Marshall Keith Kern, Sr. passed away on February 16, 2020 at the age of 94 in his home in Crystal Springs, Mississippi with his beloved wife, Ann, of seventy-three years at his side.
Visitation will be Friday, 21st 5-8pm at Stringer Funeral Home in Crystal Springs with his funeral to be held at the Crystal Springs church of Christ on Saturday, 22nd at 11am and graveside service at Canton City Cemetery in Canton at 2pm.
He was born on March 11, 1925 in Ofahoma, MS as the seventh child to parents Mable Dell Watkins and Benjamin Thomas Kern. Marshall was preceded in death by his parents as did his six siblings and their spouses, daughter-in-law Sherry Willis Kern, and numerous nieces and nephews. Marshall is survived by his wife, the former Betty Ann McBride of Crystal Springs, MS; a son Marshall Keith Kern, Jr. (Dinah DeGeorge) of Meyersville, TX; a daughter Martha Karen Clower (William) of Crystal Springs, MS; Granddaughters Amanda C. Wilson (Keith) of Crystal Springs, Rebecca K. Herrington (James) of Oma, MS and Meghan C. Meredith (Shane) of Starkville, MS; 5 great-granddaughters Taylor and Olivia Wilson, Lillian, Lydia and Layana Meredith; and 2 great-grandsons Caleb and Hunter.
During his time in high school in the early 40s, he was one of the first students in the nation to be chosen to drive a public-school bus. His teachers and fellow students, as well as school administrators, recognized his responsible behavior and recommended his appointment. He enjoyed this activity until he was enlisted in the United States Navy as we entered World War II.
After serving three years he was discharged and had returned home to Canton, MS where he met the “pest freshman” who always kicked him under the library table before he went into the service. She graduated in May and they were married in July 1946. As a couple they experienced job hunting, as every other veteran did, and following the birth of their son decided he would apply his knowledge to a higher education.
He began his studies at Millsaps College in 1948 with a Geology major and developed a close relationship under Dr. Richard Priddy. Dr. Priddy recommended his attendance to the University of Tennessee Special Geology Study. In 1951 after three years of attention to his studies, he graduated from Millsaps.
His first job after college was as a mud bug with Stanolin in the bayous of Louisiana. First in Houma, then New Iberia, Jennings and on to Orange, Texas. In each location the priority was to find a congregation of the church of Christ which the couple attended faithfully. From Texas onto Casper, Wyoming where their daughter was born in 1952. In his new position as Staff Geologist, he assumed a great amount of experience and responsibility with oil production results. In 1954 he was transferred to Bismarck, North Dakota as a Senior Geologist. In 1957 he was transferred to Jackson, Mississippi due to family illness.
He was a member and a past officer of Geological Geophysical Society, Jackson Petroleum Club, and Independent Petroleum Association of America. When time was spent in the oil fields no matter where or when, he was known with great respect as the “Candy Man”. Marshall’s priority was church, family and business in that order, but in his spare time, he loved to golf.