“This was the last family photo taken before our mom Rosalie Szuch passed away in 2004. She was an English teacher and librarian at Louise Dean Centre for about 35 years. When she retired, they named the library after her. One-and-a-half years after that, she passed away. There was a huge turnout at her funeral; hundreds of people that we had never encountered before. Working as a teacher at Louise Dean Centre was a very rewarding career for her.
At one point, Mom was driving a student back and forth from school, since they lived a few blocks apart. One evening, she received a phone call from the student. Labour had begun and she had no one available to take her to the hospital. Mom picked her up, took her to the hospital and stayed with her through labour and delivery. The hospital staff assumed she was the student’s mother and asked if the grandmother would like to hold the baby. For years, the young mother stayed in touch with Mom.
When Mom had our sister Robin – her fourth child – at the beginning of the Easter vacation, she was in the classroom on the first day back from the holiday. She used her pregnancy as a teaching moment to show that having a baby was not a reason to skip school! It was never about taking care of these young students – it was about helping them take care of themselves. We have so many stories from Mom – a lifetime of anecdotes – that prove the programs offered at Louise Dean Centre work.
That’s why we support Catholic Family Service at Louise Dean Centre. Years ago, we established an annual scholarship in Mom’s name that helps a graduate continue her education. Instead of drawing names for a gift exchange, everyone in the extended family donates to the school at Christmas time. Some of us put together a hamper for the Santa Sleigh Project. It’s not even about Mom so much anymore. It’s about the students and their children. We want to do something that makes an actual difference. We can’t think of a better place to put our charitable dollars.”