In Memory


Douglas Paul Kern died on November 17, 2016. He was born on March 8, 1953 to Paul and Eileen Kern in Lincoln, Nebraska. Doug was a graduate of Lincoln Southeast High School, and the University of Nebraska, the owner of Top Coat Painting, and was deeply rooted in the recovery community. Known for his quick wit, quiet wisdom, unwavering loyalty and integrity, Doug was a compassionate and introspective soul. He wrote of his sobriety: "...I have realized my life's calling. My purpose is to read more than I write, listen more than I speak, seek out my teachers and to be one of the strangers at the table when the next lost and lonely man comes seeking his release." He often quoted a poem by Frank Dempster Sherman:

A Prayer

It is my joy in life to find
At every turning of the road
The strong arm of a comrade kind
To help me onward with my load
And since I have no gold to give,
And love alone must make amends,
My only prayer is, while I live --
God make me worthy of my friends.

Doug is survived by his mother Eileen, sister LeAnn, and companion Kim Tedrow. Preceded in death by father, grandparents and wife Jody.

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11/23/16 09:38 AM #1    

John Van Gundy


I feel fortunate to have Doug as a friend. He was a wonderful person, a valuable member of Key Club, a great card player (four-point pitch), and had the fastest wit in the West.

11/24/16 01:56 PM #2    

Alan Heilig

I first met Doug in third grade at Prescott Elementary School, he taught me some nonsense poems that have stuck with me. One of them begins "Dear Ladies and Jelly Spoons . . .". If you don't know the rest of it, you can track down my kids or grandkids, I've shared it with all of them. That's what I remember about Doug, and I mean remember, a good sense of humor and smooth delivery on a punch line. Now the world is short one very good story teller.

11/27/16 01:16 PM #3    

Jeff Schneider

Doug and I connected a while back and found we had a bit in common in our thoughts. I always enjoyed his posts because he was always spot on. Great humorist, and wonderful person.

11/28/16 09:44 AM #4    

Steven Andrews

Doug's sense of humor and outlook on life made him a delight to be around. I always wondered whether he had better powers of observation or communication than the rest of us (probably both), but he had a brilliant wit and always incited laughter. My most enduring memories of Doug were the times he laughed so hard he had to wipe a tear from his eye. He seemed to face everything with a smile and only cry from laughter. What a generous and positive spirit.

12/30/16 03:12 PM #5    

Tim Wentz

I first met Doug Kern at Irving Junior High. Almost immediately he and I developed a close friendship that lasts until today. I am a bit tardy in posting my remembrances of Doug, but his passing was such a shock that I couldn’t bring myself to write anything. I miss him terribly.

There is much to miss about Doug. His lightening quick and very dry wit is high on my long list, as is his extremely high intellect and tenacity for life. In reading some of the current events of the day recently I couldn’t help but find myself thinking “I’ll give Doug a call. I bet he will have a pithy comment on that.” Alas, I will have no more opportunities to hear those unique assessments and his rich laugh.

We started playing pitch at Irving and we continued that up through the death of another close friend and pitch partner, Ross Tegeler in 2001. The following is one of my favorite pictures of all time with the Ross, Doug, Steve Haack and myself enjoying another rollicking pitch game in 1994. 


12/31/16 01:11 PM #6    

Dennis Taylor

Anything I can say about Doug as a lifelong friend seems nowhere good enough. He was truly a unique soul in the Universe and a perfect example of what every human being should strive to be. A friend to all he knew and those he had not yet met. A loving, compassionate friend, in the very truest sense of those words. There can be no one who could take his place in this life. We must all think of Doug and strive to carry on his legacy, which is beyod scope. Goodbye, my friend. You will never be forgotten.

with Love,


01/03/17 12:59 AM #7    

Vicki Grossenbacher

Where do I begin & what do I say? Doug's passing is still unbelievable. I cannot remember exactly when I met Doug, however, am thinking perhaps in Jr. High at Canteen dances and for certain in High School.
He stands out in my memory as always being a quiet, kind,intelligent and gentle soul throughout High School. We reconnected at Tina's Cafe when we were each there alone. Doug invited me to sit with him and there began a closer connection to him as we chatted about the similarities we had in our former married lives as well as our advocacy work with people in recovery from various mental health diagnoses.Thereafter,we would see each other in coffee houses, chat over coffee;at art & poetry gatherings around Lincoln. I became very fond of he and Kim as a couple frequenting the poetry readings together. Our friendship strengthened, because of our (he, Kim & I's) common interest. He and Kim gave generously to my fundraiser and Doug was also a supportive confidant during the last several years. I shall always remember him as his spirit lives on.... I miss you very much Doug. Lovingly, Vicki Grossenbacher

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