Kim VerHage

Date of vandalism has deep meaning for Rockford woman

June 30, 2011 // 0 Comments

Her granddaughter, if still living, would be 15 by BETH ALTENA Kim VerHage is a woman with practice at patience, or at least waiting out the unknown. On the day her granddaughter would turn 15 years of age, VerHage was called back to work after leaving around 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, to find vandals had broken eight windows in her bookstore. “It was the day Shannon would have turned 15, if she was allowed to live,” she lamented. She believes 15 is likely around the age of those responsible for the damage. “These kids got the chance to live, and this is what they are doing.” VerHage said periodically, over the 26 years she has owned the shop, a group of youngsters will spend their summers causing trouble for her and fellow business owners downtown before they eventually get a driver’s license and take their energy elsewhere. She wishes they would do a little more soul searching and a little less building bashing. “Look what you are doing with your life. You are doing nothing,” VerHage said when asked what she’d like to say to the culprits who have broken doors and windows, thrown around books and otherwise damaged her property over the decades. VerHage is the grandmother of Shannon Timmerman, who has never been seen or found since her mother was brutally murdered in a Newaygo County lake on federal land. The convicted killer is Marvin Gabrion, who has been on death row for years and is likely to remain there, according to VerHage, for decades more filing endless appeals. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s case seeking the younger Timmerman remains open and, according to VerHage, still active. She said she has been contacted as recently as last month by the agency, asking for pictures of the child’s father, who is her son, for creating age-progression images of what Timmerman might look like today. Shannon was less than a year old when she disappeared. VerHage said she thinks of her granddaughter often as she goes about her daily life—running the shop, caring for abandoned dogs and looking after kittens dumped near her business. VerHage’s shop is two structures, a building and a retired train car brought to Rockford in 1974 as a train […]