Our Team

The Widowed Friends Team is dedicated to supporting, nurturing and making a positive difference in the lives of widows and widowers

Stephanie Etherington

Stephanie is the Founder of Widowed Friends. Widowed in 2013, she has dedicated her own experience to improving the lives of widows and widowers.

Her experience is in leadership and advocacy acquired as both Manager and later Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Halton (LDAH), She has been a strong advocate for the special learning needs of children both in education and community social programs. She was also a board member of Burlington Community Living and member of the Special Education Advisory Committee. Stephanie was an active volunteer in her community with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, VON – Senior Visit Program and Burlington Humane Society.

Stephanie’s role at Widowed Friends is to provide leadership in the community’s development so all widows and widowers regain a sense of happiness and purpose.

Penny Ryan

Penny is our Events Administrator and a widow since 2006.  She plays a pivotal role in the processing and registration of memberships along with connecting new members to WF’s programs and events.  She facilitates and co-ordinates monthly events for members, both in-person and virtually.

Penny was the co-organizer and managed a community drop-in program for preschoolers and their mothers in Dorval, Quebec. She brings organizational and event management skills to Widowed Friends along with her commitment to supporting the widowed community.

Lesley Morris

Lesley is the Communications and Public Relations Liaison. She was widowed in 2012.   She is an experienced content marketer and copywriter with a strong background in both corporate and non-profit organizations.

Focused on creating content for blogs, websites, articles and more, Lesley brings her experience to Widowed Friends managing the organization’s website, marketing communications and strategic partner relationships.

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    What Our Members Say…

    • "Joining Widowed Friends Zoom meetings is like walking into your living room and finding all your friends there!  It's been wonderful to have so many Zoom meetings each week to connect with others and feel a part of a larger community. "
    • Margaret H.
      I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that works so hard in the group for providing this network for people like myself and others.
      Margaret H.
    • Jill B
      I have never joined a group like this and was hesitant at first. I was welcomed and felt a sense of belonging and a real connection.
      Jill B
    • Alex S
      I felt alone and isolated due to Covid until I joined Widowed Friends. I quickly made friends and found others with something in common. They get it. I value the time, effort and support from the group. It’s a life saver.
      Alex S
    • Barb L
      Widowed Friends has helped ease my new journey into widowed life since we are all of like minds. It has helped make my life more meaningful.
      Barb L
    • Mark A.
      I can’t come close to expressing my gratitude and love for our Widowed Friends group.
      Mark A.
    • Margaret B.
      Being widowed, lonely, then moving to Oakville and only knowing my son and his family, Widowed Friends has been a godsend to me. With this group I met lovely new friends and this group opened up for me a wonderful new life with lots of social activities.
      Margaret B.
    • Don D.
      Since joining Widowed Friends, my loneliness and sadness, as a result of my wife’s death, have decreased. This personal change, is due to the warm interactions, offered to me, from the many widows and widowers I meet, at the socials. Thanks to everyone for your sincere caring.
      Don D.
    • Melodie S.
      I think it’s fair to say that Widowed Friends saved my life.  My husband died of a particularly aggressive cancer last winter.  The shock and tragedy of it shook all the joy out of me.  I was so very lonely… Widowed Friends threw me a lifeline when I was drowning.
      Melodie S.
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