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Merle Grace Kearns

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Kearns Merle Grace Kearns, 76, of Columbus, formerly of Springfield, died August 9, 2014 in Wesley Glen Retirement Community. She was born May 19, 1938 in Belfont, PA to Robert and Katherine (Fitzgerald) Grace. Merle earned her B.A. Degree in Home Economics from The Ohio State University and was a life long Buckeye. She was a loving wife and mother and had a distinguished 27 year career in public service. She served as a Clark County Commissioner, State Representative, State Senator, and Director of the Agency on Aging; was named "Legislator of the Year" by 10 organizations; was named the Dayton Daily News top ten women in the Miami Valley; in 2010 inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame; she was most proud of leading the legislative effort to enact Ohio law recognizing the profession of Advance Practice Nurses (APN's), and for this she received an Honorary Degree from Wright State University. She is survived by her husband, Thomas R. Kearns; four sons, Thomas (Kelly), Michael (Karen), Timothy (Dee), and Matthew; eight grandchildren; three sisters, Aura (Jack) Dean, Maryanne (Tom) Wilson, Debi Grace (Tom) Lee; three brothers, Edward Santana (Ruth) Grace, Robert Grace, and William Grace; and numerous nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends in the CONROY FUNERAL HOME from 4-7 p.m. Thursday. Private service will be held Friday at the convenience of the family. Inurnment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Dayton, OH. Memorial donations may be made to the , Central Ohio Chapter, 1379 Dublin Road, Columbus, OH 43215.

Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Aug. 12, 2014
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