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Centenarian dam worker dies


A 100-year-old Odessa man, who was the oldest living man known to work on Grand Coulee Dam, has died.

Edwin Kerns, who in his latter years, returned to Grand Coulee Dam on his birthday, May 25, passed away Nov. 3. His full obituary is on page four in this week’s Star Newspaper.

Employees at the Visitor Center honored Kerns each year when he returned to view Grand Coulee Dam, and especially last May 25, on his 100th birthday.

Kerns worked on the dam from 1935 to 1939.

While here on his 100th birthday, Kerns received best wishes from the VC staff and from people visiting the center when they realized why he was there. He was taken on a special tour of the dam. See the June 1, 2016, issue of the Star for the complete story.

Kerns at the time said his first job at the dam had been breaking up rocks with a sledge-hammer; but after his wrists swelled up he was given a job pushing a broom for 50 cents an hour, good wages for the middle of the Great Depression.

There was a lot of pride during construction, Kerns reported last May, and “we knew we were doing something important.”

See additional information on Kerns on page four.

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