Patricia Jean Exter Kern
Sept. 30, 1928 ó Aug. 24, 2017

Patricia Jean Exter KernPatricia Jean Exter Kern, 88, beloved wife of Robert Kern, passed away August 24, 2017. She made her home in Genesee Depot. An exceptional woman of quiet grace and dignity, Pat was a friend, a wife, a mother, a grandmother and great-grandmother, who gave generously of her time and talents to people and organizations which she cared deeply about.

Pat was a natural leader who served on several boards of directors, including 23 years on the board of Northern Baptist Seminary. She was also involved with the boards of Green Lake Baptist Assembly, the Ten Chimneys Foundation and Old World Wisconsin. She was the first board chair of the Kern Family Foundation, which she cofounded with her husband Bob in 1998. Pat received many awards for her work, including honorary doctoral degrees from Milwaukee School of Engineering, Northern Baptist Seminary and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

In 2002, to address the diminishing supply of pastors nationwide, Pat was instrumental in establishing a scholarship program for aspiring pastoral ministry students. With this scholarship, over 700 young people enrolled in seminaries across the country over the last 15 years.

Born in Urbana, Illinois, on September 30, 1928, Pat grew up in Monmouth, Illinois, and Bridgeton, New Jersey. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she met her husband, Bob. Together they founded Generac Corp., now Generac Power Systems, in 1959. Pat was Generacís first bookkeeper and served on its board of directors for 47 years.

Pat had a clear, soprano voice and loved singing in the choir at the First Baptist Church in Waukesha. She had a gift for friendship, a generous spirit, and a steadiness on which others relied. She was the calm in any storm, a voice of strength and courage in times of adversity.

Pat was the daughter of Frederick C. Exter and Marianna Collins Exter. She is survived by her husband of 69 years, who was her best friend and love of her life; by three daughters, Marcia Peterson (Gregory), Judith Kern and Deborah Kern; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; her sister, Carole E. Wever; and two brothers, Frederick C. Exter II (Julie) and Richard A. Exter (Deborah).

She will be greatly missed and in our hearts always.

The family will receive friends at Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, 237 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha, on Thursday, August 31, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. A private memorial service is planned.

Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, Cremation and Pre-Planning Services is serving the family. For further information, please call 262-5426609, or for directions, an online obituary, or to leave a condolence, please visit