On May 18, 2022, members and guests of the Niagara Falls branch attended our Spring Luncheon at Betty’s Restaurant. We were all happy to see each other again, as the smiling faces in the photos attest, and we look forward to more gatherings in the future.
Thank you to Vice-President Elaine McGrath, our branch photographer, for the pictures.
RWTO/OERO Niagara Falls Branch December 2021 Luncheon
On December 9, 2021, thirty-five members and one guest enjoyed a delicious meal and good company at our Niagara Falls branch luncheon at Betty’s Restaurant. The luncheon was our first membership meeting since our February Social in 2020.
It was a wonderful opportunity for those attending to see friends and colleagues again and to catch up on news.
Thank you to Elaine McGrath, our Vice-President, for the photos. You can see from the smiling faces that those attending had a most enjoyable time.
‘We’re not retired from caring about kids’: Former teachers help students prepare for school.”
Retired educators donate, pack pencil cases for kids whose families may be struggling
The way Diane Ewen sees it, teaching isn’t just a job: it’s a calling.
Long after teachers sign off and head off to retirement after decades of shaping young minds for the future, they still feel a need to help kids.
So, it was no surprise when members of the Retired Women Teachers of Ontario, Niagara Falls branch, decided to step up and help kids from families who may be having trouble making ends meet prepare for the school year.
The retired teachers organization’s motto is “caring and sharing,” and members routinely support charities that improve the lives of women and children through donations. In the past, members have supported causes such as Niagara Nutrition Partners, which provides meals to kids in school who might otherwise go hungry, and the Education Foundation of Niagara.
This year, Ewen said local branch executive member Linda Dueck pitched the idea to fellow members of supporting the local United Way’s back-to-school program. Dueck got the idea from her daughter, who is on the local United Way board, and fellow Retired Women Teachers members jumped on-board, donating supplies and cash for gift cards and then gathering at a United Way warehouse in St. Catharines on Aug. 25 to pack pencil cases for kids.
Ewen said making financial contributions to the United Way made sense in terms of getting the biggest bang for the buck. “The United Way has greater buying power,” she said.
The pencil cases will be donated to the local school boards, and principals will be able to ask the boards to donate cases for kids identified as being in need.
“The principals know their kids, and the teachers know their kids,” said Ewen. “It’s a discrete way of distributing to the kids in need.”
Ewen said she likes the idea of kids being given gift certificates for places such as Walmart, where they can then go and buy their own backpacks that fit their personality.
“Kids are individual, and backpacks are individual,” she said.
Ewen said helping the United Way back-to-school program was cathartic in a way for the retired teachers members, who even years after retiring still get the itch to prepare for the school year as summer winds down.
“We’re retired from teaching, but we’re not retired from caring about kids,” she said.
Paul Forsyth is a veteran of more than 30 years of community journalism who covers a wide range of issues in Niagara Falls and other parts of south Niagara, as well as topics of regional significance in Niagara.
Shown at a United Way warehouse in St. Catharines packing pencil cases on Aug. 25 are executive members of the Retired Women Teachers of Ontario, Niagara Falls branch, including Linda Dueck, Sherri Stokes, Jackie Sanche, and Cheryl Wyllie. – Diane Ewen photo
United Way Donation
In keeping with RWTO/OERO’s motto of caring and sharing, our Niagara Falls branch donated $250.00 to the United Way. The United Way uses donations to provide 2000 kits to school boards in the Niagara Region. In turn, the school boards will distribute the kits to kids going back to school in September. Each kit contains four pencils, two pens, an eraser, a pencil sharpener, two highlighters, a gift card for a grocery store, and a gift card for Walmart.
On August 25, members of our branch Executive, pictured below, volunteered to pack kits at the United Way warehouse in St. Catharines. Many thanks to
Linda Dueck: Treasurer and Membership Convenor
Sherri Stokes: Insurance Convenor
Jackie Sanche: Programmes Convenor
Cheryl Wyllie: Goodwill Convenor
Going back to school is an exciting time for students. We’re happy to help the United Way help kids prepare for the coming school year.
Niagara Falls Branch Summer Gardens 2021
“Age is More: Meet Helen Macdonald”
Summer Picnic 2019
Convention 2019 St.Catharines
Members over 90 who were recognized at the 2019 Convention:
Niagara Falls Branch Area 13 Ongoing Activities
Niagara Falls branch members are cordially invited to attend our annual Summer Picnic.
