Describe your parents & grandparents, what were they like, what did you learn from them?
My parents were living examples of loving and forgiving parents. They taught me many life skills and appreciation for life. They inspired me to travel by exploring Canada from coast to coast as a family of four. My parents encouraged me to pursue post secondary education and instilled in me an admiration for the beauty of nature especially plants and flowers. They also taught by example the importance of respecting the older generation by faithfully visiting senior members of the family and friends. The Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” was emphasized in my formative years. I was also taught to remember my roots and to keep Sunday as a day of rest. My Grandparents on my maternal side had already passed away when I was born. Recently, I am learning interesting details about those Grandparents and in a strange way, I am getting to know them now. My paternal Grandparents had 17 grandchildren so my relationship was not at all close.
What was the greatest challenge you overcame & how?
The greatest challenge involves my Father in two distinct ways. At the time of Mom’s death, Dad was in rehab hospital. My brother, sister-in-law and I had the dubious duty of breaking the news to Dad that his dear wife of 64.5 years had passed away. The day I drove with Dad in a taxi to his new home for long term care. I was able to overcome both of these experiences with the help of family members’ and friends’ support and encouragement.
What is something not a lot of people would know about you?
I am a third generation left hander which brought my Father great delight.
What are you most grateful for in your life?
My faith community/church has always been a great component of my life. In my early years, I was in attendance at church activities other than Sunday School and also went to summer Church Camp. I was exposed to God’s love through teachers, leaders and classmates. I continue to be active in the church.
What did you do for work? What was this experience like?
I graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honours Arts degree and immediately became employed at Dominion Life Assurance Co., headquartered in Waterloo, in an entry level position. I was not convinced how well I would like the office environment so I continued to work part time in the retail role I had held to pay my University expenses. After six months, I gave notice at the retail job and gladly embraced what turned out to be my career in life insurance. The years I worked were the best years in the industry, in my humble opinion. Computers were acquiring popular usage but I learned the manual methods of applying rates and values from life expectancy and mortality tables to do calculations using desktop calculators. It wasn’t long until we started the progression of stages from punch cards to sharing a computer terminal with another department member to being equipped with individual computer terminals through to laptop computers. My retirement came at a time when the company strongly recommended taking the laptop home at the end of the day but did not insist on it. Thankfully, I escaped the current workplace expectation of responding to queries on demand after office hours. When I entered the life insurance work force, there were possibly twenty companies in Canada competing against one another. During my career, many amalgamations, mergers and take-overs were common. Job losses, redundancies and moves were experienced. Gratefully, my role never required me to physically relocate away from Waterloo. As a result, I made many new acquaintances and have maintained relationships over the years.