Families of Ontario board includes:
James Cardinal: Past Chair
Hearn Hendela: Vice Chair / Secretary
L. JAMES CARDINAL, Past Chair
James Cardinal (better known as Jim) is a third generation
funeral director. Licensed as a funeral director in
Ontario in 1982, Jim became president/owner of Cardinal
Funeral Homes Ltd in 1984 after the death of his father.
He is proud to carry on the family tradition of caring
for his community since 1925.
Jim has served on many volunteer boards:
president of Guaranteed Funeral Deposits 1994
member of the Ontario Funeral Service Association
1995 to 1998
member of Open Dialogue
member of the Toronto and District Funeral Directors
Association 1996 to 1998
of the Funeral Service Association of Canada 2005
member of Bereaved Families of Ontario - Toronto 2002
has also volunteered as a T-Ball and Little League baseball
coach in High Park as well as coaching minor hockey
at Humber Valley.
In his younger years Jim travelled Ontario as a professional
musician before joining the family business. He still
enjoys playing the odd gig now and then whenever he
can. Jim is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel
the world in search of the perfect dive.
Jim is married and has two sons, both currently away
and his wife Janet live in Whitby Ontario and they have
4 children: Matthew, Joseph (9yrs), Daniel (6yrs) and
Eva (4yrs). Jeff and Janet became involved with the
BFO affiliate in London Ontario shortly after Matthew
died very suddenly from meningitis on Feb. 24th, 2000.
BFO London played a very significant role in helping
Janet and Jeff through the grieving process and when
they felt the time was right they became involved as
volunteers: Jeff by sitting on the BFO London Board
of Directors and volunteering as a grief counsellor
and Janet by teaching yoga for grieving mothers and
volunteering as a grief counsellor. After moving to
Whitby in 2006, Jeff joined the board of the provincial
BFO organization to continue contributing to the work
of BFO. Jeff works in downtown Toronto for the Bank
of Montreal group of companies developing and executing
their business strategies, Janet is raising the children
and teaching a multitude of fitness class in the Whitby
area and Joe, Dan and Evie are very busy with school,
music and sports activities.
Betty-Lou is a recipient of the 2009 Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health (CAMH) Transforming Lives Award and
accepted this award earlier this year on behalf of herself
and her late son Peter (Kristy) Beattie. On
December 23, 2001-at age 25-Pete died from a mixed drug
Having lost her only child to the same illnesses she
fought for much of her life, Betty-Lou is an outspoken
advocate determined to prevent others from suffering
the same fate. In addition to her commitment to educate,
raise awareness, reduce stigma and fight for sustainable
funding for EFFECTIVE mental health and addictions services,
Betty-Lou recognizes the need for these campaigns to
be extended to include grief/bereavement.
Betty-Lou has past training and experience volunteering
with VON Halton in hospice/grief/bereavement support
program and has designed and facilitated grief/ bereavement
trainings for youth to youth outreach workers.
Betty-Lou devotes her time to many important causes,
such as, the Peer Outreach Support Services & Education
program (POSSE)and sits on the editorial committee of
Undercroft Magazine in Halton (both are youth based
harm reduction peer outreach programs), Halton Youth
Restorative Justice Committee, Halton Region Methadone
Community Work Group and North Halton Mental Health
Clinic Consumer Advisory Committee. She volunteers with
several CAMH programs, including the OpiATE Project,
the Methadone Saves Lives initiative, and Under One
Roof. Betty-Lou also participates in one of the theme
groups (Consumer Partnerships) for the Minister's Advisory
Group on Mental Health and Addictions. Betty-Lou is
also on the board of directors for Bereaved Families
of Ontario (Halton/Peel affiliate).
a B.A. in history from the University of Toronto, and
has been on the Board of Directors for BFO Durham Region
since 2002. She has past experience as a Director of
the Board for the Anaphylaxis Network of Canada (life-threatening
food allergies) where she was also Chair of Support
Services and responsible for managing support groups
across Canada. Cheryl was also a volunteer with the
Durham Region Victims Crisis Assistance and Referral
Service and the Allergy Asthma Information Association.
Cheryl is married to Ron Speare and has 3 children,
Shauna (25), Rachel (22) and Leah. She came to Bereaved
Families of Ontario when her 11 year old daughter Leah
died suddenly of unexplained causes on February 19th,
2000. In 2002, Cheryl took facilitator training in Durham
Region and since then, has been a Director of the Board,
facilitated groups, performed one-on-ones, drop-ins,
assisted in the co-ordination of Family Support Nights
and was honoured to be the Volunteer of the Year in
2005. Currently self-employed, she treasures her volunteer
work as a tribute to her daughter Leah.
Deborah is a bereaved mom whose first and second babies
were born prematurely and died shortly after birth.
Both births occurred prior to the profound changes to
hospital protocols that understood the possibility of
'good grief', and that facilitated, rather than denied,
maternal grief in perinatal death. Finding her way to
BFO after many years of grieving alone and in silence,
she eventually trained as a peer support volunteer for
both Toronto and Halton/Peel affiliates. As well, as
an Officer of the Board of Directors for Halton/Peel,
she chairs the Professional Advisory Subcommittee of
the Board. Deborah is an academic who teaches sociology
at the university level and who researches in the areas
of bereavement, health, gender, and diversity. Her Ph.D.
dissertation was in the area of perinatal bereavement.