Family time in the Valley

Jen Juhasz

COMBERMERE – Shared Christmas traditions started for Brad and Sharon Schwieg of Combermere 42 years ago when they started out as a young married couple.

While Brad is originally from Combermere, Sharon, along with one older and three younger sisters was born in south western Ontario, in the city of Kitchener. Her parents however, both born and raised in Barry’s Bay, were intent on ensuring their family’s connection with Madawaska Valley was kept intact. As a result, Sharon recalls spending a lot of her childhood in the area, with fond memories.

At 13 she would make the move to Combermere with her family, following her parents’ purchase of the big white building across the street from the Post Office in Combermere. She said at the time it was a store and gas station. Sharon’s parents would continue to run this business until switching over to a laundromat business a few years later.

Sadly, Sharon lost her mom when she was only 16. She and Brad had met a couple years before that, and Sharon said that both her mom and dad loved him, but with her sudden passing, he was left with the regret of not making his deep affection for her daughter known before her passing.

“Brad felt so bad that she didn’t know how he felt about me. I’m sure she did,” Sharon shared.

Shortly after, his intentions were more than clear as the couple became engaged and were married a year later.

Brad had already moved away to work at the Ford plant in Oakville, which is where they would continue to live for the next 30 years, working and raising their daughter Crystal and son Bradley, and eventually preparing for their retirement. Over time and as they could afford to, they built a house in Combermere, where they continue to live today.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the December 19, 2018 Valley Gazette or subscribe online.

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