Hank and Nancy Winters chose Grand Bend for their retirement, and are doing everything they can to build the community

Donor Stories

Hank and Nancy Winters chose Grand Bend for their retirement, and are doing everything they can to build the community

Both Hank and Nancy Winters travelled a winding road to get to Grand Bend. Hank was born in Montreal, but his early memories are of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. In the 1940s, it was still an active fishing village, and Hank remembers fondly the smells of salt cod and the sea. With a degree in Engineering from Queen’s University, he moved to Sault Ste. Marie and began a long career in the steel industry.

Nancy was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, and returned there to teach high school after also graduating from Queen’s. They were married and raised their two children in the Sault, but the road took them to Toronto, Chicago, and Indiana for their careers. When it came time to retire, they decided to move back to Canada to be closer to their children, and Nancy’s parents in the Sault.

They had searched through a wide area of Southern Ontario before stumbling upon Grand Bend quite accidentally. However, they both knew almost immediately that this was the retirement community they had been searching for during 2004.

Hank remembers being amazed that this town, with its gorgeous beach, its new Health Centre, and its attractive neighbourhoods, was so quiet and undeveloped. The Winters visited a model home in Merrywood, and promptly asked Paul Pittao to build them one like it. They were confident that the community was about to boom, and property values would escalate. They moved into their new home late in 2004, and began the adventure called retirement.

They now realize that the Grand Bend that they live in is not quite the same community that they expected. “Development here is slower than we expected; people are very cautious and they like the slow pace,” Hank commented. “On the other hand, there is more community spirit and participation than we have ever imagined any town could have. It’s very easy to get involved and to participate in the many voluntary activities that make this town such a great place to live.”

Both Hank & Nancy have served a term as president of their Probus Clubs, and they have both participated on the Cancer Society’s annual Relay For Life. Nancy has been active in Partners in Learning, and Hank is on the boards of both the Community Foundation and the Health Services Foundation.

But it was when their daughter Liz, and grand-daughter Lauren, became permanent residents of Grand Bend, that Hank and Nancy decided to make a more substantial investment in this community’s future. They knew that the Grand Bend Community Foundation has a strong track record of granting funds to worthy causes and project in this community, and that it will continue to do so for many years into the future.

During a conversation with financial planner Brian Hall, Hank discovered that he could donate an existing life insurance policy to the Foundation, which he describes as “simple and painless way to give back to the community.”

Hank and Nancy hope that their gift to the Grand Bend Community Fund will help the community to become a great town for young families, as well as for lots more retirees.

Update: Sadly Hank Winters passed away in February 2018. The proceeds from his life insurance policy have become part of the Foundation’s permanent endowment, and will help support worthy projects for many years to come.