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January 2022

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Charles "Bob" Davis

The Officers regret to announce the death of former International Organizer Bob Davis on Nov. 2. He was 81.

Brother Davis was born in Jellico, Tenn., in 1939. He was initiated into Norwood, Ohio, Local 1198 when he was 20 years old and went to work at General Electric's Blue Ash manufacturing plant in the Cincinnati suburbs.

Brother Davis served at all levels of Local 1198, including a term on the Executive Board from 1966-1967, then recording secretary, serving for a year. In 1968 he took over as business manager.

The Blue Ash plant manufactured busways and distribution systems for commercial and industrial buildings.

"Anything with an elevator," said former Fourth District International Vice President Paul Witte. Witte was business manager of Local 1198 until 1966 when he joined the International staff.

"Bob was one of my stewards and I never had to worry about him or his department. He was a trade unionist through and through and just a very good man," Witte said.

At its peak, Local 1198 had more than 800 members.

In his first year as business manager, Davis was asked to assist in a Fourth District organizing drive. He made such an impression he was appointed full time to the Manufacturing Department at the International Office by then-International President Charles Pillard in 1970.

In April 1971, Davis was transferred to the newly created Organizing Department and for the next 16 years he helped the brotherhood bring in thousands of new members.

Davis led or took part in the successful campaigns at Western Electric, the John Oster Company, the New Orleans Public Service and Toshiba America's plant in Lebanon, Tenn.

But then in the late 1980s, the manufacturing base of the Midwest was dismantled and jobs moved south and overseas.

The Blue Ash plant closed and Local 1198 dissolved about the time Brother Davis retired in 1987.

"He was a born organizer and I got along with him really well," Witte said. "He was just really sharp."

Brother Davis is survived by his wife, Margareta, and son Charles Steven Davis.

On behalf of the IBEW's members and staff, the officers offer our deepest sympathies to Brother Davis' family.


Charles "Bob" Davis

Harold Ebersole

Retired Fourth District International Representative Harold Ebersole, a respected IBEW leader who was instrumental in the career of International Secretary-Treasurer Kenneth W. Cooper, died on April 9. He was 91.

Known as "Harvey" or "Harv" by friends and colleagues, Brother Ebersole served as business manager for Mansfield, Ohio, Local 688 before moving to the district staff in 1981. The local is also home for Cooper, who took over as business manager in 1993.

"Harvey was a great guy, a good person and always direct on any issues you had," Cooper said. "A few months after I became business manager, we lost our office manager and were down a person. From writing out dues tickets to doing per capita, I had never done that on my own. Harv came in and helped me with all of it and taught me a lot about the job. As a young business manager, you remember those things."

A native of Fredericktown in central Ohio — where he lived his entire life — Brother Ebersole served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War before joining Local 688 when he started his apprenticeship in 1953. Topping out five years later, he was active in the local from the start, serving on Local 688's examining and executive boards before becoming business manager in 1968, a position he held for the next 13 years.

Dave Yetzer, a former Local 688 president and longtime member of its executive committee, said Ebersole left a lasting mark by fully implementing the local's defined-benefit pension plan while maintaining strong relationships with Local 688's signatory contractors.

"He never spoke badly of anyone and I don't think I ever heard him swear," Yetzer said. "You could tell when he was upset sometimes, but just a real gentleman."

After being elected business manager three times, Ebersole moved to the Fourth District office, where he serviced inside and outside construction locals and later added telephone and utility locals to his portfolio. He spent most of his time in his native Ohio but traveled throughout the Fourth District, which also includes Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Ebersole also served on the Council of Industrial Relations, a joint venture between the IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Association that peacefully mediates disputes between local unions and signatory contractors. He was a licensed pilot and often flew his own plane when traveling on IBEW business.

"Harv loved to fish," Cooper said. "He told me once: 'Let me give you a little advice. Take a little time to get out to the lake, put a lure on the end of the line, throw it out there and just sit and watch it. You're going to need your sanity. That will help you keep it.'"

Cooper, another avid outdoorsman, said he took his advice. Fishing continues to be a stress reliever to this day. He stayed in touch with Ebersole until his death.

"I never knew anyone who had a bad thing to say about Harvey," Cooper said. "He just kind of had a positive personality and he reflected that every day. He used to say our goal is to leave it better than we found it and that really sunk in for me. I think about that every day when I get up in the morning."

Ebersole retired in 1994 and remained active in his community. He was a lifetime member of the Masonic lodge and also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Moose International.

