By Debbie Brown, The Starphoenix
Heart and Stroke Foundation "The head cannot function without a heart." This philosophy has sustained Rose Jarman through her 95 years, including 50 years of canvassing for the Heart and Stroke Foundation in February, often the coldest time of the year.
"I love canvassing because I love people. It keeps my brain active, renews my acquaintances, a retirement dream so to speak, as I'm coming soon to 96 years of enjoyable longevity," says Rose, who may well have the distinction of being the oldest Heart and Stroke Foundation canvasser in Canada. She is proud of earning her "Gold Heart Canvasser" pin through generous donations.
Her generosity is evident in the bequests she plans to leave several organizations, including the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Rose was born in Hafford, SK. on September 5, 1919, the ninth of 12 children born to George and Mary (nee Budzak) Werezak. The Werezaks emigrated from Ukraine in the late 1800s in search of a better life on the Canadian prairie. Rose is proud of the contributions that her parents - and the Ukrainian community - made to Western Canada, recognized as the "bread basket of the continent."
"They survived unimaginable hardship to contribute to the building of Western Canada," says Rose, who grew up during the Great Depression of the 1930s. She is proud of her Ukrainian roots, and travelled with her husband George to Ukraine before the dissolution of the former USSR.
Rose moved to Saskatoon in 1958 as a single parent with her much-loved son, Zenon G. Kotelko, and worked full-time. She worked as a clerical assistant for Quaker Oats until it closed in 1972, and then in the ladies' wear department at the Army Navy Department Store until she retired. In 2013, she organized a reunion of her former Army Navy co-workers.
In 2004, her husband, George T. Jarman, passed away nearly five years after suffering a stroke. Although in her 80s, Rose cared for him so he could stay in their residence on 11th Street in Saskatoon, the house George built in 1954.
Rose is a dog lover and was always seen with her pets on her daily walks. Her other interests include socializing, singing, dancing and bowling (in her earlier years). She is sports-minded, and enjoys reading and playing cards (Kaiser and Solitaire).
Due to cancer surgery in 2011, Rose relocated to a seniors' condo in Saskatoon.
Last August, she suffered a heart attack herself. But while she has endured personal tragedies and maybe slowed down a bit, she is still active in her church, goes to concerts and follows current events.
"George and Zenon both would be happy to know their legacies and investments are helping other people in Saskatchewan, and other Saskatchewan generations to come," she says.
This story was provided by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to promote awareness of this topic.