Latest News

Bernice Aileen Flowers Kerns

Mrs. Bernice Aileen Flowers Kerns was born on Easter morning April 19, 1924 to the late Mamie Street Flowers and Warner Vernon Flowers in College Park, GA and died early in the morning of October 1, 2014.

Bunny attended Virginia Intermont Prep School and College from 1941-43. She worked as a reservations agent for Delta Air Lines until she returned to finish her education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1946. She went back to work for Delta Air Lines in College Park until she married her college sweetheart, Thomas Cleveland Kerns on September 18, 1948.

After split terms in New York City during Tom’s internship and residency, punctuated by a tour at McDill Air Force Base during the Korean War, Bunny returned to Durham with Tom in 1956 to begin a fulfilling life of raising children and building new and enduring friendships for the next 58 years. Bunny was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church. She proudly performed many volunteer activities during her lifetime and helped establish many new organizations. She was on one of the founders of The Caring House and St. Mary’s Country Day School, co-founder of the Counter Point Club and the HenVesters. She served as a member of the Debutante Ball Society and the Junior League. Her hobbies included golf, tennis and bridge, where she was competent and competitive.

Mrs. Kerns was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Dr. Tom Kerns, in 2007.

She is survived by her three children, Thomas Cleveland Kerns, III, Suzn Kerns Stewart, and Bill Kern; niece, Merilyn Canfield Wilson; nephew, Rodney Canfield; seven grandchildren, Paxton X. Head, Talbott Elizabeth Shaw, Thomas Walker Kerns, John Burgess Kerns, Megan Kerns, Lauren Kerns, and Katherine Kerns; six grand nieces, and one grand nephew; and three great grand nieces.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 5, 2014 at First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main Street, Durham, NC, at 2:00 pm. Officiating will be Rev. Marilyn T. Hedgpeth.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in memory of Bunny Kerns to the Caring House of Durham, 2625 Pickett Road, Durham, NC 27705, or to The First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main Street, Durham, NC 27701.

The Kerns family is under the care of Howerton & Bryan Funerla Home. Online condolences may be submitted at, select obituaries.