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Life was an adventure for Lloyd Hetherington

'He had a great love for people and he could meet people and really understand them'

Lloyd Hetherington is described as a man full of adventure, who liked to live life through gaining new experiences.

A teacher and officer in the Salvation Army, Lloyd’s work allowed him to interact with different cultures and places, including living and working in Zambia, Africa, for 10 years.

In 2000, Lloyd was sent to Guelph by the Salvation Army to be a minister at the its local church. He would remain here, going on to become a leader at Village of Riverside Glen and co-host of the podcast, #Elder Wisdom - Stories from the Green Bench during the pandemic.

"It was a Godsend. It gave him a purpose to keep going and something new to learn and he thrived with it," said Sherrill Hetherington, one of Lloyd's daughters, about him becoming involved with the podcast. 

"It was a real experience for him and he really enjoyed his podcast," said sister Joy Paul.

On Feb. 11, Lloyd passed away at the age of 87. Joy said Lloyd was regarded as a community leader the Village of Riverside Glen and the Village of Winston Park.

“He had a great love for people and he could meet people and really understand them, and hear their needs, and emphasize with them, and help them,” said Joy. 

Sherrill adds he will be missed by residents, who became Lloyd's main community during the pandemic.

"We need more people that can connect to people of all walks of life," Sherrill said about her father.

Lloyd was born in 1935 in Petrolia. Joy said her and Lloyd's parents were also Salvation Army officers. Back then, Joy said the Salvation Army moved ministers around, and as a result, Lloyd and his four siblings were all born in different cities. 

Joy describes Lloyd as "a very creative young guy" who was always creating and investigating things. As children, Lloyd would also bring Joy along on his adventures, from finding a Christmas tree in Kirkland Lake to selling newspapers in Sault Ste. Marie to hitchhiking to a Salvation Army conference from Barrie to Stayner.

“There was always lots of adventures, and appreciation, we always appreciated each other and enjoyed doing things together,” said Joy.

Joy said Lloyd’s main goal was to become a teacher. He took a six-week summer course in Toronto after finishing school and got a job teaching at a school in the countryside.  

“He really enjoyed that,” said Joy. “He got a place onboard with a farmer and would hitchhike back to visit his parents, and at the time, he had a beautiful young lady in his life, Sherrill’s mother.

"It was interesting, he had to make his visits over to St. Mary’s to visit her.”

Lloyd and Margaret met at a youth event in 1952. The couple got married while Lloyd was in teacher’s college and went on to have three children. In her most vivid memories, Sherrill recalls going to work with her father as a young child.

"I would go and sit in his high school class when I was only six years old, and because I was well behaved I got away with that," said Sherrill.

While Lloyd taught throughout his life, he also decided to become a Salvation Army officer too. 

“He felt like God was calling on him to become a Salvation Army officer, which is a minister,” said Sherrill, “and he really fought with God over it and finally surrendered, and when he surrendered to that, he went in to the Salvation Army college to become a minister, and the Salvation Army decided to give him jobs and education." 

Over the 50 years Lloyd served with the Salvation Army, he and his family went to Zambia, Africa for 10 years. Sherrill recalls her family came to Zambia in 1965 and lived on The Salvation Army's Chikankata Mission station. Joy was also living on Chikankata Mission station, as she also became a Salvation Army officer.

“He thrived, he loved it,” Sherrill said about Lloyd's experience of being a Salvation Army officer in Africa. “He was a workaholic and he was involved with not only teaching, but going to the villages and doing church services in the villages, and he would take his motorbike out into the villages to do that. He enjoyed the different cultures."

Returning to Canada, Lloyd also worked in Newfoundland and Toronto before coming to Guelph. When he retired from the Salvation Army, Lloyd kept busy with various other endeavours, including managing community programs at the retirement communities he was a part of, running a bible study group and writing a book for his grandchildren.

“He was authentic and that is one of his values, and he cared for the people he believed that God loved,” said Sherrill.

Also moving to Guelph later on after Lloyd settled in the area, Joy said she was very privileged to live close by and spend time with him before his passing.

"I think a lot of people around here knew he wasn't well near the end, but he was missed," said Joy. "People looked up to him and he is missed by staff and residents."