Bernell Kerbs was born in Otis, Kansas on September 5, 1929 to Ben and Marie Kerbs. He passed away peacefully on March 25, 2017, in Tacoma with his family at his side. A kind, gracious and caring man who saw the good in all things, he will be greatly missed. He lived a wonderful life in his 87 years on earth.
Bernie graduated from Otis High School and then attended Fort Hays State College for one year. He transferred to Kansas State University and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1951. Bernie went to work for Boeing in Wichita and served as a field rep on the B-47 program in Lake Charles, Little Rock and England. When assigned to Salina, KS, he made sure he looked up kindergarten teacher, Diantha Horton, whom he knew from Kansas State. In 1956 Bernie and Diantha began 60 wonderful years of marriage.
Bernie loved his family, his friends and his work. He was very proud of his 40 years at Boeing on programs including 737, 747, 757. He especially enjoyed being a manager in customer support and coordinating the annual airline customers conference. Moving to Auburn from Wichita in 1962, Bernie had strong roots in the local community. Over the years, Bernie was involved as a scout leader, Methodist church leader, founding member of the Culture Club and the Dodsworth Golf Group, and treasurer of the Waterford HOA. He was a great friend and neighbor to all.
Bernie and Diantha traveled extensively in retirement to China, Sweden, Europe, England, Turkey, and all around the states. They spent many memorable winter vacations in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, inviting old friends to stay with them and share good times.
Bernie was always positive and was a great role model and mentor. He never hesitated to encourage others. With an outstanding sense of humor, he loved (and could tell) a good joke or story. He was always there for his family and was proud of the close relationships they shared with one another.
He is survived by his wife Diantha Kerbs, children Rex (Chris) Kerbs, Kathryn Kerbs and Christina Malmberg Calvo, granddaughters Claire and Leah Kerbs.
Bernie’s memorial service will be held at Auburn First United Methodist Church on Saturday, May 6; at 2:00 p.m. Contributions in Bernie’s memory can be made to Auburn First United Methodist Church.