William J. Kernan, a commercial artist and Baltimore native, died Monday of heart failure at Kindred Hospital in Green Cove Springs, Fla. He was 74.
Mr. Kernan, who grew up in Roland Park, graduated from City College in the mid-1940s. While in high school he took classes in fine arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art and aspired to become a sculptor.
He joined the Air Force during World War II and was stationed in Honolulu, where he was assigned to predict weather conditions for pilots. After serving for 11 years, Mr. Kernan retired from the Air Force and became a commercial artist in Washington, working for department stores, advertising agencies and a newspaper.
Upon his retirement in 1987, Mr. Kernan pursued a love of photography and enjoyed taking scenic color photographs of such subjects as the Grand Canyon and autumn in New England. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a collector of china and a music lover.
Soon after his retirement, Mr. Kernan moved to Gainesville, Fla., with his wife of more than 50 years, the former Mary Lytle.
Services were private.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Kernan is survived by a son, John M. Kernan of Gainesville; a brother, Thomas F. Kernan of Virginia Beach, Va.; a sister, Barbara Reid of Virginia Beach; and two granddaughters.