Stephen Craig ‘Steve’ Kerns


Stephen Craig “Steve” Kerns, 64, a resident of Elkins, departed this life Tuesday evening, Sept. 12, 2017, at Elkins. He had been in his usual health, and death was unexpected.

He was born Friday, Oct. 24, 1952, a son of the late Fred Grover and Thelma Marie Glover Kerns.

Surviving are two brothers, Terry Kerns of Fairmont and Alan Kerns of Manhattan, New York.

He was preceded in death by his older brother, Fred Michael Kerns.

At 19 years old, Steve started his lifelong career of carpet installation, eventually owning and operating D & S Carpet Sales, for over 20 years. If you didn’t know him in Elkins as “the carpet guy,” you probably remember him as “the doorman” at Friar Tuck’s. It was during his time at Friar’s that he met and married the late Kaye Kerns. Together, they shared over 30 years of marriage and had four children: Debbie Ware and husband, Chad, of Elkins, Stephen Kerns of Elkins, Ila Kerns-Vasiloff and husband, Michael, of Fairmont, and Cody Kerns of Elkins; and four grandchildren, Vivi, CeCe, Chance and Gigi Ware.

He graduated from Elkins High School in 1970 and lived his entire adult life in Elkins. He loved this town and the people who live here. He had never met a stranger and was known for his infectious smile, his twinkling blue eyes and those famous hugs that words just can’t describe.

As a young man, he spent many years involved in the 4-H community, which instilled in him a love for people, his community and an immense respect for nature and all its beauty. Steve had devoted his time of “retirement” to establishing the Tygart Valley Youth Group whose most recent focus was initiating and maintaining a free county-wide recycling program run exclusively by volunteers. He was never one to brag and would be the last to mention his numerous awards and acknowledgments on both state and local levels, but his children and community partners will be the first to boast of his hard work and dedication and the impact he had on everything and everyone he came in contact with.

He enjoyed primitive camping with his son, Stephen, kayaking the rivers, photographing wildlife, swinging on a front porch swing and any adventure that allowed him to be outdoors in the mountains or with his beloved children.

The family will receive friends at the Summit Church of Elkins from 3:30-7 p.m. Friday. Final rites will be conducted at the church Saturday, Sept. 16, at 10:30 a.m. Pastor Jeremiah Wentz will officiate, and interment will follow at the Weston Masonic Cemetery at Weston. Family and friends are welcome to gather on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Smoke on the Water Restaurant for a benefit dinner.

The Lohr & Barb Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Stephen Craig “Steve” Kerns. Condolences may be expressed to the family at