Anne Hankinson Kern, 88, died peacefully Jan. 29, 2019, at Webster of Rye, Rye, New Hampshire.
She was born Aug. 17, 1930 in Orange, New Jersey, the third child of the late Kenneth Raymond Hankinson and Audrey Lee Hankinson.
Anne’s family lived in Maplewood, New Jersey, nearby to her maternal grandparents and her Aunt Lois and Uncle John Cairns and their three daughters, Joan, Charlon and Lee. Anne attended Columbia High School in Maplewood, graduating in 1948. She loved Maplewood and told many wonderful stories of growing up there, throughout her life. Anne attended Skidmore College, graduating as a drama major in 1952.
During her senior year at Skidmore, Anne, visited Colgate University, where she met her husband, William Richard Kern (Dick). Anne and Dick were married on Dec. 21, 1952 in Summit, New Jersey, while Dick was on a three-day leave from the Army. They spent their short honeymoon in Atlantic City. They were stationed at Fort Devens, Ayer, Massachusetts until Dick headed out to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for officer training. Upon completion, Anne and Dick returned to Fort Devens in January 1954. On Sept. 23, 1954, their first son, John Sayres Kern was born. After Dick left the Army, he and Anne purchased their first home in Rosemont, Pennsylvania in July of 1955. On Nov. 27, 1955, their second son, Edward Richard Kern (Ted) was born. Their third son, David Stewart Kern was born on Dec. 13, 1960.
While living in Rosemont, aside from raising her three boys, Anne worked at St. Martin’s Episcopal nursery school and as a sales clerk for Wilberger’s ski shop. In 1970, Anne and Dick moved to Mountain Lakes, New Jersey to be closer to the Dick’s new job in Rutherford, New Jersey. Anne took classes at Kean State College to receive a teaching certificate. She worked at The Wilson School in Mountain Lakes until a new opportunity called Anne and Dick to Evansville, Indiana, in late summer of 1978. It was in Evansville where Anne developed a low impact exercise program called Dancercise, which she taught for over 20 years. She developed all of the routines and compiled all of the music for her programs. They lived there until 1984 when they move to Greenwich, Connecticut. Upon retiring in 1994, they moved to New Castle, New Hampshire., where they lived together until Dick’s death in 2009. Anne continued to live in their home until August of 2016, when she moved to Webster at Rye.
Anne introduced Dick to Boothbay, Maine, where they rented houses, for summer vacations until they purchased their own on Ocean Point, in 1991. Anne’s love of gardening, playing tennis, shopping in Boothbay Harbor and boating with family and friends were the mainstays of her vacations in Boothbay. Prior to buying their cottage Anne wanted to garden during her summer vacations, so she approached the Ocean Point Inn about creating a rock garden along the sea wall. Over the years, the garden more than doubled in size, with an “upper balcony” and a “lower balcony”. Anne could be seen daily, dead-heading, in-filling and watering the garden. She loved visiting with the many inn guests, friends and passersby that stopped to chat with her. Her Ocean Point Inn garden was photographed and painted by many, often with two. empty Adirondack chairs in the background. Anne and her Ocean Point Inn garden were once featured in an article in the Boothbay Register. With the purchase of their cottage, Anne created her own rock garden. After 40 years Anne retired from creating the garden for the Ocean Point Inn. Her family continue her tradition in the cottage rock garden. Anne and Dick’s cottage has been a wonderful spot for family and friends to sit on the porch, watch the sunset, feast on lobster, dance and without fail, enjoy a bowl of ice cream!
During their retirement Anne and Dick enjoyed skiing with their extended family and annual visits with John’s family in Utah. They loved hosting family for holiday gatherings in their New Castle home.
In New Castle, Anne joined the Congregational Church and became member of the Women’s Guild. She enjoyed participating in the annual White Elephant’s Sale and the Christmas Fair. Anne was also an avid member of the Great Island Garden Club.
She is survived by her son John S. Kern and his wife Sharon of Salt Lake City, Utah; her daughter-in-law Ginny Kern of South Portland, Maine and her son David S. Kern and his wife Sue of Merrimac, Massachusetts; her grandchildren, Emily Kern of Missoula, Montana, Tucker Kern of Salt Lake City, Sam Kern of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Grant Kern of South Portland, Maine and Jennifer Kern of South Portland, Maine and Jack Kern of Salt Lake City, Utah, Caroline Kern and Sarah Kern of Merrimac, Massachusetts; extended family and friends.
Anne was predeceased by her husband, William Richard Kern, Jr. and her son Edward Richard Kern.
A memorial service will be held this summer at Ocean Point, Boothbay.
In lieu of flowers donations in Anne’s memory can be made to: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay ME 04537
Arrangements are entrusted to the Cremation Society of New Hampshire, 243 Hanover Street, Manchester, NH 03104-4857