MISSOULA — Leo Jacob Kern, 80, died surrounded by his family on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. He was born on May 26, 1937, in Bluegrass, Minnesota. Leo was raised in the Bitterroot Valley with his nine brothers and sisters. Upon graduation from high school, Leo joined the Armed Services and was stationed in White Sands, New Mexico. During his assignment, he was trained as a cook and a butcher. Leo was always known for his fantastic cooking, especially fried potatoes and deviled eggs.

Leo returned to Montana where he met and married Judy M. Lowry, the love of his life. He soon learned the solution to every problem was “sorry dear.” Over their 57 years of marriage they had two children, Kenneth Kern and Debra (Kern) Beye. Leo had several different occupations throughout his life. He found his true calling when he started his career with the Forest Service as a tanker base manager. He made many lasting friendships while working at the base. Leo loved spending time with his family, harassing his brother Norbert about the Bobcats, teasing his sisters, and taking his grand kids on grand adventures. Although he had a tough exterior, he was a kind and gentle man who would do anything for anyone.

Leo was preceded in death by his parents John and Mary Kern, his beloved wife Judy, and four siblings. He is survived by his two children; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; one brother, and four sisters.

A celebration of Leo’s life will be held in Missoula at the Sunset Memorial Funeral Home, 7405 Mullan Rd., on Friday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. Friends are encouraged to visit our website at buffalohillfh.com to leave notes of condolences for the family. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory caring for the family.

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