Joann Kern

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Joann D. Kern, nee Eller, 78, of Freeburg, IL, born March 3, 1940, in St. Louis, MO, died Thursday, November 29, 2018, at her residence.

Joann was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  Her family was her life and she adored each one.  She was active in the school when her children were students, serving in the PTA as an officer and also was Chairman of the Advisory Board when the newest addition of the school was added.  She had great pride in the community serving on the Board of Appeals for several terms. She worked diligently for the swimming pool project, seeing that it was built for the children of the community.  After the pool was built and a swim team was formed, she served as President of the Kaskaskia Swim council, and also became the head score keeper. Joann served as President of the Junior Woman’s Club, won the Citizen of the Year from the Jr. Chamber of Commerce, and was named in the Who’s Who in American Woman’s Book. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star Chapter No. 542 in Freeburg and Chapter No. 411 in Sparta, IL, serving as Worthy Matron in both Chapters. Joann was Secretary of the Sparta Chapter, and Grand Officer of the Order of Eastern Star for the State in 1997.   She was also a member of Daughters of the Nile in Al Sihah Temple No. 29 and served as Queen of this Temple in 2009.  Joann was a hairdresser for 30 years, owning and operating her own shop out of her home.  Her greatest accomplishment was her husband and family.

Joann was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Wanda, nee Wolff, Eller; and a brother, Charles.

Surviving are her husband of 61 years, Russell C. Kern Sr., whom she married on September 7, 1957;
her children, Nanette (Denny) Rieso, Russell Jr. (Julie) Kern, Charlotte (Thomas) McDonald, Dana (Ramon) Matchett, and Donna Kern;
nine grandchildren, Amy McDonald, Laura (Eric) Beatty, Thomas (Rachael) McDonald, Jamie Kern, Jordan Kern, Joey Kern, Sara Kern, Magdalena Matchett, and Samantha Matchett;
four great-grandchildren; Madelyn & Audrey McDonald, Emma Beatty, and Harper McDonald;
two brothers, Bill (Mary Ellen) Eller, Gene (Donna) Eller;
and three sisters, Sandy (Roger) Stolte, Roxi Eller, and Renee Stoner.

Memorials may be made to Family Hospice or to the charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, December 2, 2018, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, December 3, 2018, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL. An Eastern Star Service will be held at 7 p.m. and a Daughters of the Nile Ritual will be held at 7:15 p.m. Sunday.

Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, December 3, 2018 at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL, with Rev. Earl Crecelius and Rev. Herb Schafale officiating.

Burial will be at Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, IL.



11 Comments on Joann Kern

Gail Gartelos said : Guest Report Dec 06, 2018 at 12:41 AM

Such a wonderful woman. We sewed together and called each other, Gloria. AND FUN!

  • Chicago
  • IL
Bob and Marilyn Vielweber said : Guest Report Dec 03, 2018 at 2:45 AM

So sorry for the passing of Jo, we know she will be missed by many. Prayers

  • Belleville
  • IL
George E Frame said : Guest Report Nov 30, 2018 at 7:37 PM

Russell and family please accept my deepest sincerest sympathies in Joann's passing. I especially enjoyed our friendship over the many years and always appreiated the many times she had me attend and pray at Eastern Star ceremonies. She was truly a lovely person

  • ann arbor
  • MI
Debbie Wiedwilt (Miller) said : Guest Report Nov 30, 2018 at 4:20 PM

So sorry to hear! Sympathy and Prayers for all of the family!

  • Coulterville
  • IL
Dean & Teresa Huston said : Guest Report Nov 30, 2018 at 4:04 AM

We are so sorry for your loss. May God grant you peace.

  • Freeburg
  • Il
Louis Grieco said : Guest Report Nov 30, 2018 at 3:18 AM

I know that she was suffering and her family was suffering with her. For her at least, the suffering is over. She left behind an impressive legacy both in her accomplishments and the love surrounding her. Take comfort during your loss that her life was full and meaningful. Condolences with compassion and understanding, Louis

  • Belleville
  • IL
Lisa Smith said : Guest Report Nov 30, 2018 at 1:50 AM

To Dana and Families, My condolences! Dana if you need anything don’t hesitate to call. I know what you going through and time does heal the tears of your memories!

  • Florissant
  • Mo
Ronald and Jean Speiser said : Guest Report Nov 30, 2018 at 1:24 AM

Our sympathy to the Kern family. So sorry to hear of Joann’s passing! Our prayers are with you!

  • Freeburg
  • illinois
Kevin Groth said : Guest Report Nov 29, 2018 at 10:34 PM

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Joann was a pillar of the community, and a wonderful person. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.

  • Freeburg
  • Illinois
Kendra grout said : Guest Report Nov 29, 2018 at 10:31 PM

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Joann was a wonderful lady who will be truly missed. As a parent , Joann was a favorite of mine to talk to when I was teaching. I loved her parenting skills.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Mary Anne Downen said : Guest Report Nov 29, 2018 at 10:12 PM

Netsy, Charlie, Dana, Donna and family. My deepest sympathy to you girls and your families. Your Mother will never be forgotten. Mary Anne and Jerry Downen

  • IL

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