SPC. KURT WILLIAM KERN|
"As far as we can discern, the sole presence of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being"
-From "Memories, Dreams, Reflections" by Carl Jung
SPC. Kurt William Kern, 24, of McAllen, Texas, died in the line of duty on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, in Afghanistan, where he was courageously defending our country as a soldier in the United States Army.
Kurt served our nation with the same dedication and loyalty that set him apart as a wonderful son, brother, grandson, uncle, and friend. He felt tremendously proud and honored to have been given the opportunity to join the United States Armed Forces and protect the country he loved - a dream of his since childhood. Kurt's unquestionable bravery and selflessness was exemplified in his voluntary decision to be deployed in late November.
Kurt was extremely close to his family and shared his affection with all of those whom he knew and loved. He recently became a first-time uncle, and he absolutely adored his nephew, whom he openly and frequently talked about with a genuine sense of love and adulation. A native of McAllen, he successfully cultivated numerous long-standing friendships that he cherished deeply, and proved to be a devoted and trustworthy companion to many. Amongst the love he shared with his family and friends, Kurt also had a passion to be successful in every endeavor he chose to undertake. Whether it was being part of the McAllen Memorial High School football team, serving as a lifeguard at the McAllen Municipal Pool, or studying at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, Kurt successfully demonstrated his desire to be someone who could make a difference in all that he did.
One of the most beautiful qualities that Kurt possessed was his positive, outgoing personality, and with this he was capable of lighting up a room solely through his presence. He could brighten up anyone's day regardless of how down a family member or friend may have felt. His joking personality and contagious laugh will never be forgotten, especially by those whose bad times were turned into good when he was there to help them feel better.
Kurt had a heart of gold and his absence will forever affect the lives of those lucky enough to have known him. What will never fade, however, will be the memory of his radiant smile or reminders of the glow that surrounded him whenever he was around other people. Kurt was a true hero in every sense of the word; may his kindness and endless love serve as a source of inspiration allowing us to endure and honor his life in the wake of his passing.
He is survived by his parents, Conrad and Martha (Vargas) Kern; sister, Giselle Kern of McAllen; brothers, Keith Kern and Kyle Kern of McAllen; maternal grandmother, Guillermina Vargas of McAllen.
Calling hours will be from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday, January 7, 2012 with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. at Rivera Funeral Home, 1901 Pecan Blvd., McAllen. Family will receive family and friends at 9:00 a.m. Sunday, January 8, 2012 at McAllen Convention Center at Ware Rd. & Exp 83 with funeral service being held at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Rio Grande Valley State Veteran's Cemetery, 2520 S. Inspiration Rd, Mission. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Rivera Funeral Home of McAllen.
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Published in The Monitor on Jan. 6, 2012