What have NHRS retirees been up to in retirement?

Sep 19, 2019

We asked NHRS retirees what they have been up to since beginning their retirement, and received many submissions from talented and adventurous retirees. Each Thursday we will post a new submission on our Facebook and Twitter pages (hashtag #LovingRetirement) and compile them here. For a better view of an image, click on it to open up a larger version. 

We always look forward to receiving new submissions. If you’re interested in sending us a short paragraph or photo of your retirement endeavors, please send to [email protected]

“Since retiring from Goffstown PD, I owned and operated a custom picture framing business for 18 years. When medical issues took place for both of us, we moved to a warmer climate in that of Florida. I drove a school bus for 7 years and finally retired. After 2 more moves, we finally settled in a very active 55+ community. I cook for our community breakfasts, play some golf, and card games, one of them being cribbage. I developed a hobby of putting together cribbage pegs which I offer for sale locally and on eBay. In late winter-early spring, I also compete in local county Senior Game Olympics having won medals in fishing and rifle shooting.”

-Barry Morgrage, NHRS retiree

“My wife and I took a year to RV across the US. We are focused on visiting our National Parks.

The photos were taken in Bryce Canyon National Park, at the summit of Mt. Lassen in Lassen Volcanic National Park and at Reflection Lake in Mount Rainer National Park.

We have visited 23 National Parks in the last 7 months. We have plans to visit 7 more before we finish our year in the RV.”

–Don Rudolph, NH State Police retiree

Don and his wife in Bryce Canyon National Park Don at the summit of Mt. Lassen  

“I am Pam Stohrer, from Hillsborough, and in June 2018 I retired after 42 years of teaching public school music.

Here’s what I’m up to:

- I play therapeutic Celtic Harp at four area medical facilities every week
- I play parties, funerals, weddings, conferences.....lots of people are interested in harp music!
- Most importantly, I'm a graduate of the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine training program for End-of-Life Doulas, and will soon be setting up a practice in the Concord area.

I could not be happier to be retired, and my dog thinks it’s pretty swell, too.”

-Pam Stohrer, NHRS retiree

 Pam at harp 

“I was in IT for 42 years, with 2 years for the State of NH. My best position was 10 years as IT Director / Systems Analyst / Programmer for the Concord School District. I liked that job best because I could solve “real user needs” without interference of committees. After leaving the school district because of budget cuts, I completed large computer contract jobs in Boston. I did retire in January 2014 for 9 months. I am not really “the retirement type.” I have been a “part-time” (4 hours a day) Custodian at Bow High School since September 2014. I would still like computer development / support projects as the needs arise.”

–Michael Royce, NHRS retiree

Michael Royce standing beside his custodian cart in school classroom

“Since retiring from teaching, I have moved to central Florida to be with family. I have since contracted tutoring gigs through the Learning Resource Center. They are a United Way organization that services students in private schools who have need of Special Ed services through an IEP. So I continue to use my special education experience.

I am fortunate to live in a community that has a variety of activities available to us seniors. I have been taking watercolor classes, something I never anticipated. It has become a wonderful activity and outlet for my latent art talent.”

–Susan Gagne, NHRS retiree

“Since retiring in 2013, I have taken up adaptive sports. I began with skiing in 2015 and have also tried rock climbing, kayaking, and cycling. I love the outdoors and have found a new passion in adaptive sports.”

–Wendy Katsekas, NHRS retiree

Wendy Katsekas skiing 

“My husband and I were able to spend September and October 2018 in Germany and Italy visiting family and friends! We also toured castles, hiked in the Alps, visited ancient ruins and many beautiful cathedrals including the Duomo in Firenze and the Duomo of Madonna di Loreto.

The photos are of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano, Italy, Neuschwanstein Castle, and Lake Garda in northern Italy.

We feel very blessed to have good health, wonderful family and friends, and perfect weather for our trip. We also were safe and protected by military presence in cities that we visited.”

–Laurine Parker, NHRS retiree 

Parker and husband pose in front of Lake Garda Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano, Italy Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

“This is me accepting the Spirit of NH Award on behalf of the CRVNA (Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association) volunteers.”

