Donor Stories

The Cassaday Family

Each of our Board members bring something unique to the Foundation. Here are some of the reasons why our Board members are so committed to the Foundation:

"If we can help to make this a better place for the residents, we will feel that we’ve made an important contribution. Helping others has its own rewards - it makes you feel good too."

~ Kay & Terry Cassaday


The Deir Family

I first met Helen and Manville Deir in 1982 when I began my career at St. Joseph’s Villa. This special couple, married in 1953, spent more than four decades leading a humble, quiet life on their dairy farm overlooking Seaton Road on the outskirts of Hamilton. During the week, Manville operated the farm while Helen worked for the Bank of Montreal in nearby Cambridge. Weekends were a time for family, friends and Church. Manville passed away in December 1999 after a battle with cancer. Helen continued to live on the property until 2008 when she moved to St. Joseph’s Estates. People of deep faith, they felt blessed for all that they enjoyed and wanted to give back to their community. They were frequent visitors to the Villa as Helen’s sister Lillian was a long-time resident; and to the Foundation to make gifts throughout the year. Helen was a “gifted” painter and donated some of her work to the Foundation for auction to raise funds for the residents. We were saddened when Helen passed away on August 24th, 2009. We are grateful to her niece Gerry Walsh, a former long-time member of the St. Joseph’s Villa Guild, for donating a few of Helen’s paintings to display at the Villa in her memory and in honour of our largest Estate Gift - $1.4 million. Helen left behind many friends at the Villa and St. Joseph’s Estates where she lived. More importantly, she left a legacy that will enhance the quality of life for Villa residents for many years to come.

~ Maureen Ellis

Barr-familyThe Barr Family

The Barr family was a very giving family and being able to have all their family live together at St. Joseph’s Villa meant everything to them.  In 2003 Agnes Barr developed Alzheimer’s disease and moved into St. Joseph’s Villa.  Shortly after Agnes’ arrival, the Villa made special arrangements for her husband, Bill and daughter Eleanor to join Agnes at the Villa.

The Villa became home for the Barr family and the Villa became “family” to the Barrs.  They were so thankful for the opportunity to be together and for the quality care they received.. Unfortunately, within an 18 month period, all 3 Barr family members passed on.  Once Bill’s estate was settle, St. Joseph’s Villa and Mohawk College both recipients of a generous gift of $365,000 each.  Bill was a kind man and wanted his family’s savings to help other families and the people who cared for them.  

It is the generosity of individuals such as the Barr’s that allows us to enhance the quality of life for our residents and seniors in the community who benefit from the numerous outreach programs offered here at St. Joseph’s Villa.  This gift will allow us to continue to meet the diverse health care needs of seniors today and in the future.  They are recognized with a plaque in the Cassaday Café.

This gift has also allowed us to create a very exciting and unique opportunity to expand the relationship that we have with Mohawk College.  Many students will be able to take advantage of this.  For this we are grateful.