Richard “Dick” Kerns, sales manager of Portland, OR-based Spar-Tek Ind., passed away suddenly on Friday, April 23.

Kerns was 74 and had been working at Spar-Tek since 1989. He is survived by his wife, Judy, six children, 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

According to information released by the Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Assn., Kerns began his career in the panel industry began in the 1960s working for Superior Plywood Machinery. We was involved in the startup of the first plywood mill in the South at Fordyce, AR. During his early days at Superior PMI, Kerns was a draftsman, working on new designs for presses and layup lines, then he went into sales and handled the domestic sales as well as the export market.

He was a member of the Plywood Pioneers and had been in just about every country where plywood is manufactured. During his five decades of service in the plywood machinery business he was on the advisory committee of the Engineered Wood Research Foundation, president of the local Latin America Chamber of Commerce and a member of the HPVA board of directors. Prior to his employment at Spar-Tek, Kerns worked at Kenton Machine Works, Prentice Machine, LSI, and Premier Gear.

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