More Tributes for Vern

Robert Eckerlin, Consultant, Switzerland

...Like many others, I had a lot of admiration, both professionally and personally for Vern. Vern has achieved technically so much and has been helpful to so many, among other to me. Vern was a very respected father to me. Without Vern, my own professional life and the professional life of so many others would have been so much different and so much poorer. Thank You, Vern.

Gary Ferdinand, ex-IBM:

Vern was a good friend and Mr. IMS. He did an excellent job helping design the original data sharing for what became known as a sysplex during the original software design council, and he and I crossed paths quite a bit when I was working at STL. I will miss him.

Attila Fogarasi, IBM Australia, retired:

I was greatly saddened to hear about Vern’s death;  it seemed like he had so much more to live for.  I haven’t spoken to Vern in almost 10 years, but he remains one of the people at IBM who made the biggest impression on me.  ...  Vern had thousands of admirers, as he was a genuine legend in the computer industry and a very nice man to boot – attributes that are often conflicting.  I recall some of the conversations that I had with Vern while walking around the parcourse at SVL (he was quite diligent about getting into shape then).  ...

Glenn N. Galler, IBM IMS Specialist, IBM Campus Recruiting Manager, Univ of Michigan

We all have wonderful memories of Vern because he was a mentor and friend to many of us in IBM. I have one memory I would like to share about Vern. In 1996, I was on Assignment in London, England, and I organized a roadshow for IMS’s exploitation of the Parallel Sysplex Environment. I invited Vern to participate in the roadshow. This was the first time that I met you, too. We had events in Germany, Sweden and Belgium. Vern was so well-known by the European customers that all I wanted Vern to do was stand on the stage and field questions from the customers. It was one of the true highlights of our  European roadshows. Vern was and is a great man and we will all remember him with great fondness.

Claudia Ho, IBM, IMS Development:

I knew Vern the first day I joined IBM.  He witnessed my growing up in IMS Database.  To me he is not only a co-worker, but also my mentor and friend.   I still remember the many times we worked together (including a lot on weekends), on HALDB and OLR projects in particular.  It was fun working with Vern.   I had learned a lot from him over the years and will always remember him as an exceptional technical professional and a very wonderful person. 

John Kapernick, IBM Poughkeepsie, retired:

...Vern was one (of the) most special people I ever met in IBM. I consider it a real privilege to have known him and had the opportunity to work with him. I learned a great deal from him. He personified and put IMS on the map for me. I got to work with him off and on for almost 20 years. ... Vern was a tremendous asset to IBM, to the Z platform, and to IBM. He will be missed by a huge number of his friends and colleagues. I will miss him.

Britta Ottersgard, IBM SVL:

That Vern is gone is difficult to understand.  There are not too many people in this world that always smile and make people feel good when talking to them but Vern always gave me that feeling. He was a great guy and will be sorely missed.

Pete Sadler, IBM UK:

... I enjoyed vigorous discussions with Vern, especially in the 80s and 90s when I was acting as the IMS SE for Lloyds Bank. My point was that often, as I am a Fast Path advocate, I wanted Vern/DLI to do some things the FP way but he usually disagreed strongly - to the point that I once tried to apologise for taking up his time (usually an hour or more at a visit, unannounced) but he waved it away saying he enjoyed the discussions because hardly anyone else in A Tower would argue with him. I found him very generous with his time and we got on very well even though I typically only saw him at conferences and on my occassional trips to SVL.

Alan Tippett, IBM US, retired:

First encounter with Vern Watts! It was about 1970 or 1971 the event was a class to prepare the then SD&I Centers for the announcement of IMS/360 Version 2. At that time I was unfamiliar with the various developers connected with IMS.   During a discussion of the HD access methods a question was raised about the number of bytes (on disk) needed to link the various segments in the hierarchy.  It was asked how is the customer going to react to all of this overhead.  The speaker stopped and looked at this mustached man seated in the back of the room and directed the question to him.  This fellow paused for a few seconds stroking his facial hair and then said "We consider the customer's data overhead". The person seated next to me whispered that is Vern Watts.