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Robert Todd Kernaghan

January 9, 1968 December 13, 2020
Robert Todd Kernaghan
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Obituary for Robert Todd Kernaghan

Beloved son, brother, husband, father, uncle, cousin and nephew (Robert) Todd Kernaghan died of natural causes on December 13th, 2020 and is now in heaven with the Lord.
Todd was born on January 9, 1968 in Great Falls to Jim and Candy (Buley) Kernaghan, all 11 lbs., 1 oz. of him. From early on, he amazed his mom, Candy, with the things he could do at younger than normal ages and the many accomplishments he achieved. To say he was driven is an understatement, and that theme carried throughout his life.
Todd attended local schools beginning at Meadowlark Elementary and he graduated with honors from Great Falls High School in 1986. He was a sports nut and loved to fish. Weekends spent at the family cabins in Lincoln and Whitefish with his sister, Callie, and cousins were among his favorite memories. Growing up like brothers, Todd and Mike spent hours together playing various sports, with one that really stuck - golf.
Todd’s childhood was full of too many golf accolades and tournament wins to count, highlighted by a feature in Sports Illustrated for his first hole-in-one at the age of 13 and two Montana State AA High School championships. Shortly after graduation, Todd set the still current Meadow Lark Country Club record of 63, albeit a few have since tied it, including his younger cousin Kelly. Todd’s dedication allowed him the opportunity to play collegiate golf originally for the Razorbacks in Arkansas and then Arizona State University, where he transferred alongside his coach, and was a member of the 1990 NCAA Championship Team. He remained at ASU to pursue his masters in accounting, again graduating with honors.
At the age of 19, Todd won the first of his three Montana State Amateur Golf titles and was inducted into the Montana State Golf Association Hall of Fame in 1989. He went on to win the Pacific Northwest Amateur and Montana Open Championship before enjoying some professional success on the Ben Hogan and Korn Ferry tours.
Todd eventually settled into accounting, first at Ernst & Young in Phoenix. He met and later married Stephanie Rand Simonson in 1998 and shortly after they relocated to Austin, Texas where he continued his career as a Financial Planner with Plan Member Services. Todd found immense joy in life upon the birth of their daughters Ella in 2000 and Reagan in 2004. His smile widened when talking about his girls and beamed with pride while watching them in their various Tae Kwon Do tournaments, dances, or cheer team events.
Todd was a sports fanatic and remained among the loyalist of ASU fans, with many of his shirts sporting a Sun Devil. He was known to let his temper show if his team wasn’t performing as expected and his hazel eyes shined bright with excitement when they succeeded. Todd, Steph and the girls made annual trips to Montana to create cherished memories with family, always including lake time at Holter with Callie and their children. Before physical ailments impacted Todd’s ability to golf, he and his dad, Jim, had fun during the annual Lark tournament and clinched a memorable win in 2006.
Todd left the earth too soon and will be missed. The family takes comfort in knowing that he is welcomed in his afterlife by grandparents, Bob & Elsa Kernaghan and Chuck & Irene Buley, aunt Clary Kernaghan Gilligan, Uncle Pete Gilligan, aunt Barbara Buley Cabbage and uncle Jim Buley.
He is survived by his wife Stephanie, daughters Ella and Reagan, parents Candy (Pat) Wagner and Jim (Karen) Kernaghan, sister Callie (Jeff) Rearden, stepsisters Lani (Loren) Alberti and Karry (Randy) Dempsey, stepbrothers Josh (Shawna) Rowe, Kevin (Karen) Wagner and Michael Wagner, along with numerous in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date when it is safe to gather. Condolences may be sent to O’Connor Funeral Home at 2425 8th Avenue North, Great Falls, MT 59401. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Montana State Golf Association, supporting junior golf, at www.msga.org, the Great Falls Rescue Mission at greatfallsrescuemission.com, or a charity of your choosing.

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