Meet Our Schubert Members

Julian Morneau

Julian was born on September 21, 1930 in Wainwright, Alberta but grew up in Bonnyville, Alberta.  Julian is the fourth oldest child of ten children. When Julian was older he moved to Maillardville in New Westminster, BC in 1949, where he worked at the Mill until it burnt down. His last job before retirement was working for an upholstery company. In his retirement he loves to travel, although with COVID, he’s not able to do that right now.  He enjoys bowling and hopes to be able to return to that once COVID is over. During COVID his pass times include walking as long as there is no snow and he is able to use his walker. Julian loves to do word puzzles and started reading more in order to help keep his memory strong and healthy!  He doesn’t watch any TV during the day until suppertime, when he will watch the news.  Julian has been a member at Schubert Centre since 1998 and a member of the Knights of Columbus for 23 years. 

Simone Huhtala

Simone was born in Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan on February 24, 1923.  She grew up in Willow Bunch until the age of 13 when the family moved to Maillardville, BC where she grew up. Simone married her husband Arbo in 1943 and they were married for 70 years!  They moved to Coldstream where they bought a house on Pope Drive.  Simone has two children, a son, and a daughter, but sadly her daughter passed away.  She is the proud grandma of 3 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren! Simone did many different things in her life she was a homemaker and mom, worked in the vegetable cannery in New Westminster, BC as well as being a hairdresser.  Simone loved being a hairdresser and still cuts her son’s hair!  Simone has a few hobbies as well. She loves to dance and before COVID came she used to always dance at the Schubert Centre. Some of the other things Simone loved to do were golfing, curling, bowling, boating, and RVing traveling all over Canada. Simone also enjoyed painting, gardening, and doing pottery. Simone sang with the Sweet Adelines for 10 years and Arbo sang with the men’s group.  Simone played the guitar and Arbo played the piano and accordion. They sang together on many occasions. Arbo continued to play piano up until one week before his passing.  Simone also would take golf shirts and bowling shirts and put designs on the front of them and sell them.  She said that she sold about 300 of the shirts in Palm Springs, California, where she used to winter every year for 21 years! Simone lives in Catherine Gardens and says she absolutely loves living there and be able to come to the Schubert Centre.  She has been a member of the Schubert since 2015. 

Mary Lou Gardiner

Mary Lou Gardiner was born on May 12, 1931, in Vernon, BC. Her mother, as well, was born in 1907 and raised in Vernon. Mary Lou’s, Grandfather Carswell, was one of the first pioneers in Vernon having arrived here in the late 1800s, early 1900s. Mary Lou lived in Vernon until she was 12 years old and moved to Prince George, as her father was an Engineer in the Army Camp. They moved back to Vernon after the war. They had only been in Vernon for a short time when her father was hired on with the City of Prince George, so Mary Lou went to school in Vernon for two months and then moved back to Prince George again to finish her high school years. In 1952-53 she moved to Vancouver and met her husband there. They ended up moving to Seattle, Washington. Eventually, they moved to Williams Lake for a couple of years and then moved to Kamloops for 35 years. Mary Lou has 3 step-children, 3 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren! She feels very blessed that she has such a loving family.

Mary Lou had a wonderful career as a Certified General Accountant for many years. Some of Mary Lou’s hobbies included knitting and sewing. When her husband passed away, she moved back to Vernon, and that is when Mary Lou started to travel. She has been traveling since 2011 and has been to all 7 Continents. She loves traveling around the world!
​Mary Lou loves coming to the Schubert Centre and has been a member since 2011.

Patricia (Pat) Schneider

Patricia (Pat) Schneider was on December 11, 1930, in New Westminster, BC. She grew up mostly in South Burnaby, BC. Once she got married, she lived in North Delta. In 1975, she moved to Prince George for work. She was trained as a Psychiatric Nurse and worked at Essondale off and on while her children were growing up for about 15 years and decided she needed more education, so went back to the University of British Columbia and got her degree in Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences, majored in food science and worked at the Coast for a couple of years and then a job came available in Prince George, in Consumer Corporate Affairs and was manager for Northern BC and Yukon for about 4 years. Her husband came up and opened up jewelry and watch repair shop. After working for Consumer Corporate Affairs, she worked for Federal Business Development Bank counseling small businesses and then went to work for Investors Group and did financial planning. Pat retired in 1985. Pat has 3 children, one boy, and two girls. She also has 7 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren! Pat and her husband moved to Vernon in 1991 where they joined the Newcomers Club as they didn’t know anyone here and it was a great way to meet people Some other things Pat enjoyed doing were bowling, golfing, cross-country skiing, and traveling. Pat and her husband used to be Snow Birds and would go to Yuma, Arizona every year for about 5 or 6 months.  She has been a member of the Schubert since 2015. 
Pat loves coming to the Schubert centre for the exercise and really misses it as well as coming for coffee and socializing with everyone. Pat has been a member at Schubert for the past 20 years.

Anna Schlichting

Anna Schlichting

Anna Schlichting was born on July 4, 1933, in Vienna, Austria.  Anna arrived in Canada in 1955, landing in Montreal.  She and her husband lived in Kingston, Ontario for 25 years.  Anna’s husband passed away in 1976 and in 1981, Anna made a visit to the Okanagan and fell in love with Vernon.  She sold the home that she and her husband had built in Kingston and made the move here.  Anna worked as a seamstress for many years and had also taken a course at the Hospice House where she looked after elderly people with Alzheimer’s.  Anna retired from working at age 60 but continued to work doing volunteer work.  Anna has one daughter that lives in Vienna and speaks 5 different languages!  Her son is an aircraft engineer and lives in Kelowna, so Anna is very happy that he is so close by.  Anna also has 2 grandchildren living in the United States and 1 great-grandson who is 4 years old.        

