Remembering Vernon Ehlers

By Terry DeBoer, Michigan Correspondent,

Grand Rapids, Mich. – The only Edgerton native ever to have served in the United States Congress, Vernon J. Ehlers, is being remembered as a faithful educator and politician who credited his southwest Minnesota roots in establishing his life’s direction.

Ehlers, who died Aug. 15, lived in Grand Rapids where memorial services were held Aug. 24. Grand Rapids was his home since his days as a Calvin College physics professor, a Michigan state legislator and his stint in Congress from 1993 to 2010 before his retirement (His full obituary was published in the Enterprise’s Aug. 23 edition).

His memorial service was attended by several current and former Congressmen.

Vern Ehlers was born and raised in Edgerton, a son of Rev. John (and Alice) Ehlers, pastor of First Christian Reformed Church from 1931 to 1948. The family moved from the area when Vern was a teen and his father took a call to a church in Ohio.

“I know it’s the ‘small town’ values that my father learned growing up in Edgerton which served him so well his entire life – especially in the political arena,” said Ehlers’ daughter Marla during an earlier interview.

For the complete article, please see the September 6th edition of the Edgerton Enterprise. If you do not currently receive the Enterprise, CLICK HERE for information on how to subscribe!

Vern Ehlers

Amtrak Station in Grand Rapids named after Vern Ehlers

Lorilee Kraker, Grand Rapids free lancer, posing with Vern Ehlers holding a book written by Kraker