Fred P. O’Kernick, 96, a former resident of Elkins, and more recently a resident of Canfield, Ohio where he made his home with his son, Joseph “Kevin” O’Kernick, departed this life Monday evening, March 11, 2019, at the home.
He was born Tuesday, Sept. 12, 1922. at Coalton, one of eight children of the late Frank O’Kernick and Franceska Kordan O’Kernick, both of whom had immigrated from Slovenia.
On Oct. 27, 1953, at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, he was married to the former Betty Louise Dulaney, who preceded him in death Oct. 12, 2005. They had celebrated 51 years of marriage.
Surviving are three sons, Douglas Paul O’Kernick of Austintown, Ohio, Gregory Lynn O’Kernick and wife Suzanne, of Columbus, Ohio, and Joseph Kevin O’Kernick and wife Chris, of Canfield, Ohio; eight grandchildren, Steven Michael, Kellie Ann, Kevin Jacob, Rachel, Anna Dulaney, Michael Duffy; Kristen Marie and Ryan Paul, two great grandchildren, Makenzie Marie and Robert J.; two nieces, Mary Brown Heffner and Susi Cramer; and two nephews, Bob and Joe O’Kernick.
He was the last surviving member of his immediate family. Preceding him in death are one son, Stevan Paige O’Kernick, five brothers, Frenk, Frank Jr., Rudy, Joseph O’Kernick, and an infant; and three sisters, Mary F. Godwin, Pauline M. “Polly” O’Kernick, Anna Louise O’Kernick.
At a young age, Fred worked at Girard’s General Store before moving to Elkins to live with his older sister and attended Elkins High School, graduating with the class of 1940. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he attained the rank of sergeant being a member of the 87th Infantry Division under the command of General Patton. Upon his discharge in 1945, he returned to Elkins where he attended Davis & Elkins College graduating with a BA degree in business administration. He then taught business education in Jackson County, Newburg and Terra Alta and completed his master’s degree in education from West Virginia University in 1952. After his marriage in 1954, he moved to Canfield, Ohio to work and raise his family. Fred began teaching at Western Reserve High School in Berlin Center where he remained for 27 years as well as working at the Gray Drug Co. After the birth of their children, the family spent summers in Elkins, part of which time Fred also lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for the Department of Agriculture and the Census Bureau.
Fred retired after 35 years of teaching and he and his wife returned to Elkins to live. After his wife passed away in 2005, Fred returned to the Canfield, Ohio area to be near his youngest son. He and his wife participated in the founding of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Canfield, Ohio, and was a member of the Saint Brendan Catholic Church at Elkins. He enjoyed crossword puzzles, reading, doing yard work at his home and loved to dance.
The family will receive friends at the Lohr & Barb Funeral Home of Elkins from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. On Saturday morning, March 16, Mr. O’Kernick will be moved to the Saint Brendan Catholic Church where the Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. The Rev. Father Jim O’Connor will be the Presider and interment will follow at the Saint Vincent Cemetery at Kingsville, where the West Virginia National Guard Honor Guard Program, the H.W. Daniels Post 29, American Legion, and the Tygart Valley Post 3647, Veterans of Foreign Wars will conduct full military honors.
The Lohr & Barb Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Fred P. O’Kernick. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.lohrbarbfuneralhome.com.