Our Stories & Testimonials
Meet Marian and Jay
“He was my Dad. He was a brother, son, husband, friend, high school sweetheart, cousin, and grandfather. His name was and will always be Darryl Perry. …. I told you I would get your story out one day and that it would be used to help others. You still inspire me. …. Love Jay.
The day that Dot Van Wieren came to McNally House Hospice in late September 2019, her bright eyes were wide and twinkling expressing the wonder and inner happiness that she has held within her all of her life. Since that day, she has spread that happiness to all the staff and volunteers with whom she has interacted.
Ashley De Foa was the first girl to be born on the De Foa side of the family in sixty-five years! Such was the joy and surprise, that for her whole life, Ashley was loved, almost revered by all members of the family. In return, Ashley loved deeply, always making decisions for the best of the family to make them happy.
Meet Ernie and Shirley
Ernie Brunet knew the importance of family. He was a loving husband to his wife Shirley for sixty-one years and father to four children, Tony, Joanne, Alex and Gerald. Ernie took his role as father seriously, working hard to ensure that his family had a roof over their heads, food on the table, an education and participation in sports and clubs.
Connie Elford lived precisely in each moment and took the time to really appreciate what was beautiful or unusual. Where others saw the norm, Connie always experienced the exceptional.
Meet Todd and Amanda
Mention the name Todd Pyper in Grimsby and it’s likely many people will have a story to share. Outgoing, friendly and giving, Todd’s energy touched the entire community and community in turn was very important to Todd.
Meet Frank and Anne
Champagne and romance are not what someone might expect to find at McNally House, but Frank Huskins, named the “most romantic man on the planet” by his partner Anne Kravchenko, made that happen.
A True Fighting Spirit
A true fighting spirit defined the life of Edward Carter-Edwards. Not even horrific conditions in a Nazi concentration camp could shake his positive outlook, and almost in defiance of those experiences, he lived a life full of joy and love.
Kathie’s Lasting Legacy
Selfless was the word that both Chris and Jennifer used to describe their mother Kathie. She lived her life to the fullest, whether hiking along the Bruce Trail, exploring Italy or simply spending time at the family cottage. Everything she did was always centred around other people. She genuinely cared about the stories and situations of others.
One of the basic foundations of yoga is the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And Claire Matthews, owner of Yoga Truly in Grimsby, is an embodiment of that yogic philosophy. As a Compassionate Community initiative, Claire works with McNally House to bring a safe and serene space to people experiencing grief. Once a week, the studio offers a free class geared specifically to those who are journeying through grief; a class that is open, welcoming, gentle and, above all, restorative in every sense.
Meet Dick and Barbara Maxwell
There was always a twinkle in Dick Maxwell’s eye, a bright grin and a ready joke or comment. He saw life as an opportunity to have a good time, and he seized every moment, playing and working hard throughout his life, surrounded with good friends and a loving family. He returned that love with loyal care, both to his children and to Barb, his high school sweetheart. Barb was young when they met, but Dick knew as soon as he saw her that she would be the girl he would marry, and he did, creating a beautiful life together for 66 years
Meet the Moore Family
Hugh Moore had a larger than life personality. His deep spirituality and a great sense of humor served him well in so many aspects of his life – from building a successful family business (H. Moore Printing Services Ltd) to his volunteer ministry at a local nursing home. Anyone who met Hugh learned quickly he was a character, but above everything else that he was a family man. So when Hugh’s health began to fail him at the age of 87, his beloved son Alex and daughter in-law Vera were so happy to find a place like McNally House Hospice for Hugh.
Meet the Edmondson Family
“Death is a difficult journey we must all take, but McNally House Hospice showed my family that it can be done beautifully,” explains Beth Carravagio of Beamsville.
Over the last two and a half years Beth, her siblings Gordon, Sandra, Kenneth, and their families, have dealt with the loss of their much loved parents, Joan and Murray Edmondson.
Meet the Fracchioni Family
It’s a bright afternoon and the Fracchioni family is gathered around the dining room table to share Sunday lunch like they have done so many times before. But as the family laughs and shares stories, it quickly becomes clear that a very special person is missing from this gregarious bunch.
For Ann Durham facing the reality of her husband Jim’s sudden death seemed insurmountable – until she found McNally House Hospice. Ann and Jim shared a wonderful life. 54 years of marriage, five great kids, and a growing number of grandchildren! After living in Burlington for 47 years, they sold their family home and looked forward to many happy years of retirement in Grimsby. Unfortunately these plans would be cut short.
Damion Mackey was as energetic and lively as any little boy you could imagine. He kept his parents Lynn and Tim Mackey constantly on the go! But at around the age of seven, Lynn noticed Damion was having problems with his balance, and then his speech started to change. After many rounds with different doctors, Damion was diagnosed with Juvenile Huntington’s disease.
Meet The McDaniels…
“He lived larger than life.” This is how Becky McDaniel describes her husband Darryl who passed away all too soon at the young age of forty-seven on August 22, 2015. For more than two years Darryl fought a courageous battle with cancer, all the time living every day to its fullest.
Meet Alyson and Janice…
McNally House Hospice strives to bring unconditional compassion to the Niagara West community. This promise would not be possible without the dedication and caring of the truly unique individuals who are its staff and volunteers.
As a very young man “Lefty” Lew Ayre had the choice to either follow a blossoming hockey career with the Boston Bruins, or join the Canadian forces in the struggle overseas during WWII. Thiswas a decision that would have perplexed most, but for Lew, who lived his lifewith a strong sense of purpose and the desire to do his part, the answer was simple and he enlisted immediately becoming a member of the Lincoln-Welland Regiment.
End of life is the most difficult journey we must all take, but for Joe (Johan) Van Rooijen McNally House Hospice provided hope and the opportunity for peaceful reflection at theend of a life well lived.
Meet the DeVries Family…
It would be hard to find someone in the communities of Niagara West who is not familiar with Cole’s Florist. The long standing, family operated Grimsby establishment has been there to help many of us celebrate life’s special occasions – births, graduations, weddings, holidays – and to also console us during the difficult ones such as a loss of a loved one.
For 43 years, Jim Wright was an active member of the Grimsby community where he and wife Barbara raised their family.
In 2008 Jim was diagnosed with cancer, and in February 2009 he became a resident at McNally House.
Compassion – this one word best describes the Gunn family’s experience at McNally House Hospice.
In 2009, Al Gunn, loving husband of Trish and doting father of Ryan and Aimee, was diagnosed with acinic cell carcinoma.
Linda Nagels couldn’t have planned a more storybook ending than the one her family and the staff at McNally House still love to talk about. Linda’s story is the second in a three-part series on living, loss and learning to heal, and the special role that McNally House Hospice plays in our community.
Meet the Ridders…
The Ridder family is truly amazing. Their story is one of loss, living and learning to heal, and the special role that McNally House Hospice plays in our community.
Carolyn and Gerry Ridder, raised their four children Caryn, Paul, Jennifer and Rachel in St. Anns. At all to young an age, their children have been forced to deal with the death of both their parents
Although Bert MacGirr and wife Dorothy always knew about McNally House, it wasn’t until Dorothy needed end of life care that the MacGirr family really understood the unique and special role the hospice plays in our community.