Michael D. Fern Sr., 71, died after a brief illness at his home in Florida on July 15, 2018. He was born October 16, 1946, the son of Margaret (Fern) Heil and Michael Fern, and will be deeply missed by his wife and loving family.
A native of North Coventry, Pa., he graduated from Owen J. Roberts High School in 1965 and proudly served in the U.S. Navy as a petty officer during the Vietnam War, earning among other commendations a Bronze Star Combat “V” Medal for valor.
It was during that time while stationed in Florida when he met Patricia Merritt, and upon their marriage in 1966 they would celebrate nearly 52 years together until his death.
Mike, as he was known to all, returned home to Pottstown after his military service and worked at the former Mrs. Smith Pie Company, where many affectionately called him “Super Cook” due to his excellent work product. He also worked with the mentally disabled for Developmental Enterprises Corp. in group homes where they learned work responsibilities, financial accounting and even the ability to take unsupervised vacations. He fondly remembered that as some of his most rewarding work.
Yet it was his love of security and risk prevention that would eventually lead Mike to a long career that culminated in his appointment as the security director for Philadelphia Gear Corp. in King of Prussia, a post he held for many years until he relocated to Florida to help with his wife’s aging parents. Mike’s passion for that work continued when he was appointed security director for Dillard’s Inc., handling loss prevention across their department stores in the Jacksonville, Fla., area for nearly a decade. He eventually moved into sales for the company when it restructured and was the recipient of Dillard’s Pacesetter Award for the State of Florida for three consecutive years until his retirement.
An avid numismatist, Mike collected coins and many other things throughout his life. He was proud to teach friends and even his children to grade and assess all varieties of currency and would often be found at many auctions trying to find that next rare coin. And he frequently did, building a collection over the years that spanned many eras. Mike was also an avid film buff and collected a library of thousands of titles where he could recall almost anything about a movie or its actors. Over his life, he also enjoyed bowling, tennis and golf.
Mike is survived by his wife, two children, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild. His sons are Michael D. Fern Jr. and his wife, Michelle, of Brewer, Maine; and Steven H. Fern and his wife, Sarah, of Middleburg, Fla. His grandchildren are Matthew S. Fern and his wife, Meranda; and Marshall D. Fern. His great-grandchild is Sophie Fern.
Services will be held on Friday, July 27 at Catagnus Funeral Home, 711 N. Franklin St. in Pottstown, with visiting hours from 1:00-1:45 PM followed by a funeral service at 2 PM Interment will be at Mt. Zion Cemetery in North Coventry.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either the American Cancer Society at PO Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123, or the American Alzheimer’s Association at 8180 Greensboro Dr., Ste 400, McLean, VA 22102.

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