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Myrtie Kerns McGowan, 79, Russell Springs

Myrtie Kerns McGowan, of Russell Springs, passed away on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at her home.  She was 79 years of age.

Myrtie was born at home on Beckham Ridge on February 9, 1943, daughter of the late William Dewey and Laura Bricken Burton.  She retired after 30 years with the Russell County Board of Education, serving most of those years as cook in the Russell Springs Elementary kitchen.  Myrtie excelled at cooking and was known for her biscuits.  She enjoyed her flowers, reading Amish books and visiting the Amish community.  Myrtie and her husband, John, attended Mt. Calvary Baptist Church on Damron Creek.

She is survived by her husband, John McGowan; sons, Keith (and Tammy) Kerns and Jeff (and Donna) Kerns, both of Russell Springs; her daughter, Vicky (and Gary) Smothers, of Russell Springs; her step-son, Kenneth McGowan, of Russell Springs; her step-daughter, Phyllis Jefferies, of Russell Springs; her brothers, Elwood Burton, of Russell Springs, and Levon Burton, of Chattanooga, Tennessee; her sister, Betty Jo Davis, of Indiana; and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Along with her parents, Myrtie is preceded in death by her first husband, Albert “Alb” Kerns; her son, Kenneth Kerns; her brothers, Junior Burton, Eugene Burton and Carl Burton; and her sister, Joyce Wright.

Funeral services are 1:00 p.m., Saturday, November 5, 2022, at Bernard Funeral Home, with Bro. Scott Proctor and Bro. Preston Richardson officiating.  Interment will follow in Bethlehem Cemetery.  Active pallbearers will be Steve Kerns, Brian Kerns, Cody Smothers, Luke Williams, Elijah Williams and Kenneth McGowan.  Honorary pallbearers will be Vinson Kerns, Bailey Kerns, Nate Kerns, Perry Potter, Gabriel Williams and  Timmy McQueary.

Visitation will be held Friday, November 4, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., at Bernard Funeral Home.

Donations may be made to Hospice of Lake Cumberland, 100 Parkway Drive, Somerset, KY 42503, in memory of Myrtie Kerns McGowan.

Myrtie Kerns McGowan’s arrangements are entrusted to Bernard Funeral Home.  An online guestbook is available at

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