Cover photo for Betty J. Kern's Obituary
Betty J. Kern Profile Photo
1924 Betty 2022

Betty J. Kern

August 15, 1924 — April 2, 2022

Betty Janet Kern ( Bernstein) passed away Saturday, April 2, 2022 in Dunkirk, NY with her loving family by her side.

Born August 15, 1924 in Stockton, NY, the daughter of the late Bernard and Mattie (Peterson) Bernstein. Wife of 59 yrs to the late Richard A. Kern who died March 2013; Mother of Richard M. Kern (Partner Darleen Jagoda) of Dunkirk; Elizabeth Dauber
(Gary) Lakewood, OH, and Patrick B. Kern (Zoe Lantelme) Naples, FL; Grandmother of Matthew Kern (Samantha) Sunbury, Ohio, Mary Elizabeth Kern of Rochester, NY, Susan Dauber of New York, NY, Grant Dauber (Kaitlin) Beverly, MA, Brian Kern (Lillia) Raleigh, NC, Margo and Olivia Kern of Naples, FL; 7 great grandchildren; 32 nieces and nephews. Sister of the late
Robert (Wanda) Bernstein, the late June (Spencer) Fuller, Patricia (Howard) Gloss, the late Harry (Barbara) Bernstein, the late Nancy Wolfe (Ed), and the late Garfield Bernstein.

Betty attended Brocton Schools until she left at the age of 16 to help with the war effort during WWII. She joined her father at Huntley Manufacturing Motors in Brocton as part of the “Rosie the Riveter'' campaign, like many other females across the country did. While at Huntley, she operated a punch press machine, stamping out parts for airplanes that would fly in combat all for $31 a week. In 2007, a documentary was made entitled “Rosie Who? The Women of World War II''. In it, Betty was interviewed about the part she played in helping out during the war.

After the war ended, she went to work in Dunkirk at the Van Raalte Company as an Invoice Clerk. When Van Raalte closed, she worked weekends catering at Cease’s Commissary along with the American Legion Post 62 in Dunkirk, where she waitressed Friday Night Fish Frys. This enabled her to spend her days raising her 3 children. When they were grown, Betty went to work for many years as a sales clerk for Sidey’s Department Store in Dunkirk until retiring.

Having never graduated from High School, Betty decided it was time to go back to school and get her diploma. In 1998, at the age of 74, she graduated from Fredonia High School, being the oldest person to do so.

Betty was a member of the Sacred Heart Choir, Sacred Heart Knights of St John Auxiliary, Sacred Heart Rosary Society, St Anne’s Society of Sacred Heart Church, St Hedwigs Ladies Society, St Hedwig's Choir, Christ Child Society, Blessed Mary Angela Parish and Rosary Society, Cardinal Mindszenty Mothers Club, Ladies Auxiliary Post 62 American Legion, Sheridan Senior Center, Dunkirk Senior Center and a past member of the Kosciuszko Polish Home.

In the 1960’s, Betty took RCIA instructions and made her 1st Holy Communion. Until her death, she was a devoted and faithful Catholic. She was a warm, caring and loving person whose 1st concern was her family. Betty took pleasure in attending school activities and sporting events that her children and grandchildren participated in. When her children were young, she enjoyed their yearly camping trips to Allegany State Park.

She was an expert seamstress and made many of her and her children’s clothes while growing up. She had a great sense of fashion and always dressed to impress. Betty and her husband loved to travel and visit family and friends in other states, never
missing the chance to play a card game with them. She was an avid pinnacle player and belonged to a card club for many years. In later years, she became the “Bingo Queen”. She had an infectious laugh when watching comedies on TV. Her family was always delighted when she made one of her signature desserts, apple or strawberry pie, pineapple delight, snowball
cookies or coffee cakes. Betty, along with her husband, canned many different fruits and vegetables throughout the years.

The family would like to extend thanks to Darleen Jagoda and Betty’s niece, Lisa Eggleston, for their care & compassion towards their Mother.

Calling hours will be held Sunday, from 4 -7 at the R. Mackowiak Funeral Home, 56 E. Doughty St. Dunkirk. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday at 10 a.m. at St Hedwig’s Church. Burial will be at St Hedwig’s Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty J. Kern, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, April 24, 2022

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

R. Mackowiak Funeral Home, Inc.

56 E Doughty Street, Dunkirk, NY 14048

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Monday, April 25, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Blessed Mary Angela Parish Church of St. Hedwig

Doughty Street, Dunkirk, NY 14048

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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