Anna did volunteer work for the Schubert Centre doing the birthday lunches.  She also enjoyed the Bike ride for two and all the short bus trips before Covid 19 happened.  Her wishes are that we are soon to be back to normal.  Anna has been a member at the Schubert Centre since 1987.

Clara Grootveld

Clara Grootveld was born on March 18, 1924, in Wiarton, Ontario.  She said that it was actually 12 miles North of Wiarton where she grew up.  Clara said that there is a road called King’s Crescent which was named after her family as they had a few family members that all lived close to each other.  Clara moved to Calgary in 1957 where she met her husband.  Clara loves to dance and used to teach line dancing for many years.  he worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company for 25 years and took early retirement, moving to Vernon in 1982.  Anna has 2 daughters who both live on Vancouver Island, one in Cowichan Bay and the other at Mill Bay.  She has 6 grandchildren and ……14 great-grandchildren!  

Some of the hobbies Clara enjoyed were dancing, exercise classes, curling, cross country skiing, and both knitting and crocheting.  Clara still enjoyed the dancing and exercises at the Schubert Centre before Covid 19.  Clara says the secret to longevity is to Keep on Dancing!!!  As well, she believes in having a positive mind and keeping it moving!  Clara has been a member at Schubert Centre since 1990.

Clara Grootveld
Anna Schlichting

Annie Heck

Annie Heck was born on October 5, 1932, in a small Village called Belloy, AB, which was approximately 75 miles north of Grand Prairie, AB.  This little Village no longer exists.  The Train Station is gone as well as the grain elevator.  But Annie did live there all her life growing up until she married her husband Harry in 1949.  When they married, they moved to another small town, 7 miles down the road from Belloy, called Wanham.  Which is still there today but with only around 250 people living there.  Annie and her husband were cattle farmers.  Annie said that just before they moved from Wanham, her husband broke his leg chasing after a cow, who was going to be delivering!  She sent Harry to Vernon with her sister and Annie looked after the farm.  When Harry called in to check on her and let her know he had arrived in Vernon, she told him that she had already delivered two calves that day!  In 1976, they sold everything, lock, stock, and barrel, and moved to Vernon, where her sister and her parents lived.  They had visited the Okanagan and fell in love with it.  Annie and her husband had an Orchestra for over 20 years called ‘Harry’s Old Timers’. It consisted of her husband on button accordion, Annie on guitar, her younger brother on guitar, and their neighbor on the banjo.  They played many a wedding.   

In Vernon, Annie and her husband still played music for weddings, dances, and at the Legion. Sadly, Annie’s husband passed away in 1995.  Annie has 2 boys and 1 girl.  She has 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren!  Annie used to do a lot of crochet of the pineapple pattern, making doilies and tablecloths for gifts.  Annie has been a member at the Schubert Centre for 8 years and says she has made many friends but misses the long table chats, as everyone is one big happy family here. 

Florence Boring

Florence Boring (you won’t forget my name….it’s boring, lol) was born on June 4, 1932 in Bonneyville, AB.  Her family moved to Cherryville, BC when she was 9 years old.  She is from a family of 7 girls and 1 boy!  Florence married in 1951 and had 3 children.  She remarried in 1973.  Florence’s husband was a logger, so they moved all around.  They moved to Dawson Creek and lived there for about 27 years.  When her husband passed, Florence moved to Vernon as she has two sisters that live here.  Florence did many things besides raising her family; she did logging from a young age and used to work at the Lavington Grocery Store where she used to walk 3 miles to her rental, day or night.  She also worked in cafés as a cook and a server.

Florence also worked in a bakery and loves to bake pies!  Some of Florence’s hobbies include knitting and crochet.  She said that someone is always wearing slippers that she made and she still continues to knit and make slippers for the family.  Florence has in total 32 grandchildren which includes 7 great, great-grandchildren in that total!!!  Florence has been a member at the Schubert Centre since 2016.

Clara Grootveld
Anna Schlichting

Deanna and John Toporchak

Deanna and John Toporchak have been married for almost 59 years, having married in 1962.    Deanna was born on December 14, 1941, in Lemberg, Saskatchewan.  When she was 3 years old the family moved to Rutland onto an apple orchard.  When she was around 8 or 9 years old, the family moved to Vernon.  Deanna worked in nursing but didn’t care for it too much so went to work for the Bank of Montreal until 1962.  John was born on June 27, 1937, in Vernon on Kal Lake Road.  His father came from Slovakia around 1925, and his mom followed approximately in 1934, with the two oldest children, a boy, and a girl.  John was a Mechanic for about 6 years after he was out of school and farmed part-time. The family had the land just off of Highway 6 where Gilbert parts are located and also on Kal Lake Road.  Where Kaltire is presently located, is where the house John was born and grew up in was situated. John and Deanna moved to the farm in 1972 at the north end of Swan Lake and became full-time farmers, farming hay, grain, cattle, sheep, pigs, and chickens on 565 acres!  

Deanna and John lived on the Toporchak farm for 45 years.  They still own the farm and rent out the land and the two houses on it. The remote control airplane club still flies on the Toporchak property. John goes back to the farm almost every day and tinkers in the workshop.  He is still the caretaker and does repairs for the house rentals, farm equipment and also doing repairs at the Schubert Centre.   Deanna still does the books for the farm as well as having done many other things from crochet, sewing, and quilting. Deanna also takes care of the Schubert Centre’s electronic sign, making sure that it is kept up to date.  John was a member of the RDNO and an Alderman in Spallumcheen for about 6 years.  They have been blessed with 2 boys and 2 girls, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren!   Both Deanna and John have been members at the Schubert Centre since 1984!!!

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