Wellesley is mourning the loss of a longtime community volunteer after the passing last week of Verna Metcalfe.
Heavily involved in organizations such as the Applejacks hockey club and the Apple Butter and Cheese Festival, Metcalfe passed away peacefully in her home August 8 at the age of 75.
“We’ve known Jim and Verna since they moved to Wellesley,” said Susan Reid, a friend of the family. “Her death was quite a shock, to say the least. At this age, you expect to know when it’s going to happen, not for it to be a sudden thing. So it was quite a shock when we found out.
Metcalfe worked just about every executive position within the Wellesley Applejacks, including president of the club. She has been a chef, booster, seamstress, as well as a considerable part of the fundraising team.
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“Verna was like a second mom to all of her players,” said Rick Grebinski, a long-time member of the Applejacks organization. “They were her boys, and she intended to look after them, and she did. She knew all the Applejacks players from years back. She knew their parents and grandparents, and their aunts and their uncles and their siblings, that’s just the type of person she was.
“She had this real gift of being able to converse with anyone. And it didn’t matter where we went, like what town we were playing in, what arena we were in, she’d be there talking to all the people from that town, and she’d get to know everybody, and she was very easy to talk to that way.”
Metcalfe was also an employee of the Wellesley Apple Products, as well as volunteering for the ABC Fest since she moved to Wellesley.
“She’s been a big part of Apple Butter and Cheese Festival, making sure that there was enough help for the smorgasbord because she was also a part-time worker for Kennedy’s,” added Reid. “We don’t know how much she really did until the next thing that comes up, and then someone will say ‘Oh, Verna was in charge of that.’”
In addition to her countless contributions to the community of Wellesley, Metcalfe dedicated her time to other causes including the Hampstead United Church and United Church Women. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, gardening, attending social events and listening to music.
“She had tenacious work habits, was a social butterfly and had a very caring personality,” said Grebinski.
A funeral service took place on August 13 in New Hamburg.