Simon William Kerns, 39, of Chatham, New Jersey died on Friday, November 1st, 2019 at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood after sustaining fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident. Simon was born on March 30, 1980 in Morristown, NJ. He was the son of the late Mr. Peter Ainslie Kerns, who predeceased Simon on March 28th, 2018, and of loving mother, Susan Kerns of Chatham.
Simon was a resident of Chatham, and later, Montclair, NJ. He nurtured many relationships during his time at Pioneer Rentals in Chatham. In January of 2012, he then launched into his career as a Technical Associate at MSNBC in New York City. His work was applied to Hardball with Chris Matthews, Morning Joe, All In with Chris Hayes, The 11th Hour with Brian Williams and The Rachel Maddow Show. Watch Rachel’s on-air eulogy for Simon. Simon, true to form, learned all aspects of each new task and trade that came his way- from operating the teleprompter, to Steadycam, to “mic-ing up” the hosts and guests. His competence and dedication was noticed immediately and he was requested to assist with specific teams.
Simon had a spirit of inclusion, a desire to collect and share thoughts, and to engage and bring together all those that he encountered. He sought out new ways of thinking readily and allowed others’ opinions into his consideration without judgment or a reactionary nature. No matter what age a person was, Simon was magnetic and people wanted to be around him.
He inherited the family crossword and wordsmith gene, the openness of personality and a loving loyal demeanor from his parents. His musicianship included: perfect pitch to play the keyboard, dabbling in sampling all the LPs in our family home, following whatever genre Spotify sent him to, and then sending all family members and friends CDs with instructions written “You gotta hear this,” or, “Get coffee, insert into car, and hit the road.” He sought solace by taking journeys–whether through music, sailing his Hobie Cat, the connection with his friends and their amazing love for him, or going out to explore the world every day.
His passion was motorcycling. His collection ebbed and flowed from Triumphs to BMWs to Yamahas. He avidly sought out every opportunity to see the world on his bike. Simon was well educated in using proper safety gear, he participated in formal road training and welcomed teaching others to learn how to ride safely. He was adamant about giving Motorcycle riders “a good name.”
Simon is very loved by his mother, Susan Elaine Kerns, who has already begun to receive wonderful anecdotes from his friends and family, far and wide. He was an amazing brother of Emily Ainslie Bailey and her husband Thomas. He was the pogo stick gift-giving funny Uncle (aka– “Funcle”) of nieces Ella Peyton Bailey and Mia Ainslie Bailey. He is the grandson of Rita Haig and beloved nephew and cousin in a large extended family.
Family and friends may gather on Saturday, November 9th, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home, 345 Main Street, Chatham, NJ 07928. A Celebration of Life will begin at 3:00 p.m. in the funeral home. There will be light refreshments and appetizers provided at the funeral home and the family asks all to join and be together.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Simon’s name to NJ Sharing Network or National Motorcycle Safety Fund. We additionally ask that all our amazing family, friends, and colleagues consider refreshing their awareness of driving and motorcyclist safety, by reading the following suggested resources to help prevent tragedy in the future: https://forcardrivers.com, https://smarter-usa.org, https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/motorcycle-safety. Look twice, save a life.