Francis Gene “Mac” McKernan, age 83, of rural Twin Brooks, SD died at his residence on July 10, 2020.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, July 17, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank. Father Gary DeRouchey will celebrate the Mass, and burial will be in St. Lawrence Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held at St. Lawrence Catholic Church on Thursday, July 16, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. A vigil service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Casket bearers will be his grandchildren: Craig Kneeland, Kevin Kneeland, Lucas McKernan, Jacob McKernan, Randy McKernan, Tucker McKernan, Crystal Smith, and Jessica Grathwol. Honorary bearers will be his great-grandchildren and the Blue Cloud Abbey breakfast group.
While maintaining social distancing guidelines, we are now able to gather for visitations and services. The use of face masks by attendees is recommended, and we will continue taking the necessary steps to keep our facility clean. For those who prefer or require continued precautions, webcasting and/or livestreaming is available in most situations.
Francis “Mac” Gene McKernan was born on January 10, 1937, in Milbank, SD. He was the son of Emmett and Catherine (Huneger) McKernan. Gene attended school in Milbank and graduated with the Milbank High School Class of 1955. Gene was united in marriage with Sandra Ann Strobl on June 29, 1957, in Milbank.
Gene worked as a surveyor for the S.D. Department of Transportation for 40 years. He was proud of the fact that he worked on ALL roads and highways in South Dakota, except for one road! Gene was a faithful member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church. He was an oblate at Blue Cloud Abbey and a member of the Knights of Columbus. In his younger years, he enjoyed playing and coaching softball. He was an avid collector of toys including farm and construction machinery, airplanes, and tractors, and kept them in their original boxes. He enjoyed watching and following the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. He loved cheering for the New York Yankees and the Green Bay Packers. He loved the outdoors, especially horses and birds. He also was an Elvis fan and always had music playing. He loved and adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and he always looked forward to their visits.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Sandy of Twin Brooks, SD; six children: Mike McKernan (Holly Hilbrands) of Twin Brooks, SD; Diane (Bruce) Kneeland of Summit, SD; Dennis (Cathy) McKernan of Stephenville, TX; Nadine (Paul) Grathwol of Sioux Falls, SD; Cheryl (Scott) Meyer of Milbank, SD; and Lyle (Darla) McKernan of Rapid City, SD; siblings: Betty Ann (Lloyd) Fenhaus of Corona, SD; Mary Lou Jarman of Milbank, SD; and Billy McKernan of Milbank, SD; sister-in-law, Sharon McKernan of Bloomington, MN; 11 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren with one more on the way; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Joseph; and brother-in-law, Gordon Jarman.