David “Dave” Kersey, 83, passed away on May 5, 2022, at The Pillars Hospice Home in Oakdale, MN, as the result of complications from a fall. Dave was born in Minneapolis on December 28, 1938, as the youngest of five children to Mahlon and Virginia Kersey. Growing up he was active in Grand Avenue Alliance Church in South Minneapolis, and while attending Central High School he developed an interest in communication and public speaking. He was a natural showman with comedic flair, and it was while performing a magic show for a local youth event that he caught the attention of a young girl named Janice Koland. In 1959 they were married and began a lifetime of ministry together.
After spending two years in Fort Hood, TX, where Dave served as a supply clerk in the army, he and Jan returned to Minneapolis and Dave enrolled in Brown Institute of Broadcasting and Electronics. In 1964 they moved to Fargo, ND, where Dave began working at Northwestern College Radio's KFNW as announcer. Within three years he became station manager as Jan worked tirelessly behind the scenes. In the early years they lived in a trailer at the KFNW facility on the prairie outside Fargo, where they would occasionally be snowed in by a North Dakota blizzard while the two of them kept the transmitter on the air. In 1967 they welcomed their first child, Jim, followed by Bill in 1968 and Kris in 1970.
Dave cultivated a special relationship with KFNW listeners in the Fargo-Moorhead area, speaking dozens of times each year to local churches, auxiliaries and civic clubs, and providing live on-air sportscaster coverage for Oak Grove Lutheran High School's football and basketball games. He served as Church Chairman for Moorhead Evangelical Free Church and as president of the Moorhead Kiwanis Club. Through their ministry with KFNW Dave and Jan organized and hosted multiple tours of the Holy Land in the 1970s, and traveled to local churches in the Red River Valley region to share their travels, testimonies and song.
In 1980, Dave was given the opportunity to return to the Twin Cities as Assistant Director of Broadcasting at Northwestern College Radio, where he helped oversee operations of several radio stations throughout the Upper Midwest. In 1986 Dave and Jan moved once again, this time to Tucson, AZ, where he stepped into a new ministry role as Vice President of Broadcasting for the radio network Family Life Radio. Alongside these leadership responsibilities he also began fulfilling a personal vision in 1989 by producing and hosting CALL TO WORSHIP, an hourlong weekly program of worship music and devotional readings aired on over 300 radio stations nationwide.
As their children grew up and left the home, Dave and Jan enjoyed traveling and spending time with family and the many friends that they had met throughout their years of ministry together. In the 1990s they led two more tours to the Holy Land, and Dave served on the Board of Directors and then as Board Chairman for the Western Chapter of the National Religious Broadcasters. In 1999 Dave stepped down from his VP duties to become General Manager of FLR's Network Satellite Services Department. Dave retired from full time duties at Family Life Radio after a 40 year career of radio ministry in 2004, but continued to produce CALL TO WORSHIP for another 10 years. He received countless letters from individuals whose lives were transformed and enriched as a result of this show.
Dave's favorite verse was Psalm 104:33: “I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” In retirement he continued to minister by assisting in a technical capacity with worship services at Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene. He was an avid golfer and bowler, and is on record as bowling a perfect game three times – in 1984, 2004 and 2011. He cherished his grandchildren, and his gentle spirit and charming humor were always on display in spades when they were with him.
In the summer of 2014, Dave and Jan made their last move back to Minnesota to be near two of their children. They made Lindstrom their home and loved being near their daughter Kris and her family and enjoying weekly meals together. In 2019 Dave and Jan celebrated their 60th anniversary surrounded by all of their children and grandchildren. In 2021 their health concerns led to a move into assisted living, where Dave continued to lovingly care for Jan through her difficult battle with Alzheimer's disease. He remained by her side until the day she passed away in December of 2021.
Dave is survived by children Jim (Stacy) of Tucson, AZ; Bill (Julie) of St. Paul, MN; Kris Erickson (Jon) of Lindstrom, MN; grandchildren Nicole, Melanie and Kyle Kersey, and Nolan, Jill and Emily Erickson; brother Tay (Donna) Kersey; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Jan Kersey; parents Virginia and Mahlon Kersey, and siblings Pat Arvan, John Kersey, and Robert Kersey.