Kyle Dean Kern

Kyle Dean Kern

Kyle Dean Kern, 62, of Dongola, reached out for his Lord and Savior’s hand and was taken to his much-deserved heavenly home on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Ky.

Mr. Kern was born on Feb. 25, 1958, in Mt. Vernon, the son of the Rev. John and Lydia Wells Kern.

He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior at a young age and used his gifts of teaching, compassion, his willingness to help others, even strangers, and praying with so many in need that also served as his testimony to countless others. 

In his youth years he was a member of the Challengers Quartet and continued to use the most beautiful tenor voice the Lord had blessed him with at Shawnee Community College and Southwest Baptist College. 

Mr. Kern was an active member, deacon and music director at the First Baptist Church in Dongola for many years.

The following was his favorite verse, in which he wholeheartedly believed in:

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” from the book of Philippians, chapter 4, verse 13.

He was a graduate of Century High School, Shawnee Community College, Southwest Baptist College, Southern Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University. 

Mr. Kern was an EMT for the Pulaski County Ambulance Service for many years. 

He became a correctional officer then educator for the Illinois Department of Corrections until his retirement. 

When our country was attacked on September 11, 2001, his students asked him what they should do. Kyle told them we must pray, and he said he looked around and every student had their head bowed. This is just another testament to this wonderful Christian man. 

Additionally, over the course of many years, Kyle was a part-time instructor for the Shawnee Community College where he continued to teach until his untimely illness and passing. He enjoyed watching Cardinals baseball with his daughter, Gracie.

He was united in marriage to the love of his life, Cynthia Lingle, on June 26, 1982, at the First Baptist Church in Dongola and she survives. 

To this union were two daughters, who were the light of his life and to whom he was so proud of: Erica Rachelle (Jacob) Poat and Gracen Elisabeth Kern; and two precious grandchildren whom he adored: Carson Dean and Aubrey Jo Poat, of Dongola. 

Additional survivors include three brothers, Randy (Teresa) Kern, Terry (Ivy) Kern, of Olmsted, Jeff Kern of Perks, and one sister, Debbie (Tracy) Meyer of Cypress; his brother-in-law, Roger (Rosalind) Lingle of Dongola; a sister-in-law, Pamela (Loren) Ferguson of Anna; and brother-in-law, David Lingle of Austin,  Texas; an aunt, Maribelle Sweetin of Flora; many nieces, nephews, cousins, colleagues, and so many dear, dear friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, the Rev. John and Lydia Kern; a sister-in-law, Janet Johnson; and his special family, Barney, Jo and Jan Porterfield.

Graveside services were held Saturday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m. at the Friendship Church Cemetery in rural Dongola, with the Rev. Paul Sadler officiating.

Memorials can be made to the First Baptist Church music fund.

Crain Funeral Home in Dongola was in charge of arrangements.

To view the full obituary or to leave an online condolence for the family, visit

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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