Arline "Nonie" Kern

Arline Ward Kern, known most fondly as Nonie, passed away peacefully of natural causes March 15, 2021 at the age of 90.

Nonie was born in 1930 in Hinsdale. The family included her parents, Barbara Skelly and John Mackenzie Ward, and her two sisters, Barbara and Vickie.

Nonie earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She worked as an advertising executive until marrying her life partner of more than 50 years, Herbert Arthur Kern, on May 14, 1955, in Hinsdale. Nonie and Herb Kern retired to Big Sky, Mont., in 1979, embodying great foresight and a pioneering spirit to settle in the small ski town in its infancy.

Each summer, Nonie and family traveled to northern Minnesota to their beloved lake house retreat on Lake Vermillion in Cook. Establishing a family summer tradition for years and generations to come, Nonie's lake adventures included picnics, water skiing, sunset cruises and cooking for her family. During the snowy winter months, Nonie and Herb were frequently visited at their Big Sky home by their children and grandchildren, seeking skiing adventures together and wilderness escapes, all while creating lasting family memories.

With an insatiable appetite for adventure and activity, she enjoyed playing tennis and golf, hiking, riding horses on pack trips and traveling the world, never slowing until the very end.

Nonie had a contagious, energetic spirit and an inclusive attitude toward others. Her generosity and humor were infectious, brightening the lives of all she came in contact with. Her family was of utmost importance to her, as she prioritized the needs of her husband, children, and grandchildren above her own.

Nonie is survived by her six children, John (Susie) Kern, Julie (Ray) Williamson, David Kern, Tom (Sheryl) Kern, Susie (Chris) Reaney and Chip (Stephanie) Kern; her grandchildren; her great-grandchildren; her sister-in-law, Anne Kern; her brother-in-law, Bill DeFuniak; and several nieces and nephews.

A private family service was held March 19.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made online to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation at, in honor of her late husband, Herbert Kern.