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In Loving Memory

Kern, Hildegard (nee Hoelmer)

May 16, 1931 - August 8, 2023

Born on May 16, 1931 and Fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church Tuesday, August 8, 2023.

Beloved wife of the late Guenther Kern; loving mother of Rosemary Kimmel, Barb (Bob) Pratt, Anita Kern, Margarita (Brian) Sumner, Marianne Leighton, Susanne (John) McCarthy, Heidi (Jim) Goss, Michael (Terri) Kern and Steven (Jody) Kern; adoring grandmother of Jeannette, Michael and Thomas Kimmel, Crystal Pratt, Maria, Elizabeth, Erica and Anna Sumner, Joshua and Katharine Leighton, Bradley, Jason, Matthew and Sarah McCarthy, Adelaide and Zachary Goss, Benjamin and Michael Kern, Hannah and Max Heiges, Alex and Jacob Kern; dear sister of Berni (Dianne), Werner (Eva) and Karl (Kathy); dear sister-in-law of Robert (Hildegard) Kern. Our dearest great-grandmother, aunt, great-aunt, cousin and friend to many.

Hilda was born in Cincinnati in 1931, but raised in Germany from the age of 2-17. She survived many moves and displacements, attended 13 different schools, suffered the loss of her father on the Russian front in 1942, and endured the challenges of growing up in war-torn Europe in bombed-out homes, often shuttling between her hometown of Muenster, and small towns and farms in Bavaria.  As a US citizen she was able to return to Cincinnati in the fall of 1948; her goal was to assist her mother and brothers from afar, with the ultimate aim of sponsoring them to immigrate to the US.   She brought with her a violin, her love of music, books and learning, and the determination to do well.

She met the love of her life, Guenther, in 1949 at a Christmas party and they married in 1951.  The seven daughters were born in Cincinnati, and after their move to St. Louis in 1965, the two sons followed. Hilda’s life was centered around raising her children.  She insisted they excel in school and be involved in music (whether that be playing an instrument or participating in choir) and scouting.    As a teen, she yearned to become a teacher.  She put those skills to use. She was a Girl Scout Leader, taught in Catholic schools in the parish school of religion, took theology classes at St. Louis University, and becoming involved in the Liturgy Committee at St. Simon’s.  She enjoyed her friendships, women’s clubs, and bridge clubs.  Her true love was spending time with her husband, Guenther, who sadly passed away in 2013.  Early on, their vacations were camping trips with kids in tow, but later, they were able to travel far and wide, visiting relatives in Europe, taking vacation packages to various destinations, cruising to Alaska, the Panama Canal, and wherever they could  They enjoyed their many trips to Puerto Vallarta and Honolulu.  Her greatest love besides Guenther, though, was her children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She will be missed by all.

Visitation at Kutis Affton Chapel 10151 Gravois Rd. 63123 on Thursday, August 17 from 4-7 pm. Funeral Mass at St. Simon Catholic Church (11011 Mueller Rd. 63123) on Friday, August 18 at 9:30 am. Interment at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.


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