–John Mark Hamer, NHRS retiree

John Hamer accepting an award

"Since my retirement, I have been writing poetry. Some of my writing has been about Vietnam veterans. My poem "Bobby's Story" won the Reader’s Choice Award in one of the most prestigious poetry contests in the country. To find the poem, with an audio button at the top of the page, visit rattle .com and search "Bobby's Story."

–Jimmy Pappas, NHRS retiree

“After retiring from Hampton Police Mounted Patrol, I found Mounted Patrols around the world. This is in The Old Town of Prague, Czech Republic.”

–George Bateman, NHRS retiree

Picture of George Bateman with two mounted patrol officers

“After retiring from the Amherst School District after teaching for 33 years, it seemed I was not quite done with the field of education! I pursued a 2nd career as an Academic Coach and have been working the past 5 years coaching high school students in the Concord region. My book, The Learning Curve; Navigating the Road to High School Success, was published in June of 2018.

Along with meeting with students in a high school setting, I also provide private coaching sessions for middle and high school students, as well as virtual coaching sessions for distant college students. In addition, I teach a 12-hour summer course I developed, designed to help incoming freshmen prepare for the rigors of high school, as well as a 1-hour presentation for parents on guiding your child along a path of improved academic performance. For more information I can be reached at [email protected]

– Alice Giarrusso, NHRS retiree 

Portrait of Alice Giarrusso Picture of the cover of her book: The Learning Curve 

“I am in my 19th year of retirement after 27 years and 3 months with the Keene Police Department. I became unstable in my employment history for the first 15 years of retirement; because I could. I became politically active at the local level as a city councilor and afterwards worked quietly behind the scenes on issues I cared about. My wife and I have traveled around the world, most recently having visited China. We were able to return to Vietnam to relive my youth. The photo attached shows us on the Great Wall of China near Beijing. I am now fully retired and living the dream.”

– Fred Parsells, Keene PD 1973-2000

Parsells 1 

“I retired from the Nashua Police Department March 1st, 2009, and have been employed as a Public Safety Officer at Rivier University in Nashua since 2010. I enjoy working at Rivier University very much. I want to extend my best wishes and regards to all my fellow retirees. I wish you all good health and happiness in our well-earned retirement.”

–Jim Casey, NHRS retiree 

“Retirement is great! Been traveling around the country on our Harley and enjoying our wonderful grandchildren.

Excuse the brevity, I'm retired and don't have time for long responses.”

-AJ Tardif, NHRS retiree

AJ Tardif 1 AJ Tardif 2 

“Visiting my niece in Florida.”

–Robert Vorce, NHRS retiree

Vorce 2 Vorce 2 Vorce 3 Vorce 5 Vorce 6 Vorce 4 

“I work for ATF now, in the Firearms & Ammunition Technology Division. In my free time… I go to the vineyards of Virginia and Maryland, and travel a lot for both work and fun.”

– Eve Eisenbise, retired from Manchester PD

Eisenbise 1 Eisenbise 4 Eisenbise 3 Eisenbise 2

“Since my retirement in 2003, I have spent a great deal of time actively involved in the Rivier Institute for Senior Education (RISE) in Nashua, both as a facilitator and as a student. As they say, you're never too old to learn something new, and the RISE program offers that opportunity to those of us 55 and older. They also say that if you really want to learn something, teach it, and as a RISE facilitator, I've been able to put together a variety of five week courses that involved subject matter that I wanted to know more about. I've enjoyed both the process of developing these courses as well as the chance to share what I've learned with interested students.”

—David McNeil, NHRS retiree

“My name is Lynn Plourde I retired from the Judicial Branch after 30 years of service.

I live in Florida during the winter months.

In October 2018, my homebred Morgan horse named LMP Bring It Home won at the World Championship Morgan Horse Show in Oklahoma City Reserve World Champion!

Also, I work with my friend Michelle Aulson and we run Goats to Go yoga classes in Georgetown, Mass and Bronson, Florida. It has really taken off."

