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Division notes passing of former director John R. Kern

Written on: March 26th, 2018 in Preservation

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs notes, with sadness, the passing of John R. Kern who served as the division’s director and state historic preservation officer between 1984 and 1988. Among his many accomplishments with the agency, Kern oversaw major restoration work at the John Dickinson Plantation.

John R. Kern

John R. Kern

Originally from Iowa, Kern received his bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and served two years in the Peace Corps in Tunisia before earning his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to coming to Delaware, he worked in a variety of history- and historic-preservation-related positions in Michigan. After leaving the division in 1989, Kern moved to Roanoke, Va. to become the regional director of Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources. After his retirement in 2010, he remained deeply involved in helping to preserve the historical legacy of southwest Virginia until his death on March 18, 2018.

Go to the following for more information on the life and career of John R. Kern.


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