|Connie Plant Kern
Connie Plant Kern, 68 died of natural causes in her Rexburg home on October 23, 2020. Connie was born October 29, 1951 in Boise, Idaho to Wallace and Irene Plant, the oldest of five girls. Her father had a beautifully trained tenor voice and Connie began to accompany him on the piano at various church and community functions from the time she was six years old. She became an accomplished pianist and accompanist. Playing the piano at home was her therapy and joy. Connie attended school in Boise through the fourth grade at which time the Plant family moved to Vanderhoof, British Colombia. Always curious and an excellent student, in Canada she skipped the fifth grade and was placed in sixth grade. For much of the time in Canada they lived in a small house on the edge of a beautiful meadow next to Sinkut creek. The home was rich with family life and warmth largely due to her mother who created an environment where the girls never knew they were poor because they had “everything money couldn’t buy”. The Canada experience was primitive, with an outhouse, no running water and a wood burning cook stove. The experience provided a foundation for her love of a simple, yet thoughtfully lived lifestyle and gave her a deep love of nature, long walks in the forest, birds, and wildflowers. The family returned to Idaho when she was 15 and settled in Nampa. Involved in student government and many activities, Connie graduated from Vallivue High School in 1969. She attended Ricks College for two years where she served as a student body officer and then continued her education for another year at BYU in Provo, majoring in Spanish and English education. In 1972 she married Ralph Madsen Kern in the Idaho Falls Temple. They spent the early years of their married life in Moscow, Idaho while Ralph completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. The couple was blessed with a son and three daughters and raised their family in Nampa where she served faithfully in various church callings primarily working with young women and providing music. She was beautiful, poised, confident and graceful with a certain unpretentious class. She was a kind, loving wife, gentle mother, and excellent cook who enjoyed making delicious meals. Connie taught piano lessons for many years and later completed a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at BSU. She taught kindergarten for 13 years. A truly gifted, loved, and sought-after teacher, she found great joy helping young children formulate their early sense of leaning and accomplishment. She accompanied her husband to Finland for a year (2003) while he completed a Ph.D. After moving to Rexburg, she taught at BYU-Idaho as adjunct faculty in the Education Department and supervised student teachers. In 2004, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and by 2007 was unable to walk. She graciously and peacefully lived her last 10 years confined to her bed at home and at the family cabin in Island Park. She was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and had a deep faith and testimony of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and of the reality of her Savior’s life, love, and sacrifice. Connie is survived by her loving husband of 48 years, four children who are obvious reflections of her beauty, light, kindness, gentleness and grace: Ben Kern (Paula) of Hines, OR, Josie Manwaring (Blake) of Twin Falls, ID, Sara Hill (Jay) of Ogden, UT, Emily Bowman (Mike) of Farr West, UT and 16 grandchildren. She is also survived by her four sisters of Caldwell, ID: Priscilla Grant, Stephanie Mayes (Greg), Heather Plant, and Kerry Norris.