Jerome Thomas Kerns, Jr.


Dell Rapids, SD

June 25, 2020

Jerome “Jerry” Kerns passed away Thursday, June 25, 2020 at home surrounded by family after a courageous, long-fought battle with cancer. 

Jerry was born October 15, 1964 in Dell Rapids, SD to Jerome Kerns and Carrie (Reurink) Hanneman.  He was raised in Dell Rapids, SD and graduated from Dell Rapids High School in 1983.  He attended South Dakota State University where he met his wife Lynn (Mueller) Kerns.  They were married on August 29, 1987 in Tripp, SD, and resided in Dell Rapids, SD. The couple had 3 children: Elizabeth, Emily, and Jordan. 

Jerry was employed by Wells Fargo Bank for 32 years in various departments. He started his career with Norwest Financial in 1987. The majority of Jerry’s career was spent with Wells Fargo Financial where he held multiple senior leadership roles in credit and sales departments.  After Financial, Jerry took on multiple leadership roles in Consumer Lending, and also worked in underwriting for several years during the end of his career. Jerry’s enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment for excellence for himself and his employees was evident throughout his career. 

Jerry was active in his community and in the church. He served many roles in the church as deacon, elder, and on various committees.  He ran the Dell Rapids girls softball program for several years.  He and Lynn were active members of the Dell Rapids Booster club, serving as board members and president. He was actively involved in United Way, Junior Achievement, and Habitat for Humanity for many years throughout his time at Wells Fargo. 

Jerry was an avid sports fan.  On any given weekend you could find him cheering on the Jackrabbits, Huskers, and Vikings, decked out head to toe in his team’s gear. He and Lynn were regular attendees at SDSU basketball games, and the whole family could be found tailgating in Brookings or Minneapolis regularly.  He was never too far from a TV and radio on game days, and the whole house could tell the status of the game based on the yelling and cheers from the basement. 

Jerry’s true passion throughout his life was his family.  He spent many years coaching various basketball, softball, and football teams for his children. He was so extremely proud of his children and their accomplishments. He never missed a game, program, ceremony, or recital. He spent many weekends out at the golf course, sharing his love of the game with his family and his children. His grandson, Connor was also a huge light in his life. He would brag about him any chance he got. He cherished the title of “Boppa.”

Grateful for sharing his life are his wife, Lynn of Dell Rapids, SD; 3 children: Elizabeth (Alex) Jones of Harrisburg, SD; Emily (Andrew) Ahrendt of Dell Rapids, SD; and Jordan Kerns of Dell Rapids, SD; grandson Connor Jones; and parents, Carrie (Don) Hanneman of Dell Rapids, SD.

Jerry was preceded in death by his father Jerome Kerns of Dell Rapids, SD; mother and father in law, Marvin and Helen (Nolz) Mueller of Tripp, SD; half sister Sharon (Kerns) Koopman of Baltic, SD; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

Visitation for Jerry will be held at Minnehaha Funeral Home in Dell Rapids, SD on Sunday, June 28 from 1-4 pm.   A celebration of life will be held at Dell Rapids Reformed Church on Monday, June 29 at 10:30 am.  Jerry and his family request that guests attending wear their gameday attire of his favorite teams: Vikings, Huskers, Jackrabbits, and Twins.