Mary A. (Kern) Don

December 10, 1925 ~ March 24, 2021 (age 95)


Mary Alice (Kern) Don, 95, of Evansville, Indiana, passed away peacefully at home with loved ones by her side on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

Mary was born on December 10, 1925, in Stewartsville, Indiana, to Frank and Anna (Nelson) Kern. Mary spent her early years growing up and going to school in Posey County. There she learned the value of hard work, the love of family, the importance of church and faith, and the joy of music.

After graduating from Poseyville High School in 1943, Mary worked for a short time in Evansville. Although those war years were difficult ones, they also brought to her the love of her life, Rex Don, who was on leave from Camp Breckenridge in Kentucky when she met him one day at Mesker Park. Mary and Rex wed on April 18, 1946. They began married life in Oregon, where their first child was born, but eventually returned to Indiana where Rex attended Evansville College on the G.I. Bill. They were blessed with three additional children and had 62 years together before Rex died in 2008.

Mary was a loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was devoted to her family and loved those times when she could gather all of them together in her home. Though not large in size, that home holds many wonderful memories for those loved ones she nurtured so faithfully through the years.

An integral part of Mary's life was music. She sang solos as a young child at her church, Bethsaida Christian Church near Stewartsville, Indiana. And she never stopped. She sang in high school productions and church choirs, at funerals, during long road trips and while working around the house. She passed her love of music on to her children and grandchildren and happily watched most of their musical performances through the years. Besides having a lovely soprano voice, she also learned to play piano 'by ear' and entertained the little ones with her amazing yodeling.

Mary also loved her Evansville Purple Aces basketball. She attended games when they were held at the Armory, Roberts Stadium, and the Ford Center, clothed in purple and cheering them on to victory.

Mary leaves behind four children, Sue Orem (Richard), Pamela Kirsch (Bernie), Dennis Don (Kimberly), and Angela Smith (Bill); grandchildren, Jessica Gregory (Steve), Alex Orem (Ellen), Chris Orem (Sarah), Derek Don (Laurel), Samantha Bouchie (Doug), Courtney McClarney (Travis), Benjamin Smith (Amy) and Nicholas Smith; great-grandchildren, Elle, Cora, Landon, Damon, Fiona, Malcolm, Rex, Isaac, Conway, Bennett, Henry, Silas, Owen, and Grace; brother-in-law, Mike Don (Marcia); and several nieces and nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Anna Kern; husband of 62 years, Rex R. Don; sisters, Margaret Morris, Juanita Wiley, Fern East, and Alma Greene; and brothers Dorris, Bill and Glenn Kern.

The family would like to give a special thank you to Heritage Hospice for the loving care that was provided.

Private Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m, Monday, March 29, 2021, at Boone Funeral Home East Chapel – A Family Tradition Funeral Home, 5330 Washington Avenue with John Peninger officiating. A Live Stream will be available beginning twenty minutes prior to the service time. Please visit, select your loved one’s obituary, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click Live Stream. Burial will be in Park Lawn Cemetery. 

Friends may visit from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., Sunday, March 28, 2021, at BOONE FUNERAL HOME EAST CHAPEL.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Public Education Foundation of Evansville (sponsor of the EVSC high school summer musicals) at 100 NW Second Street, Suite 120, Evansville, IN 47708 or Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden at 1545 Mesker Park Drive, Evansville, IN 47720.

Condolences may be made to the family online at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary A. (Kern) Don, please visit our floral store.


March 28, 2021

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Boone Funeral Home
5330 Washington Avenue
Evansville, IN 47715

Funeral Service
March 29, 2021

11:00 AM
Boone Funeral Home
5330 Washington Avenue
Evansville, IN 47715

Video is available for this event

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