Landis Kern of Gonzales, TX passed away Sunday July 7. He was born Oct. 30, 1940 to Rev. John Kern and Emma Domann Kern in Vernon, Texas. He and his family moved to George West, Texas when he was young. He was an avid tennis player and also played the trumpet. He graduated from George West High School as valedictorian of the class of 1958. After graduation from high school, he attended Texas Tech University where he earned his Civil Engineering degree. Landis secured a job at Texas Department of Transportation in Victoria after graduation.
While living in Victoria, Landis, along with two cousins and an uncle and an aunt, purchased a pecan farm along the Guadalupe River near Belmont, Texas. Blackacre, which originally was purchased as an investment became an integral part of his life. Little did he know, he would even meet his future wife and daughter, Connie and Rachel Knobles. His aunt, Connie’s supervising teacher while student teaching, set Landis and Connie up at the farm. They married later on that year on Aug. 9, 1975.
He was laid off from TxDOT but found a job in Pasadena, Texas in 1976 where he worked until his retirement in 2006. He worked at two companies designing roads, neighborhoods, drainage systems and even helped design a golf course. He pursued his profession with the utmost integrity, honoring God in the way he designed and treated his co-workers and clients.
After retirement Landis and Connie were able to make their dream come true by moving back to Central TX and moved to a few acres near Belmont. They became very active in the community becoming Master Gardeners, members of First Lutheran Church and the local food bank. Landis graciously drove cancer patients to treatment while being a cancer patient himself and also participated in Relay for Life.
He was a quiet man who was content with the simple things in life. One of his great joys was working (and playing) at Blackacre. Many wonderful memories were made there. Landis made countless French toast and bacon breakfasts, hauled kids around on bumpy tractor rides, and taught anyone willing to learn how to expertly skip rocks across the Guadalupe River. He had magical patience and ability to fix anything and has even kept the 1950s tractor running. Landis also enjoyed working with wood and made tables, bookcases, chairs, small chests and an occasional slingshot.
He was very family oriented and loved being with his girls at all times. Many small traditions were made and kept. Preparing Saturday morning breakfasts, getting ice cream after school functions and enjoying Frosty treats from Wendy’s. Is it impossible to imagine the number of pecans he has picked up, cracked and shelled. Perfect halves came out almost every time. The number of pecan pies he has blessed this world with is countless.
He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Connie, and daughters, Rachel and husband Alvaro Cabal of Irving, Texas, and Rebekah and husband David Schroeder and grandson, Ephraim of Ft. Worth, Texas along with many cousins.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, July 13 at First Lutheran Church of Gonzales. Memorial donations in honor of Landis Kern came be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at www.stjude.org or mailed to 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105.