1916 - 2002
Ed Daverman gave Vern Bouwman his start in the engineering world in early 1956, even though Vern didn't have a degree. Vern had taken a correspondence course in Architectural drafting from Chicago Technical Collage during high school in Fennville. While in high school, Vern had worked several jobs including the Lumber Yard. After graduating, he served in the Navy and returned to his old job at Van Hartesveldt's Market. His real desire was to be a draftsman and the manager of the Lumber Yard, John Case, knew this. John contacted Ed where in, Vern was invited to Grand Rapids.
Ed was glad to give Vern a job even though he was really not qualified to be a draftsman. One stipulation was he must improve on his printing. Vern was placed on jobs with surveyor John Loucks where they performed surveys on the Ionia Prison, The new Kent County Airport and staking telephone line for the Shiawassee Telephone Company, which Jack Knol had a major interest in.
Ed and Joe Daverman purchased the Calhoun County Telephone Company, Homer MI, about that same time. In Homer Vern really started learning the the Telephone business under the capable guide of Leo Oppenneerr, who had retired from the Tri-County Telephone Company of South Haven. They rebuilt the telephone company plant from the old magneto service into dial service.
Ed next assigned Vern to the Lambertville Telephone Company, which Daverman's had also purchased. During this conversion, Vern met and married his wife Letha. Ed allowed Vern to stay in Lambertville and work as a station installer repairman. However, when Daverman's had other telephone projects, Vern was anxious, and moved on to them for Ed. There was work to be done for telephone companies all over Michigan plus other states.
After Vern and Letha had made several moves about the mid-west they decided to settle down and Vern left Daverman's, going to work for the Continental Tel. System, as it was starting up in Illinois. There they had their two children, but the Vern could not put up with the politics of this start up company. Ed came to his rescue and brought him back to Michigan for more telephone engineering work.
Many years passed as Vern moved on to many jobs. In the summer of the year 2000, Vern called Ed and they met at a Denny's restaurant in Grand Rapids where Vern advised him of his successful career and thanked him for his support. Vern also advised him that a book he wrote and published in 1978 was dedicated to him.