Taking care of the community

Published 7:01 am Saturday, October 10, 2020

Austin’s Stowell has helped out with hockey players and senior citizens


Whether she’s learning to make comfort food for a Russian hockey player or helping  out a fellow senior citizen in need, Sue Stowell is glad to lend a hand.

The 70-year old Austin woman has been hosting Bruins players as a billet parent for the last seven years and she’s also a caregiver for Seniors Helping Seniors. In total, Stowell has hosted a total of 36 Bruin players and she’s tried to keep up with their lives well after they’ve moved on.

Sue Stowell clenches her teeth as she bids for Landen Letwin’s jersey during the jersey auction at last year’s Paint the Rink Pink at Riverside Arena. Stowell won the jersey during 2013’s game. Herald file photos

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“It’s been very rewarding for me, just to see these boys play hockey” Stowell said. “Then they go on and do what they want to do with their hockey goals and their education. They’ve all been great kids.”

Stollwell began hosting Bruin players after her sister and her niece worked as billet parents and suggested that she do the same.

Before she knew it, she was creating a recreation room for players to play video games and watch TV.

Stowell has also played cards with the players she’s hosted and she’s made a habit of attending most home games and most playoff games.

“I try to get to everyone of the home games and the games that are close in the regular season,” Stowell said. “In the playoffs, it’s another story and I try to get to all of them.”

Stowell, cooks, cleans and does laundry for her players. She’s done her best to make them all feel at home.

“When they come from other countries, I learn to make the meals that they’re used to having,” Stowell said. “I even learned how to make Swedish meatballs. It was quite a challenge.”

Stowell came across Seniors Helping Seniors while researching care options for her aunt and uncle who were both battling severe dementia and needed 24-hour care. After speaking with the franchise owner of the Austin location, Richard Mcintosh, Stowell was impressed with their offerings and hired SHS for her aunt and uncle. Then, at age 70, she also decided to work as a caregiver for the brand.

She takes a break from that position during the Bruins season, but when she’s working, she performs household chores for seniors who aren’t as capable as she is.

“It’s very rewarding,” Stowell said. “I enjoy doing it. I’m an ‘I want to help you’ kind of person. It makes me feel good and it keeps me young.”