My mother, Robin Kay Kerns, passed away on July 28, 2016.
This is the obituary I wrote:
Robin Kay Kerns, 62, passed away on July 28, 2016 in a traffic accident. Born and raised in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, she moved to northern Florida with her children in 1987. A stroke survivor for the last 15 years, she was fiercely independent and ambitious to the end. Before her disability in 2001, she was a contracts and financial analyst for Shands Hospital as part of their Faculty Group Practice unit. A lot of her work involved the development of a pricing module and running SQL queries and similar research for ensuring that vendors were applying the correct billing codes.
Robin is survived by her three children – daughter Jennifer Lechner (38), and sons Kenneth Kerns (35) and Sean Kerns (31). She is also survived by her brothers Gary Kellogg and Jeff Kellogg.
We have a guestbook set up at the American Stroke Association, where we are encouraging people to donate to the cause of medical research and helping those who suffer from strokes. You can find it here.
But obituaries can only do so much to capture the life and spirit of a person, with all their hopes, fears, aspirations, and contradictions. Robin had a sharp analytical mind, and frequently found creative ways to stretch a dollar, but also found herself in more debt than she could handle. She loved roses and other flowers, but didn’t have much of a green thumb. She believed in many things spiritual, but never felt tied to a specific denomination of Christianity. She was friendly and generous, but her temper was something to be witnessed only from afar.
She taught her children a few things along the way, too. She never pressed us to take up sports or be popular, but insisted that we take education seriously and to try to go to college. She believed in the cache of credentials like degrees, professional certifications, and being vested in a defined benefit pension. She was ambitious, and wanted her children to be ambitious, but mostly she wanted them to be happy – even on those days when she was driving us crazy or was acting out in frustration.
In her final years, she spent a lot of time contributing to the local community – as part of brain rehabilitation research, as part of a local Baptist church, and was wanting to start a business as part of the micro-housing trend. She refused to let her disability get her down, and refused to accept her limitations. Even before her stroke, she wanted to do more, to be more, and that’s what I’ll always love and remember most about her.
Wherever you are now, Mom, know that I love you and will miss you. Always.