About Us

Brief Sketches of Barry Garbutt and Eleanor Suderman

Eleanor and Barry

Eleanor Suderman and Barry Garbutt

I (Barry) studied Chemistry and Physics at the University of Manitoba. I then worked in research at Bell Labs and Rutgers University in New Jersey. Coming back to Canada I taught mainly science related subjects at Red River College. For 18 years I was Dean of Applied Sciences and Community Services (including Nursing, Early Childhood Education, and the Allied Health Programs) at the College. I directed the College’s first capital campaign raising nearly 3 million dollars. I have become a student of ancient history, religious history, ideas and the lives of interesting people since I retired 15 years ago. Along the way I volunteered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba (Chair of the Board), the Riverview Health Centre, the Canadian Animal Blood Bank, among others.

My wife, Eleanor, is my partner in this venture with the Winnipeg Foundation. Eleanor graduated from the St. Boniface Hospital Nursing Program. After working at the Hospital in Pediatrics for three years she took a position in Newfoundland at the Sir Wilfred Grenfell Hospital in St. Anthony. She then moved to Toronto to work at the Sick Kids Hospital. Her next stop was our Children’s Hospital where she managed the pediatric intensive care unit followed by taking a teaching post. Before retirement in 2008 she spent 5 years as a project manager with the Project Management Office of the Winnipeg Regional health Authority. Along the way she earned BN and MN degrees. Since retiring Eleanor has become passionate about the design and publishing of books. Eleanor is also a creative gardener.

We live in Winnipeg where we were born, and enjoy golf, reading and travel.

What led us to found the Circle of Life Endowment Fund?

From her experience as manager of the Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Eleanor learned how vulnerable children could be. She was exposed to many cases that left indelible memories. My interest in the vulnerability of children peaked as a result of being responsible for the Early Childhood Education  Program at Red River College. Additionally, my scientific interest began to focus on the work being done at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR) in the field of Human Development. The College made contact with Dr. Fraser Mustard, founder of the CIAR. A project resulted from this meeting. It is a professionally updated online resource titled the Science of Early Childhood Development (SECD) and was developed and is delivered by Red River College. The University of Toronto and many other individuals and institutions partnered to develop this successful resource.

Eleanor and I realized the vulnerability of the elderly through life experience. Both of us have been involved in helping family members with growing old and  with living in personal care homes. The family members include moms, dads, uncles, aunts, and Eleanor’s brother. Our experiences are memorable, emphasizing how vulnerable residents of care homes are. The lack of funding, programming and resources were often front and centre.