OLDS — Two residents of care facilities in Olds have been recognized as Remarkable Residents.
They are competitive horse jockey, Mildred Pederson who lives in Seasons Olds, and Janette Oke, an award-winning writer who lives in Seasons Encore.
The two continue to live by their personal values and remain active members of their community.
Pederson’s life is characterized by her determination and passion, which began with a genuine love of horses.
She was a jockey, chuckwagon and barrel racer, thriving at a time when women were not active in equine sports and competing in events including the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association finals in Reno, Nevada.
When her doctors told her she would never walk again after a severe track accident, her continued perseverance and love for the sport got her back on the saddle and riding by that spring.
Pederson performed for Queen Elizabeth and her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, when they toured Calgary.
“Riding through life is the best way to describe my story,” Pederson says. “The community at Seasons has inspired me to keep pursuing the things I love.
“My gender never deterred me from pursuing my passions and now in my older years, my Seasons community keeps me going and enjoying life’s pleasures.”
Oke developed a love of literature from a young age with her mother and father often taking time to read to her as a child.
She wrote as a hobby until the age of 42 when she decided to pen a novel.
Since publishing that first novel in 1979, Oke has written several books and other productions with more than 30,000,000 copies sold.
Oke received the 1992 President's Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association for her significant contribution to Christian fiction, as well as the 1999 CBA Life Impact Award, and the Gold Medallion Award for fiction.
Outside of writing, she connects with her community by volunteering as a camp leader at her local food bank and with her church.
“Being recognized as living a remarkable life is not a chapter I foresaw in my life story and I am so honoured to receive this recognition,” Oke says.
“While I am no longer writing novels, being at Seasons has allowed me to continue to connect with my community through my volunteer work.”
Now in its ninth year, the Seasons Remarkable Residents program honours the amazing lives of its residents and ensures their stories are heard.
This story, edited by The Albertan, was provided by Seasons Retirement Communities.