Etta Louise (Boyd) Kerns, 100, of Rochester, IN (formerly from Peru), passed away at 8:43pm on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at Miller’s Merry Manor in Peru.
Ettie was born in Cortez, Colorado (Four Corners area) in a dirt floor Navajo Hogan on September 20, 1919 to Rebecca McConnell. Her birth father was said to be a young Navajo Indian fellow whose name is unknown. She was raised by her grandparents Thomas Boyd and Rebecca (Richmond) Boyd. Her birth mother later married John E. House. Through that union, Etta acquired 4 half-brothers and 1 half-sister.
Etta’s family emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland to America in the early 1900’s. Here, they claimed 320 acres of land in Colorado through the Homestead Act. She lived in CO until she was 7 years old. After that, she and several family members headed further west to California. She lived in CA until the age of 17. At that point, she moved to Oregon where she finished high school in 1937 at Bonanza High School, Bonanza, OR. She was not happy about this school not having an art program. Etta was a very talented artist who liked to sketch and paint. After high school, Etta attended beauty school and became a beautician. She was always into beauty and took great pride in her appearance. In her free time, she also liked to play golf.
On November 21, 1943, Etta married Ralph L. Kerns in Vancouver, Washington. She then became a homemaker. Ralph and Etta later moved to Indiana and raised their son, Ralph Jr., in Peru. She became a widow on November 3, 1988. She later dated George Prathaftakis and had a fun and loving relationship with him until his death in June 2004. Etta amazingly lived by herself at home up until 2 weeks prior to her passing. She was beautiful deep down to her soul. Her sense of humor and sharp wit will be sorely missed.
Ettie is survived by her granddaughter, Jennifer (Glenn) Townsend, Peru, IN, great- grandchildren, Ashlee (Justin) Klempner, Montpelier, OH, Luke and Owen Townsend, Peru, IN, and great-great-grandchildren, Nolan, Ava, Archie, and Bear Klempner, Montpelier, OH. Also surviving is her half-sister, Jean (House) Ross, Carmichael, CA.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Rebecca (McConnell) House, her husband, Ralph L. Kerns, her son, Ralph J. Kerns, and her grandson, Jeffrey D. Kerns. Also preceding her are 4 half-brothers, John E. House Jr. (aka William), Daniel LaRue House, David House, and Thomas House, who were also known as the House Brothers-Quartet.
Visitation will be held from 11:00am – 1:00pm on Friday, February 28, 2020 at Flowers-Leedy Funeral Home, 105 West Third Street, Peru, Indiana. Funeral service will follow at 1:00pm, with Pastor Rod Correll officiating. Burial will take place at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Peru.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Flowers-Leedy Funeral Home. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at www.FlowersLeedyAllen.com.
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