Alfred Kern

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  • "My deepest sympathy, to Steve, Pam, Sheri and their mother..."
    - Tom McCaskey
  • "Dear Pam, Bob and family, We are so sorry for your loss. ..."
    - Jim/Judy Clary
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KERN--Alfred, novelist and Professor Emeritus English at Allegheny College, died in Wilmington, North Carolina, June 2, 2009. Author of novels Made in USA, The Width of Waters and The Trial of Martin Ross, Mr. Kern's essays have been widely published and cited, most notably Hang the Enola Gay. During his long career at Allegheny, Mr. Kern served as Chairman of the English Department, Dean of the College and held the Frederick F. Seeley Chair. During his year as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Air Force Academy from 1979-1980, Professor Kern was inspired to write several acclaimed essays relating arts to the military, including Waiting for Euripides and Humanities at the Hanoi Hilton. Among the many people he touched are the hundreds of students and young writers he taught and mentored, many of whom remained devoted friends throughout his life. Born in Alliance, Ohio, in 1924, Mr. Kern served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, returning to Allegheny to finish his degree. It was there he met and married Carole Franklin, his wife of nearly 62 years. Mr. Kern also leaves three children and five grandchildren: Sheridan Kern (Nick Imirziades, children, Ouriana and Georgia Kern); Pamela Quinn (Robert, children, Sarah and Patrick Quinn); and Stephen Kern (son, Riku Kern). Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Allegheny College, 520 North Main St, Box 44, Meadville, PA 16335, or, Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Published in The New York Times on June 5, 2009