(Home page last updated in June 2015)
Hello my name is Stephen E Goudey. But most people just call me Steve. I am originally from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia but have lived in Fredericton New Brunswick, Canada with my wife Nancy since1972.
On October 4th 2014 My daughter Jodi Lynn and Son-in Law Jamie Vienneau gave us our first Grand daughter. Her name is Stella Grace. Retirement since 2007 has been an interesting time.
My email address is
In 2013 I was made a New Brunswick "Senior Goodwill ambassador". My role is to go out into the community and speak about healthy living and life styles as we age.
I speak to groups of all ages around the country.
Recently I was asked to submit the story behind how I got so involved in doing discussion programs for seniors
The managers at Senior goodwill ambassador program asked me to answer the following questions for them.I thought a few of you may be interested.
What was happening in your life after retirement and around you before you made the change to really engage your community of Fredericton NB Canada?
*I had recently retired in 2007 and after 6 months I was feeling pretty lost. We get so much of our self worth, passion and the definition of who we are in our society from our work. I began to feel like a ship without a rudder. How was I going to move forward as a senior and still feel like I was contributing and making a difference in my world? This was very important to me.
What change(s) did you decide to make? What was your “tipping point”, the moment you decided to make change(s)?
One Monday afternoon in July 2007 I was feeling especially down and wondering what my life had meant up to this point. I rarely shed a tear up to that point but like many seniors who are alone with their thoughts I felt a wet drop of regret rolling down my cheeks. Here I was with what I expected would be quite a few years ahead of me with no passion in my life. Who needed someone like me anymore? I might as well get used to the idea that I would truly never make a mark in my life. It was not a pleasant thought but just like many times in my life fate picked that moment to intervene. I happened to be driving on Sunset Drive in Fredericton by York Care Centre. I thought to myself: I wonder if they are looking for volunteers. Upon entering it did not take me long to see who may need a Steve Goudey.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them (who and what supported you)?
* I had never worked with seniors in my life. Let alone developed a program and taught it on a regular basis. During my working career I had volunteered as a youth Soccer and Judo coach. I decided to take the next 3 months studying the environment at York Care as a volunteer before I started to settle on a path. There was a lot of music and faith based programming but I wanted to do something different. I decided to try and develop a weekly discussion program that would mentally stimulate and built self-esteem in the residents.
Have you ever looked into the eyes of someone in long term care? Often times you can see the hurt, the loneliness and the loss of any control in their lives. They must be the bravest people I know. Well I decided I was going to try and make a difference in this world of lost souls. With the help of the many hard working and dedicated Activity Coordinators in senior care I began my journey.
What are the results of your journey for you and those around you, both today and in the near future?*
During my working career I was always known as a pretty positive person and one that could motivate. I had forgotten this after retirement. I decided once again in my life to find a passion and tie myself to it. During the next two years I did a variety of program @ YCC from exercise programs at the memory unit, to teaching stroke victims and seniors the internet. Over time the residents began to confide in me and trust me and my passion just grew. We developed talking circles to discuss daily issues they were experiencing. But my bread and butter program was still my one hour discussion of our world with the residents. Because of the new found passion I found working with seniors I was also approached by the Canadian Association of Retired Persons in Toronto to start the first CARP chapter in Fredericton. That we did and I was Chair for its first two years.
In late 2008 I decided to branch out and do programming at Pine Grove Nursing home. I also joined their Foundation board. During that time while doing my regular program I was also asked to teach a computer course to 2X70, 2X80 and 2X90 year old residents. They were scared to death. One 95 year old lady in particular whispered to me before our first class: Steve I think I will have to quit. I don’t know what I am doing here. I only have grade 3 I am not smart enough to do this. All I could see was my grandmother looking in my eyes. I wanted to melt. I said to her: do you trust me? She said I do. Then I promise you if you come to the next 4 one hour classes I will not only teach you about a computer but how to access a whole new world on the internet. Four weeks later she graduated and I realized you could truly make a difference in people’s lives even as a senior. Maybe my life and my purpose were just beginning to show it self.
Over the next 8 years my program has evolved so much. I started doing monthly programming at Shannex Thomas, Brunswick and Governor’s Halls, Terraces on Cliffe, Nashwaak Villa Stanley and Windsor court. In 2105 I started doing programming at the Fredericton Multiculture Employment programs for classes in their final year of training to help introduce themselves to our history and culture. I have done senior programming in both Manitoba and Nova Scotia on occasion. Finally in 2013 I was honoured to be chosen as an N B Senior Good Will Ambassador to help promote healthy aging. It has been a wild ride since that Monday afternoon in July 2007.
During my journey over the past 8 years I have seen the potential for our seniors and their contributions to our society increase by leaps and bounds. I have seen the resident’s faces in long term care light up when they attend my programs as they engage and answer one of the difficult trivia questions or recount one of their many life adventures. I have seen other seniors engage and really contribute to our discussions on so many difficult topics. I have also been made to feel like a part of a team at many of the senior residences around the province, senior goodwill ambassador’s program, multiculture and U.N.B. Memorial Hall “We deliver learning” programs. I am not lost in the shadows anymore.
For me I decided to continue playing indoor soccer and mountain biking to increase the energy levels I needed to do my programs. Of course life will often through you curves as you age. We just can’t let them define us. So the good news for all of the seniors in our province is that that retirement does not have to be an end. It is actually a golden opportunity to put the finishing touches on defining your life. Now when I consider shedding a tear they flow like the reversing falls. My tears usually come now from laughing so hard with my discussion groups my eyes cloud over!
Hope you have enjoyed this little insight into my early retirement. I am also available on facebook these days.
Steve's Hot spots
Daughter and Son in Law Kennels in Nova Scotia
City of Fredericton
Canadian Navy of yesterday and today