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Obituary: Arline Ward Kern "Nonie"

Posted at 10:45 AM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 12:45:24-04

It is with great sadness that Arline Ward Kern, known most fondly as Nonie, passed away peacefully of natural causes on Monday, March 15, 2021 at the age of 90.

Nonie will be lovingly remembered by her six children, John Kern (Susie), Julie Williamson (Ray), David Kern, Tom Kern (Sheryl), Susie Reaney (Chris), and Chip Kern (Stephanie). She will be greatly missed by her numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as her sister-in-law, Anne Kern, brother-in-law, Bill DeFuniak, and several nieces and nephews. Nonie was born on September 1, 1930 in Hinsdale, IL. Her parents were Barbara Skelly and John Mackenzie Ward, and sisters Barbara and Vickie. Nonie earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She worked as an advertising executive until marrying her life partner of over 50 years, Herbert Arthur Kern on May 14, 1955 in Hinsdale, IL. Nonie and Herb Kern retired to Big Sky, MT in 1979, embodying great foresight and a pioneering spirit to settle in the small ski town in its infancy.

Each summer, Nonie and family traveled to northern Minnesota at their beloved lake house retreat on Lake Vermillion in Cook, MN. Establishing a family summer tradition for years and generations to come, Nonie’s lake adventures included picnics, water skiing, sunset cruises, and cooking for her family. During the snowy winter months, Nonie and Herb were frequently visited at their Big Sky home by their children and grandchildren, seeking skiing adventures together and wilderness escapes, all while creating lasting family memories.

With an insatiable appetite for adventure and activity, she enjoyed playing tennis and golf, hiking, riding horses on pack trips, and traveling the world, never slowing until the very end. Nonie had a contagious, energetic spirit, and an inclusive attitude towards others. Her generosity and humor were infectious, brightening the lives of all she came in contact with. Her family was of utmost importance to her, prioritizing the needs of her husband, children, and grandchildren above her own.

A private family service was held on Friday, March 19, 2021. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, in honor of her late husband, Herbert Kern. Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service www.dokkennelson.com