Much-loved Waterloo Heights driver retires

Residents and team members hosted a party to celebrate Tom Conaway's 18 years of service
5/13/2024  - Deron Hamel

While they were sad to see driver Tom Conaway retire, Waterloo Heights residents and team members just couldn't help rubbing it in about how his favourite hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, have gone 57 years without winning a Stanley Cup.

Still, they made sure the hapless Leafs were the main theme of the day when they threw Tom a retirement party recently to thank him for his 18 years as a driver with Steeves & Rozema.

“We threw a Toronto Maple Leafs-themed party for him, since he's a huge Leafs fan,” Jacqui Reid, the activity director at the Waterloo, Ont. seniors living community, tells S&R Today.

“Many Leafs jokes were shared within speeches and lots of residents and staff dressed up in Leafs attire. Tom will be remembered for always being so cheerful and ready to help out.”

Along with residents and staff, Tom was joined by his wife and three daughters who attended as special guests, as well as Peter Dekker, another Waterloo Heights driver, who retired a few months ago after 24 years serving residents.

Jacqui says Tom often had a busy schedule but always found time to make sure residents' transportation needs were met.

She adds Tom went above and beyond at work, often picking up last-minute items for meals if an order didn't come through. He would also pick out flowers for residents who were ill and wine for happy hour.

“He was always ready to escort a resident into a building if they were feeling unsteady on their feet, no matter how busy he was,” Jacqui says.

“Residents and staff will miss him very much.”

Even in retirement, Tom plans to keep busy, Jacqui says, noting he has taken a part-time position as a school crossing guard.

While Waterloo Heights residents and staff are saying goodbye to a friend, Jacqui says the students will be gaining a new one.

“The kids will be as fond of him as we are,” she says.

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