Joseph Jerome "Jerry" McKernan

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A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Joseph "Jerry" McKernan passed away April 20, 2012 at his home after a lengthy illness at the age of 75. A prominent local attorney for the last fifty years who founded the McKernan Law Firm, Jerry proudly served his clients in courtrooms in Louisiana and across the country. Jerry was an active leader in many organizations and received numerous awards. He was an avid supporter of LSU Academics and Athletics. He received his Bachelor's Degree from LSU, when he came to LSU on a basketball Scholarship. He graduated from Tulane Law School and began practicing law in 1963. Ever thirsting for knowledge, at 74 Jerry received his Master's Degree from LSU (Master of Arts in Liberal Arts - Agricultural and Mechanical College LSU). He was the oldest graduate there. He was Past President of the Louisiana Association for Justice and served on the Board of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Jerry was inducted into prestigious International Trial Lawyers Academy. For many years, he taught continuing legal education programs in Louisiana and was a mentor to many young lawyers. During his career as a lawyer, he handled many high profile cases. His goal of being a lawyer was to bring justice to those wronged. He loved the working man. He served as a Distinguished Member of the LSU Board of Supervisors. He was Chairman of the LSU Athletic Committee. He was a Charter Member of the LSU Foundation - Laureate Society. He received the LSU Hall of Distinction Award, the Distinguished Service Award-Legal Profession and Community given by LSU Law School, and was named LSU College of Education Philanthropist of the Year in 2012. He gave generously to LSU Law School who named their auditorium in his honor and also to the University Lab School Foundation, who named the Pennington McKernan Gymnasium in his honor. Jerry loved politics and served as Louisiana's National Committeeman for the Democratic State Central Committee. He represented Louisiana at several national conventions. He was a supporter of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and the American Cancer Society. He was Honorary Chairman of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life for several years. His faith was very important to him and he was a member of St. Jean Vianney Catholic Church. He is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, Diane Lowe McKernan; 5 children, Jay McKernan and wife, Tara, Mary Jane McKernan Scala and husband, Jim, Jean Ann McKernan LeBlanc and husband, Burton, Gordon McKernan and wife, Shannon, Bill McKernan and wife, Dru; 16 grandchildren, Kaitlyn McKernan, JoJo McKernan, Morgan Scala, Taylor Scala, Hayden Scala, Maggie LeBlanc, Lauren LeBlanc, Lilly LeBlanc, Julia LeBlanc, Riley McKernan, Meredith McKernan, John Gordon McKernan, Charlotte McKernan, Cody McKernan, Cade McKernan, and Courtney McKernan; brother, Jack Kearns Jr.; and first wife, Mary Evelyn McKernan Kinamore. He is preceded in death by his parents, Jack "Doc" Kearns and Lillian Kansler Kearns. Pallbearers will be Calvin Fayard, Bob Friedman, Kirby Guidry, Jim LaFleur, Charles Mackey, Guy Modica, Jim Moore, Jim Roy, and Tom Walker. Visitation will be at Resthaven Funeral Home on Monday April 23, 2012 from 5pm to 8pm. Visiting continues at St. Jean Vianney Catholic Church on Tuesday April 24, 2012 from 9am to 11am. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Jean Vianney Catholic Church Tuesday April 24, 2012 at 11am. Burial will be at Resthaven Gardens of Memory. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the . Please sign the online guestbook at www.resthavenbatonrouge.com
Published in TheAdvocate.com from Apr. 21 to Apr. 23, 2012
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