The Rev. William B. Kerner, Sr.

William Byron Kerner Sr., 89, died on Saturday, July 7, 2018, at his home in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Born October 20, 1928, in Kernersville, North Carolina, he was the son of Essie Hankins Kerner and Rephelius Byron Kerner. Bill was educated at Virginia Episcopal School and at the University of Virginia. Following his graduation in 1951, he reported for active naval duty aboard the USS Henley in Norfolk. Upon completion of his first active duty tour in 1954, he and his wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Brewer, were married in 1955.  He enrolled in Moravian Theological Seminary that autumn. 

After a break in studies during which he taught English at a private school in Connecticut, Bill completed theological studies and received a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1962. He was ordained a deacon Oct. 14, 1962, at Kernersville Moravian Church by the Rt. Rev. Herbert Spaugh, and consecrated a presbyter April 28, 1974, also by Bishop Spaugh. 

Bill served the Providence Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, N.C. from 1962 until accepting an appointment to active duty as a Chaplain with the U.S. Navy in 1965.  Bill’s military service allowed his family to live and learn in a variety of places as far-flung as Newport, Rhode Island; Grosse Ile, Michigan; Naples, Italy; and New London, Connecticut. Bill retired from the Navy in 1982. 

He and Betty were active founding members of Redeemer Moravian Church, in Richmond, Va..  He was later an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, where he served as a Stephen Minister and was a volunteer for a variety of social efforts, including a tutoring program, and Meals-on-Wheels. 

For the past decade, Bill and Betty made a home in Charlottesville, Va., close to their children and grandchildren. Bill is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; his daughter Hilary Kerner; daughter-in-law Carolyn Kerner-Shears; sons, Will and Thane Kerner; two grandchildren; and a sister.   Memorial services were conducted Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, at St. Paul’s Memorial Church, Charlottesville, Va.; and Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018 at Kernersville Moravian Church.


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