–Lynn Plourde, NHRS retiree 


Plourde 1 Plourde 2 

“I hit the road…full-timing in a motor home!”

–Nathan Strong, NHRS retiree


“Painting, gardening, kayaking, and playing with my ponies.”

–Nancy Naples, NHRS retiree

Naples 1 Naples 3 Naples 2 Naples 4 Naples 5

“Life is good in western Maine…. where I work and live at Sugarloaf Ski area. I am a shuttle bus driver two days a week and enjoy the great outdoors the rest of the time.”

–Joe Samson, NHRS retiree


“I am currently Chairman of the Alton Bay Water Bandstand Committee. The Bandstand, age 90, was in dire need of repair so I wrote a petition directing Selectmen to repair it. This became an Article on the 2018 Town Warrant, it was approved by voters and a Committee was created. Repairs are nearly complete and on June 22, 2019, we will hold a Water Bandstand Celebration Day. You’re never too old to volunteer!”

–Nancy Merrill, retired in 2004

“In 2016 I self-published a family history book, "The Land in Our Hands - A History of the Burley-Demeritt Farm in Lee, NH". It's largely based on the stories written by my mother Della Demeritt Lamson about her years growing up at the farm in the early 1900's and includes old photos and paintings done by Della. The book also included a section on our family's genealogy dating back to the 1600's when they settled in the Great Bay region of the NH Seacoast. Both my older brother David Lamson and I (shown in the photo with me) also spent our early childhood there, and he wrote a section in the book about his early memories of life on the farm. I also continue to work on our family tree through Ancestry.

I retired from NHRS in January 2005. Thank you for giving us retirees the opportunity to share what we have been doing since our retirement.”

– Martha Lamson Butterfield, NHRS retiree

 David Lamson; Martha Lamson Butterfield 

“Helping homeschoolers, making dolls, and spending time with my husband.”

–Barbara Wingren, NHRS retiree

Wingren 1 Wingren 2 Wingren 3 

“Since my retirement in 1999, I have been a professor at Boston University, a major author with Pearson, and now I am involved with a program to acclimate immigrants in Province to the United States. I work with immigrants from West Africa who are generally Muslims and speak French in addition to their first language which is Wollof or Twi or some other local tongue. Busy, demanding, but satisfying work.”

– Arthur Johnson, NHRS Retiree

“We divide our time between Maryland and Florida. We enjoy spending time with the grandchildren for 5 months, and spend the other 7 in sunny Florida. We enjoy a boat in Maryland.

We go to Disney twice a week. We have annual passes to the Space Center. We visit Sea World. We volunteer as CERT members as well as Citizens on Patrol. We have found a church home in both places. Dudley is a therapy dog, and we visit the VA – 2 assisted living homes – and a rehab facility each week. We visit in Maryland as well.

I tutor Hispanic women to improve their pronunciation in English each week. Our lives are full and busy. We try to go to the gym and walk a lot to maintain our health. Life is good, and we are so blessed. Working hard paid off."

– Karen (NHRS retiree), Mark, and Dudley Demyanovich

 Demyanovich 3  Dudley Demyanovich 1 Demyanovich 2 Demyanovich 4

“I retired from the Merrimack Fire Department 20 year ago. Since I retired, I have been volunteering at the food program in Wittmann, Arizona. I get there around 6 in the morning. The food gets there in tractor-trailers. We have to set up the food line and bags; we run from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. We feed about over 200 families. When I come back to New Hampshire, I also help out at our church in Merrimack at the food bank. In the morning when l go for a walk, I pick up trash in our area. I also was in the air forces for over 20 years.”

– Joseph Belanger, NHRS retiree


"I retired in 2011, and shortly afterwards, my wife, Cindi and I left our home and drove across the country to Salt Lake City for one year. We volunteered for a year at the Family History Library there, where we helped thousands of people research their family trees! We left again from November 2016 – 2018! Now we spend our retirement travelling to visit grandkids."

– Richard Cote, NHRS retiree


“What have I done? Gotten active in politics. Served a term in the legislature. Written 4 books. Traveled to Europe, China, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Traveled cross-country several times. Participated in an ongoing senior exercise program. Visited family in SC and GA. Built several guns. Remodeled a condo. Built a porch. Built a pergola.”

