Joseph Kern passed away this past Tuesday, December 11.

Among other things, he was a Fillmore attorney for more than 60 years, and City Attorney for 19 of those years. His public achievements were many. But Joe was also a personal friend to me, and a major reason for the Fillmore Gazette's success during the past 30 years. He defended us through a multitude of spuriously brought legal challenges and was always there when he was needed - which during the earlier years was frequently. He was always generous with his time and advice.

Joe invited me to several special events at St. Thomas Aquinas College; most memorable, a speech by the late, great, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and another visit by a celebrated expert on Dante's Divine Comedy. The former visit permitted me to take notes and write a short piece on Scalia's talk.

Joe always seemed to have time to meet with me over some question, legal or otherwise, though I'm sure he had better things to occupy that time. An impatient person myself, I envied his patience. I remember one special, beautifully drafted legal document he prepared for me. He was a notably gifted legal draftsman as well.

I will always remember Joseph Kern as a devout Catholic, trusted friend and confidant.

Thank you Joe; may your soul rest in peace.