R. Jerome "Jerry" Kearns

May 9, 1936 ~ May 11, 2019 (age 83)


R. Jerome “Jerry” Kearns, 83, of Terre Haute passed away on May 11, 2019 in his home surrounded by his loving family.  

He was born on May 9, 1936 to Raymond John Kearns and Frances Marie “Hunter” Kearns.  

Jerry is preceded in death by his brother Michael H. Kearns as well as his sisters Mary Francis Lucarelli and Katharine Kearns.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years Mary Ellen Kearns; his children, Brendan Kearns (Sarah), Sarah Kearns (Greg), Erin Kearns and William Kearns; Brother John Kearns (Carolyn); Grandchildren Adarrah Kearns, Liam Kearns and Mia Kearns; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.  

Jerry is a Wiley High School graduate. He then served in the United States Army for 6 years (2 of which was active duty).  Jerry attended Indiana State University, Xavier and Louisville School of Law.  He practiced law in Vigo County for 50 years.  

Jerry felt much honored to have served his community as a State Legislator, a Vigo County Judge, deputy prosecutor and a public defender.  

He loved people and their stories, his Irish heritage any new adventure. Most of all, he loved and was proud of his entire family.  Jerry was a member of the Terre Haute Bar Association and the American legion Post 104.

Visitation for Jerry will be held on Thursday, May 16 at DeBaun Springhill Chapel from 4-8 PM. Mass will be held at Saint Joseph University Parish on Friday, May 17 at 11:00 AM. 

Memorial donations are welcomed for either Saint Joseph Parish or the Terre Haute Humane Society.

Online condolences may be left at 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of R. Jerome "Jerry" Kearns, please visit our floral store.


May 16, 2019

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
DeBaun Funeral Homes & Crematory
85 E Springhill Drive
Terre Haute, IN 47802

Funeral Mass
May 17, 2019

11:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church
113 S. 5th St.
Terre Haute, IN 47807

© 2020 DeBaun Funeral Homes & Crematory. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS