Mrs. Judith Karen (Robinson) Kern

Mrs. Judith Karen (Robinson) Kern

October 17, 1949 - November 06, 2021
Charleston, WV

Mrs. Judith Karen (Robinson) Kern

October 17, 1949 - November 06, 2021
Charleston, WV


Karen Robinson Kern, 72, died on Saturday, November 6, 2021 in South Charleston, West Virginia.

Born in Charleston, West Virginia, Karen was married to Franklin W. Kern Jr.

She was predeceased by her parents, Bernard C. Robinson, and Dorothy G. Robinson.

She is survived by her siblings, Linda Taylor, Libbie Chapman, Kenneth Robinson, and Bonnie Bachmeyer; her daughter Laura Caldwell and son-in-law Robert Caldwell, her grandchildren, Lauren E. Caldwell, Karen Ann Caldwell, Robert (Patrick) Caldwell and Katherine Caldwell and her son Franklin W. Kern III

Karen met her husband Frank while enrolled as a freshman at Morris Harvey, (Now University of Charleston) where she was a Merit Scholar on full scholarship. They had both attended the same Junior and High School, but did not meet until college, when he was a senior and she a freshman. They married the summer of her sophomore year, had a daughter her junior year, and she did her student teaching without mentioning her pregnancy with their son. She graduated with honors two months before he was born. Karen had intended to teach at the college level, but finding herself with two young children rather than go on with graduate level education, she elected to substitute teach for a while and by 1978 was teaching adult basic education, first at Job Corps and then at Garnet Career Center. She helped write the textbook on how to teach for literacy volunteers. Karen was a gifted teacher, able to utilize multiple teaching styles to help an extreme variety of student needs. Her husband Frank worked for decades as a social worker, and they “tag teamed” she helping people get their GED, or study for an LPN or other certification, while he got people into work and training, they helped families climb out of poverty and into self sufficiency. Frank got certified to teach and they both taught nights for several years one or two times a week.

Karen was also a talented artist, drawing both freehand and digitally. She had a photographer’s eye and enjoyed a wide variety of artistic endeavors. In 2004 they started joining their daughter’s family ski vacations: Frank learned to ski (after his first heart attack) and Karen not only brought a box load of crafting supplies, but also cooked amazing meals from scratch. Cooking was definitely one of her love languages, but she had many she was fluent in.

Services will be held at St. Marks United Methodist Church in Charleston, West Virginia, 12 p.m. Saturday November 20, 2021 with the Reverend Monty Brown presiding.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Karen’s name to The Wounded Warrior Project: or The Water Project:

Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: November 20, 2021 (12:00 PM - 1:00 PM)
  • Venue: St. Marks United Methodist Church
  • Location: Washington Street, East # 900 Charleston , WV 25301 - (Get Directions)

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