Katy Thiessen (Penner)

Memories come flooding back when I think about those years I spent at MEI on Edison Avenue. I can still feel the burn on my wrist as we attempted volleyball on the school ground, having no one to coach us in proper technique. How can anyone forget old Mrs. Redekopp (Taunte Radekoppshe) coming across from McKay Avenue to predict the world ending yet again.

Working for a year after grade 11 in Eaton’s mail order department was an excellent education that MEI could not provide! Red River College provided me the skills in accounting and “business machines” allowing me to work for an accounting firm and law firm before joining my husband at Winnipeg Building & Decorating to help build this small company. Henry and I married in 1966 and immediately started our family, having 2 boys and 2 girls by the time I was 26. Life was an adventure everyday, the business grew and as did our family simultaneously. Our children all attended Westgate, not always willingly, and followed the entrepreneurial path of their father and are all self-employed. We have spent wonderful summers at our Caddy Lake cottage, winter ski trips to the mountains, though the group has grown (7 beautiful grandchildren) we still manage to get away skiing as family to this day. Physical activity plays a large part in our lives and also in our grandchildrens’, i.e. cycling, hockey, gymnastics, dance, equestrian, and film acting to name a few.

In 1982 Henry’s father emigrated to Canada from Russia at the age of 70. It was a big highlight for Henry and his siblings to reunite with a father they had not seen in 37 years, and so began a 13 year relationship that we could not have imagined. I have been blessed with a wonderful life, family, church community, interesting courses, volunteer opportunities and great friends.

Retirement is busier than ever, at this moment I am at the cottage making apricot jam and looking out onto the peaceful lake. In the winter months we enjoy time in Phoenix and are planning a river cruise in Europe with my brothers and sisters. How could life be any better!