Archived Story

Tavernier a multi-faceted volunteer

Published 9:22pm Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Jerry Tavernier, 76, of Edwardsburg, volunteers with the Presbyterian Church, the Lions Club, the museum and Niles-Buchanan Habitat for Humanity.


Why do you volunteer?


“I just enjoy helping people and giving back to the community, which has been good to me and my wife. I don’t keep track of how many hours I volunteer. If you don’t keep moving, you get old.”


How did you get started?


“I’ve been in the Lions Club for right around 40 years. That kind of got me started. It’s a great organization.”

Tavernier retired from General Telephone (GTE) 29 years ago.

A co-worker, Herb Stiffler, “was like a mentor to me. I followed him into Lions Club. He was very instrumental in me getting involved. It’s very gratifying to do things for people and to see them get what they need. The Lions build handicapped ramps, buy glasses for children and adults who can’t afford them. It’s gratifying to see children become able to read.”

Tavernier not only maintains the Presbyterian Church, he also runs the sound system for funerals.

He volunteers at the museum “now and then” and helps Habitat with September builds.

He moved to Edwardsburg in 1960 from his hometown, Elkhart, Ind.

Tavernier served four years in the military, meeting his wife in Norfolk, Va., and working for her dad doing acoustical ceilings.

They moved a mobile home onto property at Garver Lake, built a house and lived there until 1972, when they relocated to the farm on Yankee Street which they rehabbed and still call home.

“We love it out here,” he said.

Their oldest son died in 2005, but the Taverniers are parents of a

daughter, Alicia Cornellison, of Elkhart, and a son, Bruce, of Niles.




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