Date: Monday, July 11, 2022
Time: 11:45 a.m.
You have received an email and/or phone call with details about the location and parking.
Please bring your own basket lunch and lawn chair. Beverages and desserts will be provided.
We hope to see you there.
May 18, 2022
December 9, 2021
September 24, 2018
Fall Kickoff and Laughter Presentation
December 3, 2018
Christmas Themed Activities
February 11, 2019
April 8, 2019
Presentation by Aksana Kavaliova, a neurological music therapist
May 27, 2019
Penny Sale and Installation of New Executive
June 4, 5 and 6, 2019
July 8, 2019
Sept. 30, 2019
Fall Kickoff and presentation by Terry Kennedy, Broker for Manulife Insurance
Dec. 2, 2019
Christmas presentation by members of the Executive and group sing-along
Feb. 10, 2020
Membershipmust be paid in order to maintain your eligibility for the RWTO/OERO insurance coverage and to receive the RWTO/OERO Connections Newsletter.
The annual membership fee is $40.00 for regular members and $10.00 for associate members. Make your cheque payable to RWTO/OERO. You can mail your cheque to Linda Dueck or drop it off at her home. Please e-mail Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for directions.
Members in good standing and their spouses are entitled to enrol in the exclusive Manulife Financial Hospital and Home Care Plan and/or the Personal Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan. The premiums are very reasonable. You can find more details at https://rwto.org/membership/insurance-plan/ or e-mail Sherri Stokes, our Branch Insurance Convenor, at email@example.com.
Thank you to Linda Dueck, Sherri Stokes, Jackie Sanche, and Cheryl Wyllie for their contribution to the United Way back-to-school program in August 2021. As a result of their work, our Niagara Falls branch received a Feather in Your Hat Award at the RWTO/OERO Convention 2022. The award is a tribute to their service to our branch and to our community. You will find full details of the United Way program in our Gallery at https://rwto.org/branch/niagara-falls/#gallery .
Cora Bailey Award Winner 2021-2022
Diane enjoyed her long career as a self-described “itinerant merchant of education.” She counselled students in learning and writing skills and taught college and university English courses at several post-secondary institutions in Alberta. She also taught at Niagara College and The College of The Bahamas in Nassau, counselled students in learning and writing skills at two universities in Toronto, and taught grad and undergrad courses with an American online university. Diane retired from teaching in December 2016.
In September 2017, Diane joined our Niagara Falls branch of RWTO. From 2018-2019, Diane was Goodwill Convenor. She has been branch President since May 2019. Diane attended her first RWTO/OERO Convention in 2019 and was a delegate to the 2021 virtual convention.
During COVID-19 restrictions, Diane and the branch Executive have worked as a team to stay connected to members. Diane writes and emails regular newsletters to members and prepares updates to our branch web page on the RWTO site. In August 2021, the branch donated money to the United Way’s back-to-school program, and members of the Executive donated their time to pack pencil cases with supplies for kids. To promote this initiative, Diane arranged and interviewed for an article that was published in print and online in local newspapers.
Diane also created and administers the Retired Women Teachers Niagara Falls Branch Facebook page. She particularly enjoys researching assorted topics to post to the page every day. Diane is grateful for the support of the Executive and plans to continue her service to the branch in whatever ways she is needed.
Cora Bailey Award Winner 2019-2020
RWTO/OERO Area 13 Niagara Falls Branch
After a rewarding career with the District School Board of Niagara, Linda retired from teaching in 2006, but she didn’t retire from “caring and sharing,” as is evident in her service to RWTO and our Niagara Falls branch, which she joined in 2007.As one example, Linda was indispensable as a Convenor for the Hospitality Room at the 63rd RWTO Annual Convention in St. Catharines in June 2019. Linda worked hard with her team to create a welcoming atmosphere in the Hospitality Room, where RWTO members from across the province could enjoy tasty snacks, socialize, and learn “Fun Facts” about the Niagara region. Feedback on the Hospitality Room was very positive. Linda has also attended several conventions as Provincial Delegate for our branch.
