A Tribute
to Veterans

After a long and rewarding life of hard work and thrift, Yvonne Pettit has chosen to make a legacy gift to Sunnybrook in her Will, to thank the hospital that helped some of those closest to her when it mattered most — her father, her husband and a friend. All three were veterans who received exemplary care from Sunnybrook in their final days.

Yvonne's father joined up in World War I at the age of 14 as a bugler. He returned home two years later after being gassed, and suffered poor health for the rest of his life. He married and started a family in Parkdale, buying a variety store where Yvonne helped out, eventually working there full time. Although she did not get the chance to finish high school, her gift for numbers laid the foundation for her later successes.

At the beginning of World War II, teenage Yvonne met Bill, her future husband. Their friendship was interrupted when Bill joined the Royal Regiment of Canada and shipped out to England. He was badly wounded during the ill-fated raid on Dieppe in 1942, being among the few successfully evacuated. Following his recovery, he came back to Canada for officer training and proposed to Yvonne. They married before he returned to Europe.

Yvonne worked two jobs to prepare for Bill's return, bookkeeping during the day and worked at a local factory at night. When Bill did return, they bought a house in Long Branch with her savings, which she owned for the next 55 years. Bill joined Maple Leaf Mills, working his way to the top, and Yvonne ran her own business.

Yvonne's father, a veteran of World War I.

Yvonne was introduced to Sunnybrook when her father was transferred there during his last days, passing away when he was only 59. Many years later, Bill, now retired and with a failing heart, developed Parkinson's disease. Yvonne tried to manage his care, but eventually he was admitted to the renowned Veterans Centre at Sunnybrook, where he spent his last months.

Seeing Bill happy and well-cared for gave Yvonne great comfort. Her experiences at Sunnybrook led her to make a gift in her Will.

"I was impressed at the level of care and compassion my father, my husband and my girl friend all received from the staff. I want to ensure that other veterans continue to receive the same excellent care."

Yvonne Pettit

Now living in a condo looking east to the Humber River, just a short distance from the Long Branch street she lived on all those years, Yvonne is glad to know that her gift will make a difference to those Canadians who served their country.

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