Parksville’s Forward House was shocked by the death of their long-time executive director Carol Richardson last month, but her husband Gerard Klomp confirms the facility will continue to be an active part of the community.
“I want to help carry on Carol’s legacy,” said Klomp, who was program director for the mental health and addictions recovery facility.
He said he was asked to apply for the executive director job 23 years ago but refusing was “the best decision I ever made because it brought Carol into my life,” he said of her being hired.
Klomp has been involved with Forward House for 30 years since it was an SOS (Society of Organized Services) program and ran a special needs house for 25 years before that. And he added that he has a huge amount of support from the house’s staff and clients.
“We’re going through this as a family, going through the grieving together,” he said. “I look forward to continuing to develop new programs with VIHA (the Vancouver Island Health Authority),” he said, pointing out that Richardson left a lot of good long-term plans and programs in development.
“Carol organized everything to the Nth degree,” he said but added that she really did three jobs worth of work and was irreplaceable.