Dr. William J. Kernohan (“Bill”) passed away peacefully, with family by his side, at Hospice House in Bowling Green, KY, on February 21, 2023. He was born on September 28, 1926, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to the late Ellen “Nellie” Ramsey Kernohan and James McNabney Kernohan. In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by four brothers, Dr. RJ Kernohan, Dr. George Kernohan, Ramsey Kernohan, Dr. Rudolph Kernohan, and his beloved daughter Valerie Sharpstone.
Bill earned his medical degree from Queen’s University in Belfast. He received a Diploma in Psychological Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland and completed an Internal Medicine residency at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in Scotland. Bill was a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
After marrying Winifred Hazelton, they spent one cold winter in Saskatchewan, Canada, before settling in Kentucky. Bill was recruited to work at the Western State Hospital in Hopkinsville and was promoted to Superintendent of the Kentucky State Hospital in Danville before starting the first psychiatric practice in Bowling Green. For 31 years, Bill skillfully and compassionately served his patients, families, and WKU students before retiring in 1996. He served on the Vestry as a member of Christ Episcopal Church.
A game of golf, building big fires, outdoor walks, sipping wine, and family dinners were all things Bill truly enjoyed. His beef stew and Irish Coffee were the best. He lived all his days with a grateful servant’s heart, and his cheerful presence will be dearly missed.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 63 years, Winifred Kernohan; his daughter Janine Kernohan, son John Kernohan (Frederica); and beloved grandchildren Katharine Sharpstone Izzo (Patrick), Samuel Kernohan, and Stuart Kernohan.
A visitation and time of remembrance will be held in Surface Hall at Christ Episcopal Church on Saturday, March 25 from 2-4 p.m. Hardy & Son Funeral Home has been charged with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy can be made to Hospice of Southern Kentucky, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Christ Episcopal Church, or The Presbyterian Church of Bowling Green.