Barbara Siemens (Willms)

Reflections on life after high school:   In 1964 I enrolled in a relatively unknown professional course at the University of Manitoba in the School of Medical Rehabilitation and graduated as an occupational therapist some years later after taking a break from my studies.

During the years I took a break from my studies I was  married and worked at the Royal Bank.   I was fortunate to be able to spend about 10 years as a stay at home Mom, but then when the girls were settled in elementary school full time I returned to work part time and eventually full time as family life allowed  and opportunities presented themselves.

My elder daughter, Kirstin, passed away suddenly following an allergic reaction in her mid teens.   A scholarship for a graduating student  is established in her memory at Westgate.    My younger daughter, Shannon, is a graduate of Westgate.  She and her husband, Kenton, are raising 3 daughters, ages 9 – 13.   I am fortunate to be able to see them  frequently as they have made Winnipeg their home as well.  Shannon is employed as a pharmacist.

In  2004 I graduated from the University of Manitoba with an M. Sc. in Community Health Sciences.   These studies were completed on a part time basis while I worked full time.   Following this I took on a volunteer role with my professional college and was employed part time as an Independent Study Advisor at the School of Medical Rehabilitation in addition to full time work with a community therapy agency.

Leisure time and work have allowed me to travel to much of Canada, the USA and a number of trips to European countries.  I live on my own now and continue to work in a supervisory role at a community therapy agency.  I enjoy summer weekends at my cottage in Lac du Bonnet and have been able to escape some winter weather for the past several years as well.