Ralph Jeffrey Kerns, 74, of Peru, passed away peacefully at 7:43pm on Sunday, April 7, 2019, at his residence, due to congestive heart failure.
He was born on March 31, 1945 in Portland, Oregon to Ralph L. and Etta (Boyd) Kerns. After graduating from Peru High School in 1964, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Ralph served in the Navy from 1965-1969. He married Kristi (Benner) Kerns on April 15, 1966. She preceded him in death on September 4, 1999. They had two children together, Jeffrey and Jennifer. Jeffrey preceded him in death on July 28, 2018. He married again on June 7, 2003 to Shirley (Moseley) Kerns. She survives.
Surviving in addition to his wife, Shirley, are his mother, Etta Kerns, Rochester, IN, his daughter, Jennifer (Glenn) Townsend, Peru, IN, his granddaughter, Ashlee (Justin) Klempner, Montpelier, OH, and his grandsons, Luke and Owen Townsend, Peru, IN. Also surviving are four great grandchildren, Nolan, Ava, Archie, and Bear (due to arrive in June, 2019) Klempner, Montpelier, OH.
On October 1, 1969, Ralph started working for the Peru Fire Department. He was a fireman for 25 1/2 years, retiring on May 29, 1995. He was also a truck driver for Miami Trucking Inc. for over 30 years. Ralph was a member of the First Christian Church. He was also a member of the Peru Maennerchor and Masonic Lodge. At Christmas time, he would dress up as Santa and visit local families and organizations. Christmas Eve was his busiest day, as he made special deliveries and appearances around town. Also, Ralph was an avid racing fan. His favorite NASCAR driver was Jeff Gordon. He enjoyed going to NASCAR races and attending the Indianapolis 500.
He was preceded in death by his father, Ralph L. Kerns, his first wife, Kristi L. (Benner) Kerns, and his son, Jeffrey D. Kerns.
Visitation will be held from 4pm - 7pm on Monday, April 15, 2019 at Flowers-Leedy Funeral Home, 105 West Third Street, Peru, Indiana. Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at the funeral home, with Pastor James Loft officiating. Masonic service will also be held. Graveside service will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery in Peru, Indiana.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation can be made to the First Christian Church, 53 West Main Street, Peru, Indiana.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Flowers-Leedy Funeral Home. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at www.FlowersLeedyAllen.com.