||Violet "Vi" |
||New Hamburg, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada
||Violet "Vi" Cook |
|Eby ID Number
||22 Oct 2019 |
- Meet Violet Cook, Kitchener's Senior of the Year
She's spent nearly three decades volunteering at St. Mary's Hospital
Ninety-nine-year-old Violet Cook has been volunteering for almost three decades.
This year, she was named Kitchener's "Senior of the Year," an annual award that honours local seniors for volunteer or community building work.
Cook was born in 1917 in New Hamburg. She grew up speaking Pennsylvania German (often called Pennsylvania Dutch), but learned English as a child, around the time her family moved to Kitchener.
Cook graduated from KCI around 1939, and went to work at the Mutual Life Assurance Company of Canada, and then E. Honsberger and Sons Lumber, where she stayed for more than 30 years.
She took courses at both Wilfrid Laurier and the University of Waterloo.
"Every opportunity, if there were lectures down at the library, Vi Cook was there," she said.
Giving back to the hospital
When her husband got sick, she all but moved to St. Mary's.
"I was here every day at eight o'clock before the doctor, and whenever they called me at night I came back," she said. "He wanted me beside him, so they rolled in a big chair and a pillow and a blanket and they even offered that I could crawl into bed with him."
When he died, Cook stayed.
She's spent the past 26 years working in the hospital gift shop.
"I stayed because I enjoyed the work, and I do enjoy the people I work with," she said. "I am 99 and a lot of them are half my age, but they are all my friends."
These days, she mostly works the till, but for years Cook helped out with the hospital volunteer association's Festival of Trees fundraiser as well.
She says the work keeps her sharp.
For the past 70 years, Cook has attended St. Mark's Lutheran Church, where she's volunteered as a Sunday school teacher, a choir member and as the former head of the woman's group.
She says, she's found community there \emdash and family too.
"It's surprising the number of people that call Vi Cook 'Mom,'" she said..
Cook turns 100 this October.
By Max Leighton, CBC News Posted: Jun 06, 2017 5: 29 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 06, 2017 5: 29 PM ET
Meet Violet Cook, Kitchener's Senior of the Year. (2017). CBC News. Retrieved 8 June 2017, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/violet-cook-kitchener-st-marys-volunteer-senior-1.4148474
|Born - Oct 1917 - New Hamburg, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada