Jo Bedard

Local resident celebrates 99th birthday

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local resident celebrated her 99th birthday in style last Sunday afternoon and vows she will make it to her milestone 100th birthday.

Georgina “Jo” Bedard was surrounded by friends and family at Seasons Amherstburg with dinner, cake and a presentation to her from Mayor Aldo DiCarlo as part of the celebration. Among her friends were fellow parishioners from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. The Pembroke-born Bedard saw her mother die in 1929 and she followed her father into the lumber camps before they moved to Windsor when she was a teenager.

Bedard raised her family in Windsor and became a widow at age 32. One of her three sons owned a farm on County Road 50 for many years and she moved to Amherstburg in 2000 to be closer to him. Before coming to town, she recalled paying her bills at her Windsor home by taking in boarders, many of whom were police officers that had been transferred to the area.

“I’ve been around a long time but I have never thought of myself as being 96, 97, 98 or 99,” said Bedard, whose actual birthday was Tuesday. “It’s just a case of having another birthday. I grew old gracefully.”

eorgina “Jo” Bedard turned 99 on Tuesday but
celebrated with family and friends Sunday
afternoon at Seasons Retirement Community. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo presents her with a certificate on behalf of the town.

There are already plans for next year.

“I’m 99, I’ll probably see 100,” she figures. “My health is good. We’ll see. Only time will tell.”

Bedard credits her longevity to living one day at a time.

“Yesterday is a memory and you look to today,” she said. “You get up in the morning and whatever comes, you deal with it.”

Recalling she grew up as one of 15 girls and two boys, Bedard said they were “poor as a church mouse” and lived off the land to survive. She said they would have to go down to the river for water because there was no indoor plumbing.

“I love every year I’ve lived. It made me stronger. It made me a survivor,” she said. “Anyone alive that has lived this long, we’re survivors. We survived from the poor times to the very good times.”

Bedard said she has had aunts and uncles live long lives. There were sad times in her 99 years, though.

Jo Bedard gets her
picture taken blowing out her candles.

“The only sad thing is my children did not live to be old. When you bury two of your children, it’s sad,” said Bedard. “I never dreamed I’d bury two of my children.”

However, Bedard remains positive.

“Overall, life is good,” she said. “You just have to be able to deal with life. When all is said and done, life is good. You just move on with things. Life brings a lot of different things.”

Bedard noted that “I’ve seen so many things in the last 99 years, I can’t begin to tell you” and that amazing things have happened in her life. She enjoys being with the younger generations of her family and is happy being around them.

“I love each and every one of them,” said Bedard. “It’s like old times.”

Local woman surprised with 95th birthday party

 

Georgina (Jo) Bedard was honoured with a surprise party Sunday on the occasion of her 95th birthday. The celebration was held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, where Bedard has been an active member. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo was on hand to make an official presentation on behalf of the town.

Georgina (Jo) Bedard was honoured with a surprise party Sunday on the occasion of her 95th birthday. The celebration was held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, where Bedard has been an active member. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo was on hand to make an official presentation on behalf of the town.

By Ron Giofu

 

A local woman was expecting to go to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Sunday to celebrate someone else’s birthday but the party ended up being for her.

Georgina (Jo) Bedard turned 95-years-old last Thursday and had birthday wishes that day and the days that followed but her friends and family gave her the big surprise Sunday with a reception in her honour at their church. The luncheon included a presentation from Mayor Aldo DiCarlo to Bedard.

“Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It was supposed to be for someone else. I don’t know how everything was put together without me knowing.”

Born in Pembroke, Bedard grew up on lumber camps in northern Ontario before her father moved the family to Windsor when she was a teenager. Her mother died in 1929.

After being widowed at age 32, Bedard bought a large home in Windsor and housed boarders for many years. She moved to Amherstburg in 2000.

Bedard said she feels good these days, though she suffers from arthritis in her knees. She is an active member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, though much of her activity these days is over the phone. The church is one of the most important things in her life, she said, in addition to her family.

Family and friends took part in Sunday’s celebration, including great-great grandchildren. Throughout the years, she recalled being a “character” and being good spirited.

“I kept them entertained,” she joked.