Friends and colleagues celebrate Linda Kenny’s retirement during a surprise parade on April 18, 2020. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Friends and colleagues celebrate Linda Kenny’s retirement during a surprise parade on April 18, 2020. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

VIDEO: Port Alberni nurse surprised by retirement parade

Linda Kenny’s friends and colleagues took to the streets during COVID-19 to celebrate her retirement

SONJA DRINKWATER

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

Port Alberni’s Linda Kenny has been in nursing for 47 years and has loved every minute of it.

Linda had the shock of her life on the evening of Saturday, April 18 when ambulances and fire trucks drove past her home with sirens blaring. Jackie Tooke, a former co-worker, had organized for the emergency workers to detour past her home after their regular Saturday run by the hospital to celebrate Linda’s retirement. Co-workers didn’t need any prompting to jump on board and join the parade with banners, posters and gifts, all while keeping safe with social distancing.

Linda cried tears of joy and disbelief, while her husband Scott videoed the event and daughter Kerri photographed it on her cell phone.

Linda was born in Edmonton to Marian and the late Rod McDonagh and is one of five children. She graduated from high school in 1971 and went straight into the University of Alberta hospital school of nursing.

“I went in for the three-year program and was 17 years old, and graduated when I was almost 20,” said Linda. “I was told that to date I was the youngest to graduate as an RN. After grad, I went to work in my school of learning in neurosurgery and the ICU for 16 years.”

So why nursing?

“In the ’70s there weren’t many choices for women and so I decided of the few choices, nursing interested me the most, and I have never regretted it,” Linda said. “I have gone to work every day enjoying my work, my clients and my co-workers. I am going to miss them now that I have retired.”

Linda married Scott in 1985. He worked for the parks and recreation department in Edmonton, and in 1989 he took a job in Port Alberni. He is also retired.

In 1991, Linda went casual and was a stay-at-home mom for seven years for her three daughters (Nicole, Michelle and Kerri).

Linda took a refresher course and got a job in the medical surgery ward at West Coast General Hospital. When the new hospital was built, she moved with it. She applied for community care in 2005.

Of Linda’s three children, Nicole (husband Mike Fraser of Christina Lake) has two girls (Brenna and Eva). Michelle (husband Marc Cripwell of Chilliwack) has one daughter (Aranae) and another baby due in August. Kerri has one daughter (Sloane).

“Right now I am enjoying reading, walking and hopefully travelling and Skyping with the children,” said Kenny.

She gave a huge thank you to the EMTs and co-workers for their great send-off, as well as a thank you to all of her clients.

CoronavirusParade

 

Friends and colleagues celebrate Linda Kenny’s retirement during a surprise parade on April 18, 2020. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Friends and colleagues celebrate Linda Kenny’s retirement during a surprise parade on April 18, 2020. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Linda Kenny is shocked by the parade organized for her retirement. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Linda Kenny is shocked by the parade organized for her retirement. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Linda Kenny reacts to the parade organized for her retirement, while daughter Kerri photographs the event. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Linda Kenny reacts to the parade organized for her retirement, while daughter Kerri photographs the event. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Friends and colleagues celebrate Linda Kenny’s retirement during a surprise parade on April 18, 2020. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Friends and colleagues celebrate Linda Kenny’s retirement during a surprise parade on April 18, 2020. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Linda Kenny reacts to the parade organized for her retirement, while daughter Kerri photographs the event and husband Scott takes video. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Linda Kenny reacts to the parade organized for her retirement, while daughter Kerri photographs the event and husband Scott takes video. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Retired nurse Linda Kenny stands beside her husband, Scott. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Retired nurse Linda Kenny stands beside her husband, Scott. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Just Posted

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read