Dr. Larry “"Doc"” Russell Kerns

February 24, 1940 - June 5, 2012

Dr. Larry Russell "Doc" Kerns, age 72 years, of Jefferson City, Mo., died Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at St. Mary's Health Center. Dr. Kerns was born February 24, 1940, in Kirksville, Mo., the son of Lloyd Russell and Eva Mae Gilbert Kerns. He was united in marriage on June 4, 1960, at St. John's Methodist Church in Linn, Mo., to Judith Ann Curtit, who preceded him in death on March 10, 2006. Dr. Kerns was a 1958 graduate of Linn High School, Linn Mo. He received his Bachelor degree in Science from the University of Missouri - Maryville. He graduated from the University of Missouri - Kansas City Dental School in 1968. He opened his Dental Practice in Jefferson City in 1969 and operated it until he retired in 2008. He enjoyed his great staff and multi-generations of wonderful patients, who he loved to tell jokes and visit with (when they could sneak in a word between the teeth polishing). Many adults and children, who were fearful of dentists, were referred to him, as he had a natural gift of making people comfortable. Doc was involved with many activities and organizations, such as: The American Dental Association, The First United Methodist Church of Jefferson City, American Field Service (Doc and Judy hosted several foreign students that became an integral part of their family), The Jefferson City Sportsman Club (he was an avid target shooter and marksman), HAM Radio Operator, and Fly Fishing at Bennett Springs. Most notable was his dedication and mentoring through the Boy Scouts of America. He served as Scout Master of Jefferson City's Troop 1 from 1981-1990. He loved to go to Summer camp and cook breakfast for the kids and leaders, even after he retired as Scout Master. There was always plenty of popcorn at Doc's house, as there was not a Boy Scout fundraiser that he would shy away from. He enjoyed a trip to Maui in his retirement and discovered his favorite Hawaiian shirt! He also loved the simple things, like cooking breakfast and making pancakes with his granddaughters. Other survivors include: one daughter: Julia Kerns of Jefferson City, Mo., and one son: Kurt Kerns and his wife, Bonnie Blume of Richmond Heights, Mo. He adored his three granddaughters: Lily, Ella, and Isla Kerns of Richmond Heights, who lovingly refer to him as "DocDoc". He was very close with his two brothers-in-law: Jack Curtit and his wife Mary and Jerry Curtit and his wife Brenda, both of Jefferson City Mo.; two sisters-in-law: Susan Eidson and Marilyn Curtit, both of Jefferson City, Mo. His cousins were great friends, sort of "stand-in" siblings: Gilbert Hogenson and his wife Bobbie; Don Hogenson and his wife Betty; Bob Hogenson and his wife Evelyn; and Kathryn Hogenson-Young and her husband Trey. Doc was very proud of his many nieces and nephews as well as their children, his great-nieces and nephews. Doc did not know a stranger, and his friends and associates are too many to note. He is loved and will be missed by many. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and two step-fathers, Cliff English and Bill Gessling.. Visitation will be at Freeman Mortuary from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m., Friday, June 8, 2012. Funeral services will be conducted at 4:00 p.m., Friday, June 8, 2012, in the Freeman Chapel with the Reverend Daniel Hilty officiating. Those desiring to make memorial contributions can do so in Doc's name to The Boy Scouts of America Great Rivers Council. Donations can be made online at or will be presented to them by Doc's family. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.

Services Location

Freeman Mortuary
  • 915 Madison Street Jefferson City, Mo 65101
  • 573-636-5533
  • Fax 573-636-7513
  • Visit website

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