Richard “Dick” Kern '38 | Handley 100th Notable
Richard “Dick” Kern ’38

Dick Kern graduated with the Class of 1938. He earned a football scholarship to VPI where he was recognized as the Most Outstanding Blocking Back in the State of Virginia. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering while part of the Cadet Corps and the football team.

Dick received offers from the Lions and the Eagles to play professional football following graduation, however, he chose to enter the U. S. Army in 1942. He served in North Africa and in Italy. He was discharged from the Army with the rank of Major having been awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service.

Major Kern returned to Winchester after the war. He joined his father and brother Henry to start the Kern Motor Company in 1946. He also served as an assistant Handley football coach for Hunter Maddex and Snag Sargent.

Dick served on the boards of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association and the Washington Automobile Dealers Association. He was nominated by the VADA as the Time Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year for his community service.

He was one of the founders of the Judges Athletic Association that has served Handley athletes with donations and scholarships since 1958. He was inducted into the Hunter Maddex Hall of Fame in 1986.

In 1961, he was a founder of the Winchester-Frederick County Youth Football League. The program is still teaching the game to area youth today.

Dick served on Winchester City Council for 16 years. He was Vice Mayor and helped guide the City with his common sense business experience.

Along with his close friend Russ Potts, Dick founded the Apple Blossom Sports Breakfast that is a key event of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. He was a member of the Apple Blossom Sports Breakfast Hall of Fame.

Dick passed away at the age of 100 in 2020 leaving a legacy of community service.

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