Kathryn Eustance Kern

Kathryn Eustance Kern, MD, 89, formerly of Rochester, NY, died peacefully on October 1, 2020, with her family at her bedside, in Bedford, Virginia, of dementia. She was the beloved wife of William A. Kern, Jr., MD, for 65 years.


Kate was born on March 16, 1931, in Ithaca, NY, a daughter of the late Harry W. Eustance and Bernice Keibler Eustance. She graduated from Wellesley College and the University of Rochester School of Medicine. She and husband Bill settled in Greece, NY in 1962, after completion of their postgraduate medical training. She played a vital role supporting Bill’s solo practice of Internal Medicine for 30 years. In addition, she was a physician for the Monroe County Department of Health, and was a wonderful mother to her three children. 


Kate and Bill retired in 1992, and became avid world travellers, visiting more than 50 countries. In 1996 they settled in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, where they were active community volunteers with the Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park, and spent a week annually in Chama, NM, volunteering with the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.


Kate was a cherished wife, mother, aunt, and grandmother, known for her love of family, her good nature, kindness, generosity, sense of whimsy, and appreciation of the natural world, which she passed on to her children and grandchildren.


Kate was preceded in death by her brother John W. Eustance, and sister Anne Eustance Russo. She is survived by her devoted husband, Bill; her children, Jenny, Emily (Mark Metz), and John (Kim Palmer Kern); grandchildren: Jacob, Daniel, and David Stern; Joseph, Madeleine, and Katherine Metz; Rebecca, Matthew, and Elizabeth Kern; sister-in-law Nancy Eustance, and loving nieces and nephews. 


Many heart-felt thanks to Bill and Kate’s home health aide Cindy Martin, and to the first-floor staff of Oakwood Health & Rehabilitation Center in Bedford, Virginia for the loving care they gave to Kate (and Bill) during her stay there.


Donations in Kate’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association (alz.org) or to the food pantry at Lake Christian Ministries of Moneta, VA (lakechristianministries.org). 

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