Victoria Louise Kerns, loving wife and mother, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at the age of 64. The third of six children, Victoria was born on October 8, 1953 in San Diego, California to Edward and Mary Uselman. She grew up in Los Angeles and Puerto Rico. While she was the sweetest soul anyone ever met, she was somewhat of a rebel at heart. At the age of 17, Victoria ran away to Tijuana, Mexico to marry the love of her life, Philip. On May 24, 2018, they celebrated 47 years of marriage. As newlyweds, Victoria and Phil lived in a Christian hippie commune in northern California. Victoria always spoke of the years she spent in the commune with Phil and their firstborn, Timmy, as some of the best of her life. Following that, they moved to Oregon where they had their second child, Carmela, and lay pastored a church for over a decade.
In 1994, they moved their family to Greenleaf, Idaho. Victoria worked first in the Nyssa School District as an ESL teacher for a year and then later worked for the Wilder School District for nearly 20 years. During that time, she served as a family liaison coordinator, Girl Scout leader, migrant coordinator, preschool teacher, teacher’s aide, and administrative assistant. She loved the Wilder community and would often marvel at the fact that she got to do something that she enjoyed so deeply as a career. One passion of hers was helping students apply for college scholarships. She would stay up until all hours of the night helping students get their applications submitted on time. Over the years, she helped more than 10 students become Gates Millennium Scholars. Helping others and making them feel loved was so profoundly important to her and she took every opportunity to do so.
If you asked Victoria what the biggest accomplishments in her life were, without a doubt she would say they were her children and grandchildren. She was always their biggest fan, encourager and support. While greatly proud of her family, she was humble about her own numerous accomplishments. In addition to being the heart of her family, she was a successful business owner for over 40 years, an extraordinary singer, the first female Hispanic mayor in Idaho, and unofficial Guinness Book World Record breaker. When Victoria was diagnosed with cancer in October 2011, she was given a life-expectancy of 6 months. However, she defied all odds and during her nearly 7 year-long battle against cancer, Victoria underwent 138 rounds of chemotherapy and a year of oral chemotherapy treatments. When her grandson let her know that she had more than doubled the current world record of the highest number of rounds of chemotherapy received by a person, Victoria said she’d feel bad taking that away from the current record-holder. That is just one example of Victoria’s heart for people. She was an extraordinary person who always thought of others first. She loved unconditionally and everyone who met her felt her warmth and love.
Victoria is survived by her husband Philip; sons Timothy (Molly) Kerns and Edwin Lopez; daughter Carmela (Neel) Gupta; grandchildren Colton, Caleb and Stella Kerns and Serena, Eli and Everett Gupta; father Edward; sisters Kathy and Dolly; brothers Eric and Karl; her grafted family, Alejandra, Ibar, Genesis and Ali; and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends. Her mother and a brother, Marc, preceded her in death.
A funeral service for Victoria will be held on Saturday, August 18th from 10:30–11:30am at Dakan Funeral Chapel in Caldwell, Idaho. Graveside services will immediately follow at the Fargo Cemetery in Wilder, Idaho. A celebration of life will be held the same day from 1:00–3:00pm in the Wilder High School gymnasium. In lieu of flowers, please honor Victoria by doing an unexpected act of kindness in her name. Victoria made the world a brighter place – without her, it’s our collective responsibility to fill that void with love.
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