David J. Kerness, a handsome, hardworking, talented, in love with a good man passed away due to an accident on June 26, 2022. David was born the son of George and Eleanor Gaudiosi Kerness on August 31, 1941 in New York City. . He lived in Greenwich Village during his early years surrounded by his family. Like many others, he contracted polio while playing in Washington Square Park. His mother was talking about talking with Eleanor Roosevelt in the park and also about David appearing in a photo in the NY Daily News receiving his first polio shot. When David was still young, his family followed his grandparents to the North Shore of Long Island, where David enjoyed many happy, almost idyllic years. He liked to talk about the wonderful summers at Joe Molar’s camp in Short Beach where Joe, David’s beloved grandfather, Nicholas “Poppy” Kerness, and Jimmy Trip chatted. He fondly remembered Joe cooking a large pot of spaghetti over an open fire, his happy task of rowing for water, and special visitors from their friends coming out of New York for a night out. David graduated from Kings Park High School and Clarkson University as a chemical engineer. He was hired by IBM’s Federal Systems Division in Owego NY and worked there for over 40 years. He was responsible for quality engineering for the products that would end up in the Gemini space capsule and often nervously mentioned that he had to reject a product early in his tenure; a decision which, after analysis, was clearly the right one. He then did business development for proposed projects at USPS. David loved the process of working on these deals, his co-workers, and the win. He and his first wife, Jane Beckert Kerness, developed an interest in Dome houses, became general contractors, helped others build a few in the area, and built domes for their family and community. David’s mother when she moved to the area. David fell in love with hockey at Clarkson. After moving to the south tier, he became a longtime goal judge for the Binghamton Dusters. His experience with Cornell men’s hockey began at Clarkson and was lifelong, as a season ticket holder for nearly 30 years. Retirement allowed him to return to boating and fishing on a regular basis. A day on the water was a good day. In 1989 David married Mary Pat Dolan and they shared 33 years together. Mary Pat’s mother had often told her that she would never marry because she was too picky. She was almost right, but when she found out that David and MP were getting married, she not only approved, but was completely sure that her daughter was luckier than perhaps she deserved and had won husbands lottery. In addition to Mary Pat, David is survived by his daughter Nicole Kerness and her husband Tivadar Szegletes, his daughter-in-law Kristin Angstadt and her husband Eric, his sister Sandra Smith and her husband Kenneth, his cousin Linda Gaudiosi, his grandchildren , Dylan David Kerness, Finn and Arianna Angstadt. In addition to his grandfather, David had a role model in his uncle “Buddy” (Edward Gaudiosi) who supported him when he was young. He was both brother and father to his sister, Sandy Kerness Smith, after her father separated from the family. David and Jane played an important role in the lives of his nieces and nephews; Dan, Rana and Scott Krohmalney, joining Nicki for years of fond memories both at the dome and later at the lake house. Their spouses and children Heather, Kira and Kaden Krohmalney, Ryan, Cora, Levi and Wyatt Anderson and Christine, Alexis and Nicholas Krohmalney were loved and admired. He was loving and generous to MP’s daughter, Kristin. He taught her how to water ski – an effort that took MANY tries, but neither of them would give up until she “got it”. Together Dave and Mary Pat ran Camp Cayuga for the nieces and nephews on his side of the family. A week of madness and fun with David as boat captain, water ski instructor and total funmeister. This group included Brandon, Megan, Bryan Kelley and Trevor Dolan; Kate, Lainey and Jeff Wilkinson; Leigh and Eric Dolan; Dan and Allison Roder, as well as honorary campers too young for the CC years, Jonathan, Madison and McKenzie Dolan. David called these experiences “the best thing we’ve ever done.” He also greatly enjoyed the company of all of MP’s siblings, John Dolan (deceased), Mike and Connie Dolan, Timothy & Jill Dolan; Tom Dolan and Steve Slonaker; Ann Dolan and Jim VanBuskirk; Mark and Sue Dolan, Nancy and Steve Roder, Chris Dolan and Erin Kane, and Jim and April Dolan. David loved his family first, his longtime friends Joel and Steffi Jager, his dear fishing friend and hockey fan Bill Wanecski, and fellow members of the “tool club” triumvirate, Bruce Fredericks and Don Smith. He was a brave, honorable and generous man who always looked ahead despite many obstacles. He will be long mourned and forever missed. David will be buried at Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve. Contributions in David’s memory may be made to the Cornell Hockey Association, PO Box 4265, Ithaca NY 14850 or the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, 200 E. Buffalo St. #202, Ithaca, NY 14850. To share a memory , please visit www .lansingfuneralhome.com.

Posted on June 30, 2022

Published in The Ithaca Journal, Press & Sun-Bulletin