Elaine Grannis Kerns passed away at her home on Oct. 25, 2012.
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She was born May 31, 1914, in Spokane, Wash., to Charles and Jessie Hunt. Her childhood was spent in Elk River, Idaho, and LaGrande, Ore. Her step-father, Hi Kennedy, moved the family to Klamath Falls during her teens and she graduated from Klamath Union High School in 1931.
She planned to begin nurse's training but met a young rancher, Earl Kerns, at a "hard times" party and life took a different direction. They were married Sept. 22, 1932, and so began her life on the ranch located on Highway 66 east of Keno. They worked their way through the Depression by milking cows, feeding pigs, and raising vegetables while building a cow herd. They had two children, Sydney and Martin.
Over the years, they added property at Ft. Klamath and Elk Creek, Calif. Cattle were taken to California for winter grazing and Earl, Elaine and their children spent winters there. Along with working on the ranch, keeping books, and gardening, Elaine found time for community activities. She was active in PTA and both local and state Farm Bureau. Her Farm Bureau activities led to being a founding board member of the Ladies Community Lounge in 1950. She served in that capacity more than 50 years. When Earl lost his life in an accident in 1961, she and her children continued the business.
Her favorite place was her Ft. Klamath home on Wood River where she spent her summers for more than 40 years. In recent years, she gave up going to her California ranch in the winters and moved to Klamath Falls. She always maintained an active interest in what was happening on the ranch with son Martin and grandson Lyndon.
Elaine was baptized in the Christian Church in LaGrande, confirmed in the Episcopal Church and attended the Ft. Klamath Methodist Church.
Elaine is survived by her daughter Sydney Giacomini, Klamath Falls; son and daughter-in-law Martin and Shirley Kerns, Klamath Falls; grandchildren Kenny and Elena Cooper, Klamath Falls; Lyndon and Jenny Kerns, Klamath Falls; Loren and Tiffany Kerns, Springfield, Ore.; Marc and Kerry Sarner, Wildomar, Calif., and 12 great-grandchildren.
Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, O'Hair Funeral Chapel, 515 Pine Street, Klamath Falls. Memorial donations can be made to the Ft. Klamath Methodist Church, Ft. Klamath, OR 97626 or the Klamath Falls Gospel Mission, P.O. Box 87, Klamath Falls, OR 97601.
Published in Herald And News on Nov. 4, 2012