Deirdre Kern Abbott

 Deirdre Abbott     (August 25, 1958 – March 9, 2021)

Deirdre Kern Abbott, age 62, passed away at home in Sun Prairie, WI on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. She was born on August 25, 1958, in Frankfort, Indiana to John and Vonda Kern of Frankfort. She attended Frankfort High School, graduated summa cum laude from DePauw University in 1980, and later earned her MA in Music Education from Butler University.

Deirdre was a loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, and cousin. As a mom, she loved her son, Sam, endlessly, selflessly, and unconditionally. She loved spending time in Door County, cooking and baking, gardening, antique shopping, spending time with family and friends, and helping other people. She shared her passion for music, her smile, and her sense of humor with the world always making each day special for those around her.


Deirdre’s legacy includes being a talented educator. Her orchestral teaching career began in Spartanburg, S.C., followed by several other districts including Hobart, IN; West Lafayette, IN; White Plains and Scarsdale, NY; West Allis and Sun Prairie, WI. As an orchestra teacher in Sun Prairie, WI, she dedicated the past 20 years to the program and the thousands of students who have participated in ensembles under her direction. She organized the first program with strolling strings, the music mentor program that was featured at a national string teacher’s conference and served as the foundation for what the orchestra program is today. She used her gift of music to inspire many young players by directing camp sessions during the summer for students attending string and fiddle camps. She taught many private students from the community and surrounding areas.


Deirdre’s legacy also includes being a brilliant musician. As a musician, her long fingers danced and frolicked across keys and strings with grace, power, and purpose. Throughout her life she served many church congregations as an organist, pianist, and director of music. Her ability to accompany and coach ensembles, and her ability to play the Widor Toccata for organ flawlessly will be remembered fondly by the congregations she served.


Deirdre is survived by her son, Sam Abbott (Toledo, OH); her parents; John and Vonda (Genda) Kern of Frankfort, IN; her sister, Kathy Kern of Brownsburg, IN; her brother and sister-in-law, Greg and Amy (Gilbert) Kern of Woodstock, GA; her uncle, Neal Genda  of San Marino, CA,; niece and nephew Meghan Kern and Andrew Kern of Woodstock, GA ; and nephew, Matthew Kern of  Baltimore, MD. She is preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Paul H. and Okal (Hart) Kern and her maternal grandmother, Olive S. Genda.


A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, November 6, 2021, at the Sun Prairie United Methodist Church (WI). Masks are required and will be available. The service begins at 1:00 PM. Central Time. The streaming links for the service are: and the Sun Prairie United Methodist Church Youtube Channel. Graveside services will be held at a later date. A memorial fund is being established in her name. To donate on-line or to learn more about her memorial fund use the following link:


  1. So sorry to see this notice. Prayers to her family, especially for Vonda and John. Fond memories of the special Kern family. Carla Clemens

  2. Deirdre was a lovely person.She will be missed by her many students, her church and family and friends.
    It was wonderful to reconnect with her the last few years. Deirdre, being raised just down the street, taught some piano to Chris and Matt and also was a babysitter a few times.

  3. I was sorry to see this notice. I’m sending special prayers for her family…especially Vonda and John.

    Vicki Griggs

Comments are closed.