Known as The Village “Handyman”, Fred Wissenz, with his wife Mary, have been residents at St. Elizabeth Mills for over 7 years.
“The best thing about The Village is the independent living it provides. It’s perfect for people like us; people who want to live in their own home but who want the convenience and security of living in a community,” says Fred.
Fred describes the many advantages of living at The Village at St. Elizabeth Mills. He talks about the friendliness of the people.
“The camaraderie is magnificent. It’s like living in one big family.”
And Fred is no stranger to big families. He and Mary have nine children – seven daughters and two sons with more than 25 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
This past Christmas, Fred and Mary rented The Barn (the nickname for The Edelweiss Clubhouse) and hosted a Christmas Party for 70 people. Fred proudly talks about his daughters who prepared all the food for the shindig. He says it was a great time and he’s very proud to host it at his community.
Fred is involved in several of the programs offered at The Village. He is the coordinator of a Handyman Group comprised of himself and six other men who are committed to helping neighbours with small, but important jobs. Hanging pictures, hanging mirrors, small repairs, etc. Things like plumbing or electrical issues are referred to professionals.
He is part of the Carpet Bowling Club and also participates in Bocce Ball and Shuffleboard. Once a month he attends The Men’s Club Lunch while his wife Mary attends The Ladies’ Lunch. But Fred’s most important role is with The Village Society – a group that meets monthly to help fellow Villagers as needed; working with management to raise any concerns and resolve any issues.
Fred is also a big supporter of the Village variety shows. These shows are themed; for instance right now Fred and his cohorts are working on the Spring Fling, which will be held in May. Various acts will entertain the audience with singing, dancing, skits, and other talent acts.
“It’s a lot of fun,” says Fred. “This past year we put on “Putting on the Ritz” and “The Hop”.
After a 33-year career in the steel industry, working in Hamilton for Dofasco, Fred and Mary stayed in their home for about seven years. They decided to downsize when Mary had health issues. So they sold their home and their cottage on Lake Erie and moved into a Garden Home at St. Elizabeth Village. The best thing for Fred is the “lock and leave” convenience, which allows them to literally lock the door and go off on vacation for six or eight weeks. Everything is looked after while they are gone, which makes travelling stress-free for the Wissenz’s.
Fred is a real fan of The Village at St. Elizabeth Mills. In his words, “You can still do anything you want. There’s so much to do here, so much to get involved in. It really is a wonderful place to live.” And here’s a ringing endorsement. Fred and Mary’s two eldest daughters and sons-in-law have also bought residences in The Village! One big happy family!