In 2016, Linda became our branch Assistant Treasurer and then Treasurer the following year. As Treasurer, Linda is meticulous in maintaining our financial records and proactive in arranging donations to the charities our branch supports. In addition, on her own initiative Linda took on the new role of Membership Convenor. In this capacity, Linda provides excellent suggestions for recruiting new members, invites retired teachers to join our branch, and sends welcome letters to new members. She also updates the branch Executive on important events in the lives of our members. As well, Linda prepares the write-ups and arranges for photos so that we can celebrate our “Over 90” members.
Linda is also an active community volunteer. In particular, she contributes her sewing skills to making Quilts for Valour. Through her committed service to our Niagara Falls branch and to her community, Linda is indeed a worthy recipient of the Cora Bailey Award.
In 2019, the Cora Bailey award went to Ilsa Robson
In 2019, our branch received $200 through the Barbara Bain Award in recognition of our increase in membership. We are happy to announce that in 2020 our branch was first place in Tier 2 and received $400.00 for an increase of 13 new members.
Examples Of Our Branch’s Charitable Contributions:
Niagara Nutrition Partners
Education Foundation Niagara
Gail Patricia Woodruff U.E.
Gail Patricia Woodruff U.E. passed away on June 22, 2022 in Fort Erie, ON, after a long battle with cancer. Born in Niagara Falls, Gail was the daughter of Milfred Reginald Woodruff and Patricia Price. Predeceased by her husband Michael John McDermott (2004). Loving mother of Erin Kathleen (Battis) Walker (Carl), Conor James Battis (Amanda), Miranda (Whiteley) Joosten (Nick) and Jocelyn (Whiteley) Boodram (Jason). Doting grandmother of Aurora and Montgomery Battis, Cohen and Grayson Walker, and Gabriel, Avion, and Julian Boodram.
Gail taught in the Niagara area schools for 33 years before retiring in 2000. She was very active in the United Empire Loyalists’ Association and was a Past President of the Colonel John Butler Branch. She was very proud of her Loyalist heritage and was always eager to help others with family research. For many years she volunteered on Mondays with the Ontario Genealogical Society at the Thorold Library. She was active in several historical organizations and enjoyed researching the history of the early settlers of the Niagara Region. Gail spent many years researching the original land grants along the Niagara River and that book was published as “Loyalists and Early Settlers on the Niagara River Parkway” in 2011. Gail also spent over 30 years researching her “Woodruff” family and she published that book in the fall of 2021.
She was a 20-year volunteer with the Nova House Book Riot and had been a member of that committee for many years.
Gail became enthralled with the re-enacting of the War of 1812 and was a member of the Canadian Volunteers re-enacting group and the 2nd Lincoln Militia, along with her grandson Monty.
Gail and her family are very appreciative of the loving care and friendship from her oncologists and nurses at the Walker Family Cancer Centre and the Para Med Team of Dr. Dooler and Lilyia. Enough thanks and love cannot be given to her family, cousin/sister Georgia and neighbours Helene, Cherrie and Mike.
Friends and family are welcome to a Celebration of Gail’s life at Betty’s Restaurant, 8921 Sodom Rd., Niagara Falls on Saturday, July 9 from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Memorial donations may be made to Pathstone Mental Health or the Walker Family Cancer Centre.Carol Mae Maidens
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Carol Mae Maidens on May 24, 2022 at the age of 83. She passed peacefully at Bella Senior Care Residence, where she was so wonderfully cared for. Carol is predeceased by her parents Mildred and Ewart Maidens and her brother Grant Maidens. She is survived by her sister Ruth (the late Joseph) Grandoni, her nephew Matthew Grandoni, niece Sarah (Matthew) Kyle, and her special friend Sheila Hosking. Carol will be dearly missed by all.
As a Phys-Ed teacher for many years, Carol never lost interest in sports. She played basketball and loved curling. Carol began her career in education at Princess Margaret Senior School, then moving to Belleville to teach at the School for the Deaf. She returned to the Niagara Region as a consultant for the Niagara South Board of Education, teaching and sharing her love of Special Education at many schools across the Region. In 2010, Carol was recognized by the City of Niagara Falls with their Canada Day Citizen Award for her Community Advocacy Work.
A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, May 30, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Stamford Lane United Church, officiated by Reverend Harvey Tobey. Inurnment will take place at Stamford Green Heritage Columbarium. Donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or to the Pathstone Mental Heath Foundation in Carol Mae’s memory would be appreciated.
