By Barb Shantz
In Loving Memory of the late Audrey McClenaghan, whose contributions and dedication to Beth Donovan Hospice have made a lasting contribution in the lives of so many. That’s the inscription on Audrey’s portrait, proudly displayed at Beth Donovan Hospice. This lovely watercolour once hung in her cherished home on Asa Street.
Audrey was involved with the Hospice for years, and even referred to it as “my hospice.” Each year, she would sit down with the Executive Director, Dawn Rodger, and review the Hospice Annual Report line by line to ensure that fundraising dollars were being used appropriately. Audrey never missed the Annual General Meeting either, as she truly wanted to be informed of how Hospice was serving her local community. After a lifetime in Kemptville, Audrey was well connected and eager to learn what was happening around town.
While Audrey was a private woman, she loved having visitors, and Dawn felt honoured to be hosted in her home for the occasional lunch or tea. She recalls that Audrey had the most beautiful collection of china and never let anything go to waste – old bread bags included! Audrey also loved to spend time sharing the many cards and photographs she received from family and friends. She was not a sentimental woman, but these meant a great deal to her. She enjoyed her trips to the casino with friends and fostered meaningful friendships with many people around town. While Audrey had certain health challenges over the years, it didn’t interfere with her delightful sense of humour. Dawn is moved by this memory whenever she reflects on the time they spent together.
Audrey’s passing has saddened us and leaves a void that can’t be filled. At the same time, it’s left her many community friends and partners in Kemptville with an incredible and poignant legacy. With Audrey’s generous posthumous gift, Beth Donovan Hospice has been given the opportunity to centralize our services in late summer 2016 on French Settlement Road, providing more comprehensive and accessible services to the people who live in our rural communities.
Beth Donovan Hospice will continue to honour and remember the remarkable legacy left by Audrey McClenaghan, through our compassionate support to the community which meant so much to her, and in fact, defined her life.