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Obituary: Kerns, Maxine Evelyn

Age 83

KERNS, Maxine Evelyn Went to her Heavenly Father, joining her beloved father, mother, and brother on Saturday, April 27, 2013, one month prior to her 84th birthday. She passed away peacefully with her family by her side. Maxine was born to Christian and Clara (Hirschel) Mordhorst at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane on May 27, 1929. She was raised on the family’s cherished Sunpocket Ranch, just east of Wilson Creek, Washington which remains in the family. She enjoyed sharing memories of her idyllic childhood, growing up with her big brother Darrel and younger sister Dorothy. Maxine attended Wilson Creek School graduating at the age of 16, and as class Valedictorian. She received scholarships to attend Whitworth, Washington State and Eastern State Colleges and earned her teaching degree. She was hired as a teacher even before completing her student teaching. Maxine taught a total of 37 years, completing her dream career teaching second grade, Room Six, for 31 years at Adams Elementary in the Central Valley School District. She frequently had parents requesting her to teach their younger children after an older sibling had her as their teacher. Toward the end of her career, she often was requested to teach children of her former students. She was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1997. Following graduation from college in 1950, Maxine married Guy Melberg. They resided in Ephrata and had two daughters, Cris Leanne and Vicki Michelle. Maxine remarried in 1968 to Lyle Kerns having recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. In addition to her love of teaching, which she often said she would have done for free, Maxine and Lyle enjoyed square, round and ballroom dancing. After her retirement, she added line dancing to her repertoire. Maxine also enjoyed horseback riding, boating, trips in their motor home and organizing family reunions. She played piano throughout her life. Maxine also took great joy in volunteering in several capacities, doing her “Angel Work”, as affectionately called by others. She was known for her special gift of brightening others’ lives with her thoughtfully written cards and gifts, including to nursing home residents and veterans. Maxine was active in Alpha Delta Kappa, an altruistic teaching sorority and served in several capacities including President. She traveled to their National Convention in Washington D.C. and formed lifelong friendships with her “sisters.” Maxine was a member of Millwood Presbyterian Church. She trained and served as a Stephens’ Minister. Most recently, she enjoyed fellowship in the Women’s Bible Study. She was also a lifetime member of the VFW and Third Infantry Division Auxiliaries. Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2006, she graciously and courageously faced treatments and was in remission for much of the past six years. In addition to Maxine’s strong faith, we credit and have eternal heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Kaya and his assistant, Aida, and Dr. Mroch, who saved her life in 2006 and gave her the gift of extended years to enjoy her family and friends. Maxine always considered her family to be her greatest joy and achievement. She was especially proud of her four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Maxine had a special adoration for animals her entire life. Derek, Perci and Walker were the most recent pets and brought her so much joy. Maxine was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend to many. She is survived by her husband, Lyle Kerns, daughters Cris (Joe) Sears of Yakima and Vicki (Rick) Welter of Woodinville, grandchildren Matthew (Jerrae) Staples, Michelle (Stephen) Chattin, and Nick Welter and Chris Welter, great- grandchildren Caden and Madison Staples and Stella Grace Chattin, all of the Seattle area. Viewing will be at Hazen and Jaeger Funeral Home of Spokane Valley on Friday, May 3, 2013 from 2:00 to 8:00 pm. Services will be at Millwood Presbyterian Church on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 1:00pm, followed with burial at Wilson Creek Cemetery. Donations may be made in Maxine’s name to Millwood Presbyterian Church, or Wilson Creek Presbyterian Church, Wilson Creek, WA 98860, or Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority, c/o Joan Kilian, 414 S. Blake Rd., Spokane, WA 99216.