It may seem to some as an odd place for a wake, but for family and friends of Tim Kern, Sadie Rene’s Nightclub made sense. The bar was where he was a sound technician for the bands who performed there in the ’90s. They gathered Sunday to celebrate the life of the so-called “Craigslist Killers’” victim.
Tim Kern was supposed to be running the sound when Cowboys from Hell performed a reunion show in Akron on Saturday night.
It was to be like the good old days at Sadie Rene’s Nightclub, where Kern worked for many years doing what he loved — running the sound boards for the heavy metal bands and others who performed there. Cowboys from Hell dedicated Saturday’s show to him.
“The guys were really torn up over it,” Ann Hammond, an old friend of Kern, said of the band members.
On Sunday, many who had attended Saturday’s concert turned out at Sadie Rene’s to celebrate the life of Kern, a man many know only as a victim of the so-called Craigslist killers.
Kern last was seen alive Nov. 13 after he told family members that he was pursuing a job he ad he found on the website Craigslist. The ad was seeking someone to watch over 680 acres of remote farmland in Noble County. He was supposed to meet his employer that day.
Before he left, he posted a hopeful message on Facebook:
“Just got one of the strangest job offers. A good offer but strange,” he wrote.
“I saw that Facebook post,” said Sam Crawford of North Canton, a musician who used to perform at Sadie Rene’s. “I thought, ‘That’s great. Timmy’s getting his life together.’ ”
No one said why the man who was so talented in the music field was working at a convenience store/gas station when he died, but Crawford hinted at the problems common in the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle.
“You start out young in this business, and we tried to be as big and badass as you could,” he said. “Some people grow out of it and some don’t.”
Crawford said Kern was good at his job.
“He was a drummer, like I am. He knew how to get a good sound out of a drum kit. You have to have a good ear to be a sound man, not just a musician,” he said.
Crawford, like many sitting at Sadie Rene’s, hadn’t seen Kern in years.
“Once you have wives and lives, people fade out,” he said. “People disappear off your radar, and you don’t realize it sometimes.”
Tod Bauhof of Jackson Township met Kern 23 years ago at Sadie Rene’s. Bauhof was a patron who often talked to Kern about the bands.
“He was really sociable, a good guy to have as a friend. He had a big passion for music,” he said.
Bauhof ran into Kern a few months ago and said he talked of old times, music, and bands. He was his usual upbeat self, said Bauhof. “He always had a smile on his face.”
Page 2 of 2 - Kandi Regan hadn’t seen Kern in years, but remembered how he loved to deejay at Sadie Rene’s when she was a regular patron there in the ’90s.
Her friend Brian “Gremlin” DiMarzio said he was at the bar almost every day in the ’90s and early 2000s. He and Kern became friends there.
“He was always a great, cheery, friendly guy. He always seemed to be in good spirits,” DiMarzio said.
The wake was organized by Kern’s oldest son Joshua, who declined to be interviewed. His mother, Tammy Sowards of Jackson Township, married Kern when she was 16. They were together seven years.
She said she did not know why Kern had fallen on hard times, other than the possibility that his child support payments were depleting him.
“He lost his life when he was really trying to better himself for his kids,” she said.