Nayda Veeman was a vibrant woman with an appetite for life, who dedicated decades of her life to community service. She grew up on a farm in Milestone, SK, and met her husband of 49 years, Glenn, while they both were students and resided at U of S. They led an adventurous life together, eloping to Montreal in 1967, living in Africa while working for CUSO and touring through Africa and Asia. Their children Tanya and Chris were born in 1972 and 1973 respectively.
Nayda’s sense of adventure and openness to the world shaped her entire life. She visited all of the continents, whether for development work, research, to play tennis in the World masters games, to visit friends, or just as a tourist. She loved the outdoors: among her adventures, she canoed the Nahanni River, helped build a log cabin and learned to scuba dive. She loved classical music and was an accomplished pianist. She spoke several languages and maintained numerous international friendships.
Nayda was a tireless community organizer, taking executive positions with many organizations such as Women in Technology, Immigrant Women of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Community College. In 2006, she was honoured with a Star on Broadway Avenue for her leadership in establishing community ownership of the Broadway Theatre, and for her hard work in keeping its doors open. She gave countless hours over many years of her life to support local organizations in which she believed.
Nayda was the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Literacy Network for many years. Her passion for family literacy led her to conduct comparative research on literacy strategies in Canada and Sweden, for which she was granted a PhD in 2004.
Nayda faced her diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia with grace and courage, passing away peacefully at Sherbrooke Community Centre in 2016. Her husband, Glenn, decided to establish the Nayda Veeman Fund for Literacy after the Foundation came to his attention through friends who established a memorial fund. He notes that the foundation “makes it easy to begin the process. All you have to do is have a brief meeting, provide a bit of information, and of course, sign a cheque.”
Glenn created this fund in order to honour her memory and continue her legacy of support for the cause that was her passion. Glenn hopes to grow the fund slowly, ensuring that a meaningful grant can be made each year to support projects at the Saskatchewan Literacy Network.