This section contains articles published about Wally Kern. As a background, Wally
grew up on a dairy farm in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Much of his life he dealt with
stuttering which included being abused by his peers in school. However, in grade
school he developed an interest in photography and electronics. From the last year
in grade school through high school he was the photographer for the town newspaper
(Frankenmuth News) and schools. He attended and graduated from Central Michigan
University with a bachelor's degree with majors in physics and mathematics. He
attended Michigan State University for one year of graduate studies in physics and
mathematics. There he also worked on the design of a 40 Mev cyclotron. He then hired
in with McDonnell Douglas (Now Boeing) in St. Louis, Missouri. He retired from there
after 39 years of work. During his stay he worked on spacecraft, aircraft, and missiles.
This included the Gemini, Skylab (first space station), F-15, F-18, A-12, & JDAM
programs. In his retirement he enjoys traveling, doing genealogical research, and
Below are references to articles that have been published about him during most of
his life span. Most of them have been in the Frankenmuth News. The articles can
be seen by clicking on the hyperlinks below.
Wallace Kern’s career in space exploration . . . scientist credits mentors. Published
in the “Frankenmuth News” on September 24, 2008. It was written by Susan McInerny.
The story was written after Wally’s 50th high school reunion. It details Wally’s
challenges in his childhood years and his success in working at McDonnell Douglas
(Boeing)as an engineer/scientist for 39 years.
Wally’s College and Work Experience
Native has a hand in moon landing, skylab and bombing systems. (PDF File) Published
in the “Frankenmuth News” on August 8,1979. This is a speech that Wally gave at the
Frankenmuth Rotary Club meeting on August 2, 1979 in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The speech
was about technology currently used at McDonnell Douglas and other industries. Included
was a discussion of programs that Wally worked on. The speech was given while Wally
was in Frankenmuth to celebrated his 25th anniversary reunion of his grade school
Former Skylab engineer now a weapon systems analyst. Published in the “Centralight;
Central Michigan University” in Spring 1988. It was written by Toni MacKenzie. This
article is from an interview at Central Michigan University during the 25th graduation
anniversary in October 1987. I was given the honor of being a judge of the Homecoming
Wally Kern's research project on display at Central open house. Published in the “Frankenmuth
News” on May 17, 1961. I designed and built a Tesla Coil for my Senior Physics Research
Project. In the spring of 1961 it was one of the featured displays during Central’s
science open house. It was a popular display in which visitor's enjoyed watching
the demonstrations that I performed.
Purchase of Air Sampler Helps CMU Study Radiation. Published in the “Central Michigan
University Life” on March 9,1962. I was in my senior year as a physics student when
we tried to collect air samples to determine the amount of radioactivity in the air
due to atomic weapon testing.
Wally’s Travel and Genealogical Work
German-American Day October 6, "A Reflection on Our Franconian Heritage". Published
in the “Frankenmuth News” on October 5, 2011. It was written by Wallace Kern. It
was written to commemorate the national German-American Day in recognition of the
contributions of people with a German heritage to the United State. In addition
it also recognizes the Franconian heritage in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Frankenmuth native finds roots in Germany. Published in the “Frankenmuth News” on
April 7, 2010. It discusses Wally’s trips searching for the Kern ancestral towns
of Roßtal and the Kernmühle in Germany. It includes a picture of Wally with the
Bürgermeister of Roßtal.
Full blooded Franconian from Michigan searches for relatives.(In German) Published
in the “Fürther Nachrichten” (In Germany) on August 27, 2010. It was written by Armin
Leberzammer. This article was an attempt to find Kern relatives which have been
elusive. It was in preparation to an eminent trip to the Franconian area to hopefully
meet some Kern relatives.
In the footsteps of their ancestors. (In German) Published in the “Fürther Nachrichten”
(In Germany) on October 15, 2010. Written by Armin Leberzammer. This article reports
the results from the previous article (August 27, 2010) above in searching for Kern
relatives and results of the trip to the Franconian area.
Tending the family tree online. Published in the “St. Louis Suburban Journals” on
September 13, 2010. Written by Jim Merkel. The interview for this article was done
at the 2010 Fedder Family Reunion in Collinsville, Illinois. It discusses the use
of the internet for genealogical research.