James R. Kern

10/11/1959 - 04/06/2024


Obituary For James R. Kern

James R. Kern, 64, of Eau Claire, formerly of Independence, died Saturday, April 6, 2024, at his home following a short illness.

Jim was born October 11, 1959, in Whitehall, to Leonard and Phyllis (Weier) Kern. He married Charaswan “Piew” Vanachamras on August 28, 2005, in San Antonio, Texas. Jim graduated from Independence High School in 1977 and received a Bachelor of Science degree from DeVry Institute of Technology.

Jim’s entire career was spent in the global installation and support of high technology analytical instrumentation that encompasses electronics, mechanical, pneumatic, plumbing and computers. He worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an Instrument Specialist for mass spectrometers and recently retired from Oregon Physics in Hillsboro, OR.

Jim will be remembered for his quick wit and stimulating conversations. He was a man of big ideas, with an engaging presence and compassion for all. Besides his family, Jim leaves many lifelong friends that he made during his youth and time at Independence High School. Jim was well known for his involvement in pranks and other mischievous activities, leading to a lifetime of memorable stories and shared laughter. Besides competing in athletics, Jim was an actor who played comedy roles in both the Junior and Senior Class Plays.

Survivors include his wife, Piew Kern of Eau Claire; sister, Kay (Tony) Dejno of Greensboro, GA; brother, Dennis Kern of Poynette, WI; three nephews, Greg Dejno of Bishop, GA, Brian Dejno of Cumming, GA and Peter Kern of Burleson, TX.

Per Jim’s wishes, no services will be held.

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  • 04/27/2024

    I'm deeply saddened to hear about Jim's passing. He was not only skilled in his technical role but also a genuinely kind and wonderful person. I recall when I was sick with a cold, and he kindly brought me warm chicken soup to my apartment. His smile and compassionate nature will forever be remembered. My heartfelt condolences go out to Jim's loved ones during this difficult time.

  • 04/15/2024

    I first met Jim a few years back when he was still living in Portland. I live near Seattle. We discovered not only that he had grown up in my dad's hometown of Independence, but that he used to crawl through the hedge separating his family's home to visit my grandparents who lived next door! I felt a kinship with Jim. We did visit Independence together when I was back visiting my Eau Claire family last year. We had a great visit. That cemented our connection. I will miss not getting to know him better. My sincerest condolences to Piew and the family whom he cared about deeply.

  • 04/14/2024

    Jim was always friendly, cheerful and helpful. He kept the WiscSIMS Lab together. We're saddened by his loss. John and Andree Valley

  • 04/11/2024

    A smiling, good soul gone too soon.... Deepest sympathy from Tom & Michaelynn Lambert

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