Obituary: Guenter Kern (1935-2024)

Guenter (Günter Sr) Kern of Clay Street, Newport, RI passed away on Thursday, January 4, 2024. He was the husband of Rita Teresa (Bencivenga) Kern. He was born in Oldenberg, Germany on March 28, 1935, to Wilhelm and Gretel Kern. Raised in Germany and having served in the German Navy during the rearmament era in the late 1950’s he helped integrate the US Naval logistics systems with the German supply system after WWII. During that time, he met his beloved wife, Rita. They married in 1961 at St. Mary’s Church in Newport. Their marriage produced a loving extended family, Angela (David) Carnevale, son Günter (Siobhán) Kern Jr, four grandchildren, Nicholas (Kelsey) Carnevale, Samantha Carnevale, Angelika Kern, Günter Kern III, and two great grandchildren, Owen Carnevale and Kennedy Carnevale.

Three years later Guenter became a United States citizen. After he started university in Germany, Guenter completed his studies at Salve Regina University with an Associates and Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice all while navigating a second language English while working full time on the Newport Police Department.

During his time waiting to become a citizen, he held various jobs until he was eligible to become a Newport Policeman in 1965. Guenter retired from the Newport Police as a Detective Inspector in 1991. He and his wife travelled to Europe and wintered in Florida. He loved Newport, the community, his job, and the lifelong relationships he formed with his friends and colleagues because of his loyal and distinguished career on the Police Department.

Guenter was a man of quiet talents, an accomplished woodworker, sketch artist; he played the accordion and enjoyed boating often with his son. Meeting his cherished friends for coffee was a quiet gathering he looked forward to weekly. There was no greater joy to Guenter than spending hours tending to his gardens, property and maintaining the beauty of his backyard oasis for his family to enjoy. Family to Guenter was the pride of his life’s work. A legacy to share and celebrate.

The family would like to thank the Newport Fire and Police, Newport Hospital, VNS Hospice and St. Clare-Newport.

Visitation will be held Friday, January 12, 2024, from 1:00 pm-3:00 pm in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St, Newport. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Mary’s Church Choir, Middletown Senior Center, Newport Hospital or to a charity of choice.




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