gesture for another in Phyllis’ memory, which would have brought her great joy. 

The daughter of John and Irma (Knoll) Haaf, Phyllis Darlene was born July 9, 1935 in Iowa City.  She was raised in Garner alongside her five siblings and attended Garner High School where she graduated among the class of 1953.

Following high school Phyllis worked as a teller at Hancock County National Bank.  It was here she would meet Joe Kern as he came in with the deposits from Cropley and Kern Service Station.  The two hit it off after their first date at The Surf Ballroom. They were married on June 26, 1957 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Garner.   

Together Phyllis and Joe were blessed with seven children, Thomas, Barbara, John, David, Andy, Lois, and Molly.  Although Phyllis kept busy at home with the children, she still found time to work alongside Joe in their business ventures.  Together they owned and operated the Lakeview Motel in Clear Lake and Coast to Coast Hardware in Garner before owning and operating The Ritz Supper Club in Clear Lake from 1992 until 1999.  

Phyllis will be remembered for her kindness and generosity.  She was a devoted wife and mother and an adoring grandmother.  She cherished all five of her grandchildren and was their biggest fan and supporter through all their endeavors.

Phyllis was a faithful member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.  She gave countless hours over the years to serving lunches and served as a Eucharistic Minister. 

Many evenings were spent enjoying the company of friends while attending and hosting card club. She also loved sharing a cup of coffee and catching up with good friends. In later years, Phyllis enjoyed participating in AquaBelles Water Aerobics and volunteered at the One Vision General Store.  

Phyllis is survived by her children, Barbara Kern, John Kern, Dave (Diana) Kern, Andy (Aimee) Kern, Lois Kern, and Molly (Reynolds) Kern; daughter in law, Valerie Kern; five grandchildren, Kyle (Amy) Kern, Jada Kern, Claudia Kern, Owen Kern, and Carson Kern; sister, Wanda “Duff” (Bob) Worley; brothers, Phillip “Sonny” Haaf and Mark Haaf; as well as her nieces and nephews, extended relatives and many friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Joe; son, Thomas Kern; and sisters, Bonnie Lee and Juanita Straka.

Special thanks to the staff and special caregivers at Apple Valley Assisted Living in Clear Lake. Although she may not have remembered your name, she knew you in her heart… 

Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, was in charge of arrangements.



Clear Lake Mirror Reporter

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Clear Lake, IA 50428
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