In Memoriam : Mark Kern

Mark Kern Mark S. Kern - age: 74
(October 12, 1943 to March 08, 2018 )
Resident of Ewing, Illinois

Visitation Information:
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday, March 12, 2018
Whittington Baptist Church
200 West Main Street
Whittington, Illinois 62897

1:00 p.m. Monday, March 12, 2018
Whittington Baptist Church
200 West Main Street
Whittington, Illinois 62897

Oak Hill Cemetery
Oak Hill Road
Ewing, Illinois 62836

The Rend Lake College community lost one of its most impactful leaders Thursday. Mark S. Kern, the longest-serving president in Rend Lake College’s history, passed away March 8, 2018.

Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, March 12, at Whittington Baptist Church. Service will be at 1 p.m. with burial immediately following at Oak Hill Cemetery. Cory Garmane, an RLC alum, will sing songs to open and close the service, and State Rep. Dave Severin, Franklin County Circuit Clerk Jim Muir, and RLC Foundation Board Member Sam Mateer are scheduled to speak. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rend Lake College Foundation Mark S. Kern Memorial Fund to assist Rend Lake College students.

Funeral arrangements are with the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Mark Kern spent 40 years of his working life in the Illinois Community College System – longer than any employee in the history of the system, according to the Illinois Community College Trustees Association at the time.

Some of his honors include:
• Induction into the RLC Sports Hall of Fame class of 2008 for his support of Warrior athletics
• Franklin County 4-H “Outstanding Alumnus” and Franklin County Soil Conservation “Farmer of the Year”
• One of three Illinoisans selected for the Cooperative Extension Cow Tour in 1987
• 2001 Statewide Commercial Producers Award
• Past Vice President and Secretary of the Illinois Council of Community College Administrators
• Past member of the Benton Consolidated High School Board of Education
• Kern farmed in partnership with his father, Frank, for many years, and later owned and operated a 660-acre farm with 100 head of beef cows

Mark Kern is survived by his wife Pat; children Frank Kern (wife Patty), Eric Kern, Brian Kern (wife Summer), Jason Kern (wife Janie), and Megan Williams (husband Chris); and Pat’s daughter Melissa Richardson (husband Tim). Mark and Pat have eight grandchildren. They include, Caden, Charli, Ellsie, Cash, Landon Wesley, and Hunter Kern. Pat’s grandchildren include Gavin and Whitley Richardson. Mark’s first wife and the children’s mother Lana Barminski-Kern.

Mark was preceded in death by his parents: Frank Wesley and W. Juanita Kern; his daughter Heather Kern; and a grandson Kern Allan Williams.

To view the Rend Lake College press release, visit

To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Mark, visit

Click Here for Video

Click Here Outside Link

John Gaddis - March 9, 2018Contact this person Contact this person
Pat and family, please accept our deepest condolences for your loss of Mark from the Gaddis clan. Vicki, Tom and I are unable to make the trip to attend the services, but our prayers and thoughts are with all of you. If there is anything that we can do to help, please let us know.

Tom Henley - March 11, 2018Contact this person Contact this person
Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. Tom enjoyed Mark's visits when he came out to buy ties from us. They would visit and talk over old times for an hour or two each time he came out. Our prayers are with you and your family. Tom and Connie Henley

     Click to Enlarge

Mark Kern photo