Community Member Profile: Meet Duff & Marinette Shaw
Published on January 24, 2020
At V!VA Retirement Communities, we know that great people make great communities. That’s why we’re thrilled that folks like Duff and Marinette chose V!VA Mississauga Retirement Community as their new home.
Duff and Marinette’s story begins like all great love stories – in France! They both worked at a military base; Duff was an officer, and Marinette was a translator. “We saw each other at work every day.” Marinette remembers, with a smile. They married in 1962 and moved to Canada, first to Alberta, then eventually to Toronto before settling down in Mississauga. Duff went on to work for Crown Life, selling insurance, and was eventually promoted to Vice President for the United States market, while Marinette worked for the TransCanada Pipeline until the arrival of their children, when she stopped working to stay home and raise them.
By that time, Duff was a professor at Ryerson University, which was a most rewarding experience for him. “I met some amazing people and still follow them today. It’s wonderful to be able to look at these people and know I have had some influence on their lives.” He begins to chuckle “Positive or negative!” It was from that job, that Duff would retire, and the couple would spend many of their summers at their cottage on Lake Timagami. Marinette continued to volunteer with local schools, churches, and the Girl Guides. “I learned to snow-shoe!” she says, eyes gleaming.
Eventually, the decision was made to sell their cottage, and make the move to a retirement community.
“We did a lot of research, and asked ourselves what’s important [in a place to live]?” Duff shares. “As soon as we walked into V!VA Mississauga, we knew this was it – I’m a real believer in networking and the first thing I want to do when I meet somebody is find out who do we know in common because then we can sit and talk on the same side of the table instead of across the table.”
After meeting with the Community’s Executive Chef, Community Relations Manager, and the Community Director, Duff and Marinette knew they had found their new home. “We were sitting with [Community Relations Manager] Hillary, and [Community Director] Michelle came in and introduced herself. Michelle said, ‘Would you like a coffee?, And we said, ‘Yeah, that’d be great.’ – And she went and got us a coffee! Now, I’ve known a lot of general managers from many different places during my time as a VP at Crown Life and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten coffee from any of them!”
“That said something to us about V!VA and the more we saw of the team, the more we knew this was where we wanted to be,” Duff continues. “Clearly, we’ve made the right decision.”
After that, Duff and Marinette downsized, made the move, and are now a part of V!VA Mississauga’s thriving Community. Having worked so hard, they are now spending time enjoying their friends, their children, their grandchildren, and – as always – each other.