Margert Holmes 1929 – 2022
Margaret Holmes (nee Trostenko) was born in Cochrane, Ontario on October 15, 1929, the oldest of four children. Margaret and her brothers learned valuable work ethics from their hardworking parents. After graduating from the local Cochrane high school, Margaret enrolled in a six week summer teacher education programme at North Bay Teachers’ College. Margaret spent her early teaching days in rural schools in and around Cochrane, where she not only taught multiple grades but also had to maintain the school’s pot belly stove and prepare lunch for her students. She recalls that Monday’s lunch was always piping hot soup!
Margaret was a long-time member of our Niagara Falls branch and will be very much missed. Please see our tribute “Celebrating Margaret Holmes” published in our Newsletter of June 2021.
Surrounded by love, Dorothy passed away peacefully at her home “Yellow Gables” on Sunday, November 7th, 2021. Predeceased by her beloved husband of 56 years, Michael H.D. Morgan. Dear mother of Shawn (Rose), David, and Colleen (Peter Van Hemmen). Grandmother of Salina, Chloe, and Heath. Great-Grandmother of Lilly and Jonathan. Sadly, missed by her siblings Robert Matson (Lynn), Dave Matson (Jennie), and Marilyn Woodruff (Rick) and sister-in-law Heather Matson. Fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her brother William Matson and his first wife Marjorie. Dorothy had a wonderful teaching career as an elementary school teacher for many years, retiring from Greendale School in 1996. She spent many summers at her cottage on Sand Lake with family and friends. This past summer she celebrated her 80th birthday on the deck of the cottage with family and many fellow cottagers from the beach.
By mandate from the Bereavement Authority of Ontario, funeral homes have the option to provide a choice to families to open visitations and funeral services to full capacity providing that all patrons have proof of covid-19 double vaccination. Visiting will be hosted at limited capacity without proof of vaccination. Visitation hours will be on Saturday, November 13, 2021 from 12:30-2:30 p.m., at the MORSE & SON FUNERAL HOME, 5917 Main Street, Niagara Falls, ON. Funeral Service will be held at the funeral home on Saturday at 3 p.m., where attendees must provide proof of Covid-19 double vaccination and Government issued photo identification. Please join online at www.facebook.com/morseandson if you are not able to attend the funeral service in person. For further information on current mandates, please visit the Bereavement Authority of Ontario website (thebao.ca) or call the funeral home at 905-356-3550. As an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to either St. Andrew’s United Church or to The Salvation Army.
Memories, photos and condolences may be shared at www.morseandson.com
August 28, 1942- April 5, 2021 Passed away peacefully after a long battle with cancer. She was the dear wife of Arnold (Gus) Edward Bradley, mother of the late Edward Alan Bradley (2005) and daughter of the late Leslie and Myrtle Silverthorn. She is survived by her brother James Silverthorn (Kathy), and sister-in-law Bernice Good (late Ross), and many nieces and nephews. Diane taught for 32 years for the Lincoln County Separate School Board before retiring to take up flower gardening and quilting. She also learned to golf and curl and joined her husband on many of those adventures. Diane enjoyed working at St. John’s Anglican Church whether it was the garage sale or working at the bazaar, serving lunches, or making pies and jams. When Diane and Gus weren’t travelling the world (or even when they were), their passion was golf and they made many great friends on the course and at the club house. Their hospitable nature, great conversation, delicious food and incredible stories will be greatly missed by all who had the fortune of their friendship and love. Their own love and adoration for each other will continue as they move onto their next adventure together. Cremation has taken place and a private family committal will take place in St. John’s Columbarium at a later date. In lieu of the flowers, a donation may be made to the Niagara Health Foundation (Walker Family Cancer Centre) or St. John’s the Evangelist Anglican Church.
Published in Niagara Falls Review on Apr. 7, 2021.