He is survived by Doris Anne, his wife of 67 years, and son Gregg, who had a long career in the Coast Guard and now is a civilian Navy employee in Panama City, Fla. Gregg said his mother and father lived in the same house in Fredericktown throughout their marriage.

Gregg said it's unclear where his father picked up his nickname but he proudly answered to it. "Harv" or "Harvey" was emblazoned on some of his IBEW shirts, his son said.

"No one could believe how old he was," Gregg said. "Up until about seven or eight months before he passed, he would get out his snow blower every year and clear his neighbors' driveways.

"He loved helping people. Anything he could do for you, he would do it."

The officers and staff send their condolences to Brother Ebersole's friends and loved ones.


Harold Ebersole

Steven R. Moulin

Retired Seventh District International Representative Steven Moulin, who believed organizing is the lifeblood of the union, died Sept. 19 in Topeka, Kan. He was 72.

Moulin was born in Emporia, Kan., and initiated into Topeka Local 304 in 1969, shortly after graduating from nearby Osage City High School.

Active from his earliest days in the local, Moulin served over the next 12 years on its joint safety and apprenticeship committees as well as on its Executive Board. He later held the offices of vice president, president and assistant business manager.

"He was very dedicated to the local," said former Local 304 Business Manager Doug Fisher, who had known Moulin since 1970. "You didn't come into the line department and not be union."

In 1982, then-International President Charles Pillard recognized Moulin's talents and appointed him to work in Washington, D.C., as an international representative in what was then called the union's Organizing Department (now Membership Development). Although he was based at the International Office, Moulin worked on numerous organizing campaigns throughout North America, particularly in the manufacturing, utility and telephone sectors and among service contract workers.

"The thing I always remember about Steve is what a great organizer he really was," said current Local 304 Business Manager John Garretson. "He would have your attention."

Fisher agreed. "He was really good with people," he said. "They'd listen to him."

"I just went out and did my job," Moulin told The Electrical Worker when he retired in 2005. "I met thousands of good, down-to-earth people, a lot of nasty companies and I had a lot of fun."

During the 1982 International Convention, he also met his wife, Kathy, who survives him along with his two daughters, Kerri and Kellie.

In 1988, then-International President J.J. Barry tapped Moulin to work for the office of the union's Seventh District, which covers Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas in addition to Kansas.

Estimating he spent more than 200 days a year on the road, Moulin continued to lead efforts to organize workers in utilities, gas companies and industrial plants as well as service contract employees.

Fisher was still a Local 304 business agent when Kansas's first nuclear power plant, Wolf Creek, was commissioned in Burlington in 1985. When Fisher told then-Seventh District Vice President Orville Tate that his local was aiming to organize nearly 70 workers at the plant, Fisher recalled Tate telling him, "I'll have Steve on the next plane there."

"Steve was a good rep," said Tate. "Always upbeat, cheerful, well liked. He did lots of work for locals across the district."

"Wolf Creek went through two elections," noted Todd Newkirk, a current Seventh District international representative. Local 304 lost the first ballot by a heartbreaking four votes, Newkirk said.

"Steve kept at it and eventually won," Fisher said.

"His hands-on approach made a difference," Newkirk added.

His fellow linemen often kidded him about finishing the workday as clean as he started, but everyone knew Steve gave eight-for-eight and sweat as hard as anyone on his crew. "Steve just worked smart and clean," Newkirk said.

After retirement, Moulin moved back to Topeka, where Garretson noted how his friend and colleague once made local news headlines — not as an IBEW member, but as something of a hero.

According to a story in the Topeka Capital-Journal, in 2012 a sprinkler installation contractor working near Moulin's house struck a natural gas line, and the resulting fumes leaked into the home of an elderly woman. She had been outside of her house when it exploded. Moulin, rushing outside to investigate what he had just heard, spotted the 81-year-old away from the burning rubble.

"I said, 'Oh my God, there's a lady lying on the ground,'" Moulin told the newspaper. "I went over and jumped the fence, along with a Kansas Gas Service guy" who was there to investigate the reported leak. The two men carried the woman to a nearby front yard to wait for an ambulance.

"It just shows what kind of guy he was," Garretson said.

In his spare time, Moulin had been active with his local chapters of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the American Legion, and he enjoyed swimming as well as playing golf and racquetball. Newkirk also noted that Moulin was a bigtime Kansas University sports fan.

"When he retired, he stayed really healthy," Newkirk said. "Cancer just snuck up on him."

The IBEW sends its deepest condolences to Moulin's family and many friends.


Steven R. Moulin