In Memorial: Attorney Vernon D. Kortering

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Civil rights activist – working for the underprivileged and downtrodden

By Diana L. Coleman
Legal News

Attorney Vernon Dale Kortering passed away Saturday, January 17, 2015.  He was born March 27, 1934, in Holland, Michigan to Bert and Henrietta Kortering. Vern served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952-56 and went on to graduate from Hope College in 1959.  He married Lois E.  Griffes of Muskegon Heights on June 6, 1959.

Kortering was a law clerk for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Eugene F. Black, graduated from University of Michigan Law School in 1962, and began his illustrious career at the largest firm in Muskegon—Marcus, McCroskey and Libner.

Kortering represented those who felt that the Vietnam War and subsequ8ent draft were against their philosophical and religious beliefs.  He supported the Black Panther movement, and the Teamsters Union.  He was an active member of the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, and Every Woman’s Place.

Kortering was often referred to as a “maverick” and built his reputation as a prominent civil rights activist, trend setter, and pioneer who fought for the underprivileged and downtrodden.  He focused on Workers’ Compensation, Labor Law, and Disability Law, all the while remaining active in politics and the Democratic Party.  Kortering was called a “lawyer’s lawyer” as well as a “judge’s lawyer.”

He was joined by his son, David, into the Kortering Law Firm in 1997.

Vernon Kortering is survived by his wife, Lois; 3 children: Kathryn Kortering, Karyn Verge, and David (Katherine) Kortering; 5 grandchildren: Allison and Owen Verge; Kyla Kortering and Natalie Jeter, and Rachel Kortering.  Kortering is also survived by a brother, Earl (Betty, deceased) Kortering of Holland, Michigan; Sister Norma Brower of Spokane, Washington; sister-in-law Joan Kortering of Holland Michigan and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, son Vernon Dale II, and 2 brothers, Lloyd and Ronald Kortering.

A memorial services will be held 3:00 pm Saturday, January 31, 2015, at Hope Reformed Church.  Visitation with the family will be one hour prior to the service.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Harbor Hospice.