Mike Kerns of Murdo, South Dakota, died on Thursday, July 5, 2018 at Avera St. Mary's Hospital in Pierre at the age of 62.
Michael "Mike" Ward Kerns was born on December 17, 1955 to Daryl "Pete" and Linda (Dittman) Kerns in Kadoka, South Dakota. He was the first of nine children.
Mike spent his childhood days playing, fishing, riding bicycles, and swimming with his siblings and other neighborhood children. He attended school at Murdo elementary school and graduated from Murdo High School in 1974. After high school, Mike attended Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota, on a football scholarship. He played football for four years and was a part of the 1976 undefeated football team that was inducted into the DSU Hall of Fame.
While attending DSU, Mike met Joan Putzier. They were united in marriage on August 9, 1979 and to this union came three daughters: Carmen Jo, Krista Kay, and Kelsey Sue. They moved to Philip where Joan taught school and Mike worked carpentry jobs, refereed, and ran his D.J. business, “MJK”. Mike was an avid bowler and played on the local softball team. In 1985, they moved to Mission, and in 1989 moved to Murdo. While in Murdo, Mike ran the family business with his parents.
In 2000, Mike met his special friend, Sheila Menning. To this relationship a son, Jayden Gene, was born. In his spare time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and playing pool. Mike was an entertainer to many. He always had jokes and stories to tell and he loved to play music and sing karaoke.
Survivors include a special companion Sheila Menning of Murdo; three daughters: Carmen Kerns of Sioux Falls, Krista Kerns (Clyle Badger) of Pierre, and Kelsey Kerns of Mitchell; three grandchildren: Slade Badger, Remi Badger (Krista and Clyle), and Jasa Morris (Carmen); his mother Linda Kerns of Murdo; seven siblings Kim (Lori) Kerns of Black Hawk, Brenda (Kerns) Polk of Huntsville, AL, Michele (Jim) McNeely of Murdo, Connie (Kelly) Kralicek of Dickenson, ND, Lori (Kerns) Nielson of Murdo, Bart Kerns of Murdo, and John (Carrie) Kerns of Mesa, AZ; many cousins, nieces, and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Michael was preceded in death by one son Jayden Gene Kerns; his father Daryl "Pete" Kerns; and a brother Steve Kerns.
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. CDT on Saturday, July 14, at the United Methodist Church in Murdo with Pastor Mark Phillips officiating.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.