Do unto others as you would have them do unto you – but do it first. This is something that Faye Grant heard often from her father as she was growing up. Faye has never forgotten these words and has always tried to live by this Golden Rule, with a twist. “I have always tried to put others first. I like to do things and I like to help out whenever I can but I like to stay in the background. I’ve always been like that,” she said honestly.
The middle of five children, Faye was born in the City of Nelson but by the time that she was seven, the family moved to the Maritimes. “Dad worked in the mining industry so we moved to New Brunswick for three years then we went to Ontario for another three years and ended up moving back to B.C. after that,” she said. The family settled in Britannia Beach, a community on the Sea-To-Sky highway on Howe Sound that was originally a residential area for the staff of the Britannia Mining and Smelting Company. “Dad had always worked underground but by the time that we came back out west, dad came back up to the surface and was in charge of the machine shop,” she explained.
Faye enjoyed school for its social aspects rather than for the academics. “As I grew older, I realized that I really should have placed more emphasis on the academics,” she noted with a chuckle. After graduating from Howe Sound Secondary School in Squamish, she went on to attend the Market Training Institute which prepared students for working in the grocery industry. “This was before the use of the cash registers and scanners that we use today. You had to be good at math because you had to input everything manually and by memory,” she said. Faye went to work for Super Valu and remained with the store for many years.
She married, had a baby boy and things were moving along rather nicely until the unthinkable happened. Her husband took the baby out for a drive and both father and son were tragically killed in an auto accident. “I don’t know for sure but when the baby was fussy, driving around would calm him down. I think that my husband had taken him out to do just that but they never returned,” she said.
After that, her life went into a tailspin. “I went to live with some friends and they kept me on the straight and narrow. I was devastated but thanks to some good friends, I was eventually able to move on. You have to move on,” she said convincingly.
One of the friends that she was staying with was working at Stewart Warner Sales, an automotive part sales company and Faye went to work for them as an inventory controller. “I then went to work in their accounts payable department and ended up staying for six years.”
Faye eventually married Ken, whom she had met through work and the couple had two children; daughter Wendy and son Kelly. Her children were of paramount importance in her life and she encouraged them to be the best that they could be. Her daughter became an accomplished, competitive dancer and her son was heavily involved in soccer and baseball. “My kids were very involved in sports and we always had open communication. They were both active and engaged and they were good kids,” she said proudly. Amongst other things, Faye was involved with the Collingwood Community Centre and the Miss Vancouver Pageant for many years; something that she enjoyed immensely.
Over the years, Faye has done a lot of sewing, especially when her daughter was in dance. “My daughter danced from the time that she was four until she was in her 20s. One year, I made 13 costumes for an end-of-the-year show,” she chuckled. She also taught herself to knit and crochet by using “How To” books and today makes beautifully striking, yet warm scarves.
Faye has always enjoyed being busy and as busy as she was raising her children, she still found time to take on a job with the Vancouver School Board. For 20 years, she worked as both a Supervision Aid as well as a teacher’s aid and at night; she worked at a data processing centre as a data entry clerk. “On the weekends, I would also do respite care for children with developmental disabilities.”
Two years ago, after 35 years of living in Vancouver, Faye and Ken moved to Chilliwack. “We love to camp in the summer; that’s our thing. We spent many years coming to Chilliwack to take in the RV Show at Heritage Park and we loved the community. We really liked the quietness of Chilliwack, so we decided to move,” she said. She’s enjoying life and the less hectic pace that our community has to offer but continues to work with children in a school setting when the opportunity arises as well as supporting her grandchildren, whom she loves dearly. Life just doesn’t get better than that.