Isabel Seaton M.A.( Booth) ( Macdonald) Henning
Peacefully with her daughter at her side, on Tuesday March 2, 2021, at the Greater Niagara General Hospital. Beloved wife of the late C.H. “Bert” Henning. Loving mother of Anne Pederson (Bill Roach), and dear step-mother of John (the late Brenda) Henning, Bruce Henning, Mark Henning (Kathleen); much loved grandma of Hunter Pederson, Dakota, Yinyang, Matthew and Laura Henning. Sister of Shirley (the late Alexander “Sandy”) Macdonald and the late Norman Macdonald. Born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Isabel and her family moved to Victoria B.C., prior to the premature death of her father. Upon graduation with her B.A. from Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, Isabel responded to an ad for Program Director of the Niagara Falls Y.W.C.A., where she worked prior to joining Sears as a training director, working in Toronto and then Philadelphia. Isabel then moved on to Cyanamid Canada, first in their Personnel department, then as editor of the company newsletter, the Cyanamid News. She was later employed for 22 years at Princess Margaret School, initially as a teacher, and later as their Librarian. During her time at Princess Margaret School, she studied and received her M.A. at Niagara University. Isabel was a long-time member of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW), was an avid Bridge player and enjoyed playing golf. Funeral arrangements private. Cremation to be followed by private family interment of the cremated remains at Lundy’s Lane Cemetery. As an expression of sympathy, those who wish may make a memorial donation to Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Project Share, or Pathstone Foundation. Memories, photos and condolences may be shared at www.morseandson.com
JACKSON, Margaret Dorothy
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Margaret Dorothy (nee Pedlar) Jackson at the Greater Niagara General Hospital on Monday October 5, 2020 in her 93rd year. Beloved wife of the late George Jackson Sr. (1998). Pre-deceased by her parents Gordon and Jane (nee Duffy) Pedlar. Loving step-mother to George (the late Joanne 2006) Jackson Jr. and the late Gary (2011) (Jackie) Jackson and Stonewall (Kim) Jackson. Caring step-grandmother to Brian Jackson, Matthew Jackson and Chris (Sonia) Bateman, Trudy Long and Robert Bateman. Dear step-great-grandmother to Nick (Melissa) MacDonald, Jordynn Bateman, Damian Long, Christina Long, Kirsten MacRae and Matthew Bateman. Step-great-great-grandmother to Abigail MacDonald, Jackson and Meredith and Emerson MacRae. Margaret was a devoted wife who loved travelling with her husband George and did everything she could for him once he became ill. She graduated from NFCVI and went on to graduate from McMaster University. Margaret pursued a career in teaching which culminated in her being the head of the Commercial Department at NFCVI. She enjoyed curling, golf, lawn bowling, travel and the theatre. Margaret was devoted to the church. She was the treasurer at Morrison United Church for many years and then joined Stamford Lane United Church when Morrison United Church closed down. She especially enjoyed days out with her closest friends, whether at the Shaw Festival or dinner and a show at the Casino. Margaret will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Margaret’s family would love nothing more than to share her life and times with you, but in accordance with the current pandemic restrictions, a private visitation and graveside service (face masks must be worn) will be held, with interment at Fairview Cemetery. A Celebration of her life will take place at a later date when restrictions allow. Arrangements entrusted to MORSE & SON FUNERAL HOME, 5917 Main Street, Niagara Falls. As an expression of sympathy, those who wish may make a memorial donation to Stamford Lane United Church.
Memories, photos and condolences may be shared at www.morseandson.com
DICKSON, Ruth Anne 1938-2020
ROOKLEY, Janet Anne (nee Lundy) 1942-2020
It is with great sadness that the family of Janet Rookley (daughter of Edward and Jeanette Lundy) announce her passing on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, at the Greater Niagara General Hospital, at the age of 78. She is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, William (Bill) Rookley. She will be greatly missed by her sons Andrew (Elsie) and Cameron (Jasmin), three wonderful grandsons, Evan, Aidan, and Edward, and a very special granddaughter Tess. She also leaves her siblings, brother Graham Lundy (Micki) and his sons Justin (Allie) and Jordan and her sister Heather Reece. Janet was a teacher for many years with the Niagara South Board of Education. She began her career teaching Grade one at Orchard Park School and finished her career teaching Grade eight at Simcoe Street School where she touched many lives. Janet and Bill were fortunate that they were able to travel the world extensively. They especially enjoyed participating in many Elder hostel programmes (now Road Scholar) whether it was walking historic Boston, visiting California wineries or enjoying the amazing art in Santa Fe.
For many years Janet was a member of the Niagara Falls Curling Club where she met many wonderful people. At the present time she was a member of the Bridge Centre of Niagara where she held a Life Master in duplicate bridge. Cremation has taken place. If desired, a donation may be made to a cause that touches your heart.
Memories, photos and condolences may be shared at www.morseandson.com