Thomas P. Kerns

MENDOTA – Thomas Paul Kerns, 80, of Mendota, passed away Jan. 23, 2023 in his home.

Tom's wishes were to have a Celebration of Life at Rip's Tavern in Ladd for family and friends, which will be held in April. Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota is handling arrangements.

Tom was born Nov. 14, 1942, in LaSalle, to Paul and Peg (Fitzgerald) Kerns. He married Judith Walter on June 19, 1965.

He is survived by his wife Judy of Mendota; two daughters Julie Friend and Marci Burnett; grandchildren, Emily Sanchez and Athea (William Gallup) Friend; great-grandchildren, Lily Grace Weathers and Eliza Gallup; siblings Michael (Sandy) Kerns of Wisconsin, Margaret Kerns of California and Richard Kerns of Nebraska; and cousins, nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Anna Salokar and his great-granddaughter Monica Sanchez.

Tom was a 1960 graduate of Mendota High School. He served in the United States Navy from 1960-1963. He worked for Hart Carter, Sundstrand, Letterkraft, City of Mendota as parks supervisor and RR Donnelley where he retired from in 2005. Tom's hobbies included fishing, photography, ham radio, YouTube, playing horseshoes, sitting at Lake Mendota and enjoying nature and camping. Two of his favorite things were the Dallas Cowboys and Rip's Chicken.

Memorials may be directed to Mendota Area Senior Services. Online condolences may be left at


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