– John Martin, NHRS retiree

“You asked what we have been doing in retirement. Here is our crazy story. My husband and I have a different type of retirement than most, we sold our house, car and everything we owned to get rid of any of our bills and we put what we kept into one of our 5 bicycle bags and peddled away to go see the world. In the last 4 years, we have traveled just over 25,000 miles through the USA, Mexico, Central America and the length of South America (from Colombia to Tierra del Fuego) and now we are riding in New Zealand. People ask us all sorts of questions like where do you sleep, and what do you eat, and even what if you need a haircut! We write a nightly blog Gone4aRide to tell people about the wonderful world we travel through. To get there, google: Linda and Mike cycling around the world.
You can also find more pics on our blog or Instagram: @g4aride”

– Linda Stuart, former Concord School Teacher

Stuart 1 Stuart 2

“My name is Ron Cote (standing toward the rear of vehicle). I retired from the NH DRA on January 1, 2015. I now spend a great deal of my time volunteering. One of my volunteer efforts are a full day (Wednesday) each week, picking up furniture and household items for the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop. The items are used for either assisting the less fortunate with second hand items, or sold to provide assistance through various charitable organizations from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. I also volunteer to drive / transport food orders received from the NH Food Bank drop off point (in Berlin) on the first Tuesday of every month to the Marie Reviere Food Pantry, housed at the St. Vincent Thrift Shop location.”

– Ron Cote, NHRS retiree

Cote 1 

“Since retiring, I have fostered 18 children for DCYF, I have traveled to 8 countries in Europe and several states in the Midwest. I love working at my daughter's bakery for a change of pace, and I make mittens, hats and quilts for the underprivileged.”

– Linda Woodward, NHRS Retiree 

“I retired from the Administrative Office of the Courts at the end of September 2007 at age 60. Being able to take early retirement and having a pension has allowed me to realize my lifelong dream of pursuing a career as a fine artist. I create small and miniature Photorealistic New England landscapes that I show in miniature exhibitions around the country. I am also represented by the MainStreet MarketPlace & Gallery in Warner, NH. In the past several years, I have done several commissioned pieces for the NH Bureau of Historic Sites. They have been used to create products that are for sale in the gift shops.

The painting is one of the commissioned pieces for the NH Bureau of Historic Sites.”

– Nan McCarthy, NHRS retiree 

McCarthy 1

“I’ve been playing, singing, and performing music including releasing two new CD's of original stuff in the last three years.”

– Chris George, NHRS retiree
George 1 George 2 George 3

“Life as a retiree has been a true adventure for us. We sold our house, bought an RV, and have been traveling all around the country seeing all that the US has to offer. While RV life may not be right for everyone, if you have a sense of adventure and a desire to travel, it is a great option. Besides sight-seeing, it also offers the option of “workamping” or volunteering at our State and National Parks. It is a "create your own adventure" retirement. As of right now, we have camped in 29 states. We are wintering in Yuma, Arizona but will get back to traveling again in April when we will add even more states to our list.”

– Maureen Rebele, retired from SAU 23 

Rebele 2 Rebele 1

“Since my retirement twelve years ago, I have been able to spend more time with family and dear friends, read any book I feel like (and there have been over 1000), am a judge on the Granite State Challenge, and have traveled to the western US, Paris, Rome, Tuscany, cruised the Danube (twice), cruised the Panama Canal, and from Montreal to Boston, a tulip cruise, a Caribbean cruise, been to Las Vegas, Reno, Sacramento, NYC, and Spain. Looking forward to doing more in the next year.”

– Ann Boulanger, retired from PHS of SAU 52 (member of Seacoast Retired Teachers)

“Retirement has been amazing. I have moved to sunny Florida and started making jewelry and painting. Enjoying life.”

– Janet Andrews, NHRS retiree 

Janet Andrews 1 Janet Andrews 3 Janet Andrews 4 Janet Andrews 2 Janet Andrews 5