Elsie Koern Obituary

Elsie “Terry” Koern, 96, of Stevensville, passed away Monday, June 28, 2021 at her home in Stevensville. She was born December 11, 1924 in Chicago to George, Sr. and Olga (Zirk) Schubering.

Terry had what her family described as a unique life. During WWII, Terry was a true “Rosie the Riveter”, building PBY and F4 Corsair aircrafts in California. After the war, she married Robert Koern, Sr., in 1948 in Chicago. Art was a huge part of Terry’s life. She enjoyed oil painting, especially portraits. She was an influential member of the Berrien County Art Guild. She played a major role in founding the Box Factory in St. Joseph, serving as a member and past president. Her artistic nature served in her long-time career as a hair stylist. Terry also influenced many people in her life by way of teaching and giving. She was passionate about assisting the blind in learning how to downhill ski and swam many laps raising money for various charities. Amidst all her many accomplishments in life, her true passion was her faith, and her family, especially her son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and great grandchildren.

The family will receive guests from 10am until time of the funeral Mass at 11am, Thursday, July 1, 2021 at SS John & Bernard Catholic Parish, 600 Columbus Ave., Benton Harbor. Burial to follow at North Shore Memory Gardens, Coloma. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Meals on Wheels, www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org or the Humane Society of Southwest Michigan, www.humanesocietyswm.org.

Terry is survived by her son, Robert (Kay) Koern, Jr., her granddaughter, Holly (John-Paul) LaPorte; her great grandchildren, Isabelle, Matthew, and Andrew; and her siblings, Marian (the late Larry) Schadler, Lonna (the late John) Menzor, and Louie (the late Chris) Schubering.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Robert Koern, Sr.; her brother, George Schubering, Jr.; and her parents. 

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