Remembering Roseanne Whittaker: A Tribute

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 (New Living Translation)

 The above scriptural reference was epitomized by the person we at the Thelma Vaughan Memorial Home were privileged to have as a Board Member for 20  years from September 1997 to October 2017.

 Roseanne became Treasurer shortly after joining the Board and held that position from July 1999 to May 2014, when a health challenge forced her to relinquish the post but not her membership on the Board.

 The Thelma Vaughan Memorial Home is a 24-hour facility which caters to persons with disabilities and is the only home that some of our residents have ever known. We were blessed to benefit from both the accounting acumen and Christian principles which Roseanne so readily shared with us at the Home.

 As Board Treasurer, Roseanne was able to keep a tight rein on our limited financial resources thereby ensuring that funds were available to provide for our residents, maintain the Home in adequate condition and maintain staff levels.  During her tenure as Treasurer, we always had monthly financial reports and audited financial reports in time for our AGM.

 As a mother and Christian, Roseanne was a tower of strength to the Board. These attributes came to the fore when dealing with matters of a sensitive nature regarding both residents and staff alike. The principles and value systems developed and applied when raising her two daughters, Alison and Michelle, were often her points of reference when dealing with the residents, since she regarded them as an extension of her own family.

 Roseanne’s youthful appearance, characteristic graceful gait and welcoming smile belied the obvious effort required to balance her many commitments..  Roseanne had an excellent work ethic and it is clear that each task was attended to with a high degree of importance and excellence.

 Her dedication to the Home was a labour of love as evidenced by her refusal to quit even though faced with personal health challenges and her steadily increasing role as primary caregiver.

 I am sure that the completion of our new Susan Wiles Administration Building in May this year was a tremendous source of fulfillment for Roseanne.  Even though we all worked as a Board to achieve this objective, Roseanne and Susan Wiles, our Deputy Chair, went beyond the call of duty to make its completion a reality.

 Like Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, she can boldly say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

 I wish therefore to offer sincerest condolences on behalf of the residents, staff and members of the Board of the Thelma Vaughan Memorial Home to Tony, Alison and Michelle, all her siblings and other relatives, for sharing this remarkable lady with us for the past 20 years and commend her to the keeping of the Almighty.

Source: Alyson G. Forte Chairman, Board of Management Thelma Vaughan Memorial Home

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