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Life after retirement at The Richmond

By Tristan Kong

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BELLEVILLE, Ont. (03/31/2011): Verna Hosker, 83, has been living at The Richmond Retirement Residence in Belleville since November 22, 2002 after suffering a seizure. Hosker enjoys her time at The Richmond because she loves playing bingo every Monday. She lost her second husband, Ken Kosker on June 16, 1991 so she displays the picture of her marriage on April 24, 1971 in the longue at The Richmond. Photo by Tristan Kong

After a life full of work, marriages and children, Verna Hosker found the perfect place to spend her retirement years at The Richmond in Belleville.

Hosker said she feels comfortable living at The Richmond. They offer many activities for the residents to choose and enjoy as they please.

Hosker , 82, has lived at The Richmond for nine years . She was born on May 7, 1928, before the air base existed in Trenton. She went to Trenton High School then took a business course in Trenton.

As Varna Sandercock, she married Edward Thrasher on April 4, 1951, at St. George’s Anglican Church in Trenton.  They raised two sons — Brian and Craig Thrasher.

“I started working at Northern Electric Company Ltd.,” said Hosker.

She was hired to work there in Belleville on July 8, 1952. She worked as a stenographer along with 1,500 employees.

Hosker’s first marriage ended on April 2, 1970. She found love again with Ken Hosker. They married on April 24, 1971 at Mark Street United Church in Peterborough. They did not have any children.

She worked at Northern Electric for 31 years and 11 months and her official retirement was on Dec. 21, 1988.

“I attended a retirement party at the Black Coach Inn on Ground Hog Day – Feb. 2, 1989,” she said with a glow on her face as she remembered that special event.

Two years later that Ken Hosker passed away. It was June 16, 1991, after his fourth heart attack.

“His birth was March 20, 1924.” Hosker will never forgot his birthday, as she has it written down.

Verna Hosker came to The Richmond on Nov. 22, 2002, after she began to experience health issues.  Prior to her arrival, she had a seizure at St. Margaret’s Anglican Church on Oriole Park Avenue, Belleville.

She remembered the first time she had a seizure, crediting her survival to the quick response of the ambulance on the morning of Nov. 10, 2002. She spent 10 days at hospital. Her family decided it was time for Hosker to live at the retirement residence.

Hosker continues to enjoy her life at The Richmond.

“I enjoy bingo every Monday,” she said, laughing. “Yes, I am very lucky at bingo.”

She continued to explain what The Richmond has to offer.

“On Tuesday each month, we have different churches come in at 2:00p.m. on the second floor in the chapel…On Sunday, there is a DVD from East Minster Church in the chapel at 10 A.M.”

“We also have exercise classes Mondays and Thursdays with a tape and brain gym. It is a terrific program,” said Hosker.

The Richmond offers an accessible van allows the seniors freedom to different places such as Quinte Mall, Zellers and WalMart.

“In April we are going to the Sugar Brush at Warkworth then we go to Glovers Food Market,” said Hosker.

Hosker has 10 grandchildren, four great granddaughters and one great grandson.

“My oldest son Brian has just been sworn in to the Air Force in Kingston.”

Thrasher will go to Quebec, then to Cornwall in Ontario and will be training as an air traffic controller. His departure is on April 11, 2011.

Her other son Craig is a director of psychology at St. Lawrence College in Kinston.

Hosker makes the point that her sons have been visiting her often but all other family members are out of town. This cheerful grandma explains that one of her granddaughter Amber Hosker works at Children’s Aid Society in Peterborough.

Besides all her activities, Hosker also enjoys singing with the Interlink choir, which is called Intergenerational Choir. The Richmond Residents, some whom are 90 years old, gleefully partner up with students eight years old singing together and showing that age creates no boundaries.

Hosker, after many years of working and raising her family, is still an active Belleville resident at The Richmond.

Beverly Wong works as divisional controller at Diversicare. It is a senior living management company proving accommodations, hospitality and health care services to their residents across Canada.

“Living at the Richmond Retirement Residence is unique because of the care we provide – the homey atmosphere and the staff and rest of residents that live there,” said Wong.

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