We lost a dear friend, and advocate, a leader, a colleague, a confidant, a family member on December 21, 2015. Vern Gosney, the youngest of eleven children was born August 30, 1931. Soon after graduating from Richmond Union High School in 1949, Vern began his impressive 66 year long career with the steam fitters of Union Local 342. Gosney flourished, rising to the coveted position of Senior General Foreman on numerous massive projects. Vern served Local 342 as a delegate to many state and national conventions, as a member of their Executive Board, Treasurer, and for 21 years on their Board of Trust.
Additionally, Vern served as the official Asbestos Liaison for all Local 342 members. Local 342 retained Jerry Neil Paul of Paul, Hanley and Harley to consult and advise Vern and the two worked vigilantly to seek redress for Local Members affected by the heinous Asbestos disease. Vern also had the pleasure of working alongside his son Don, who provided invaluable support for the Local's fight for redress of their rights in the form of incredible photographic documentation and an acute sense of attention to detail. Vern was always so proud of Don's amazing work. Gosney worked tirelessly to help Local 342 members and their families on an enormous amount of cases through depositions and testimony. Vern could do what few others could do, he could identify products used, their color, logos, company names, packaging and even the distributors. Not only did Vern have an incredible memory he gave so much of himself to make sure that Local 342 members' and their families received redress by giving a multitude of depositions. Vern was a fighter to the end, refusing to rest so that a 342 member would have the benefit of Vern's expert testimony.
Vern spent more than 50 years with the love of his life, Eldrith. Vern had a wonderful family in his children: Vernon, Don, Debbie, and Bev; his grandchildren: Rocky and Dena; and his five great grandchildren. The world is a greater place for having Vern as a part of it. And all of us who have had the privilege of knowing Vern have had our lives enriched because of it. So as we mourn the passing of great man, let us not forget all of the wonderful ways Vern has touched our lives.