David Kern, 32-year Liberty Twp. trustee and businessman, dies at 79

David Kern is pictured in June 2010 after being elected head of the Butler County Republican Party. Kern also served two 16-year stints - ending in 2016 - on Liberty Township Trustees. Kern died at his home Tuesday after a long illness. (File Photo\Journal-News)
David Kern is pictured in June 2010 after being elected head of the Butler County Republican Party. Kern also served two 16-year stints - ending in 2016 - on Liberty Township Trustees. Kern died at his home Tuesday after a long illness. (File Photo\Journal-News)

The long public service legacy of David Kern - intertwined with Liberty Twp. and Butler County politics – ended this week with the passing of the former officeholder, businessman and community icon.

Kern died at his Liberty Twp. home Tuesday after a long battle with lung and pancreatic cancer, according to his family. He was 79.

His public service and personal contributions started early with a stint as a volunteer firefighter in the 1950s, when he was also helping to run his family’s tree nursery business.

Kern, a former head of the Butler County Republican Party, and 32-year veteran of Liberty Twp. Trustees, was a big-hearted politician, said those who worked with him, citing his legacy of volunteerism and genuine love of people.

“He was dedicated to his family and the township and he’ll always have a real special place in my heart as a mentor,” said Liberty Twp. Trustee Tom Farrell, who served on the governing board with Kern until he left in 2016.

Liberty Twp.’s on-going distinction as one of Ohio’s most dynamically growing communities wouldn’t have happened without Kern’s leadership contributions over decades, said Farrell.

“There’s no way we are where we are now without him. He gave decades of his service while never asking for anything in return. He was one of the nicest, most unselfish gentlemen I have ever known,” he said.

Fellow township Trustee Christine Matacic said Kern was one of kind.

“When you talk about a true servant of the community, that is what you have in Dave Kern,” said Matacic. “He was there, morning, noon and night for whatever was needed.”

In Other News