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
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]
“Sailing to the Bahamas! Also sailing to the Caribbean and all along the east coast.”
–Doris Seastream, NHRS retiree
“Walk the beaches of New Hampshire and sometimes Maine…”
–Patricia Townsend, NHRS retiree
“After a 27 year fire service career, Mike Hoffman of the Durham-UNH Fire Department took his family on a retirement tour of Europe. They drove through seven countries spending at least a couple weeks in most of them. His new passion now is running the Stone Church Music Club in Newmarket with his wife Cheryl. ‘She’s a saint, she’s always putting up with my antics,’ says Hoffman.”
–Mike Hoffman, NHRS retiree
I retired from the Nashua School System in 2007 after 20 years teaching science at Elm Street. Since then I have written 2 historical fiction novels. The Road to Lattimer was published August 2019 by Sunbury Press. Information on my novels can be found on my website (www.virginiaraffertybooks.com). I am currently living in Aiken, South Carolina.
–Virginia Rafferty, NHRS retiree
“Kayaking on Lake Umbagog, Errol, NH.”
–Dick and Carolyn Aube, NHRS retirees
“In addition to travel and working on a contract basis for a couple of state agencies to assist with their rulemaking, I’ve been showing my American Saddlebred Gelding, Sweatin’ Bullets. This picture is of him winning the Adult Pleasure Championship at the Eastern States Exposition horse show this year. I have also become a member of the Sutton Conservation Commission and volunteered at the election polls in November.”
–Barbara Hoffman, NHRS retiree
“After retirement, I was ordained as an Interfaith Minister in Portland, Maine. More recently, I have been actively involved in the Monadnock Progressive Alliance's leadership team.”
–D’Vorah Kelley, NHRS retiree
“After retiring from my teaching position as a Special Education teacher in Rochester, NH, I began volunteering with other civic activists in NH and across the country for the passage of a 28th Constitutional Amendment to get excessive and secret money out of politics. We are concerned that federal and state legislators now ignore the needs of those of us in the working class, as they now cater to elite donors and multinational corporations, like the pharmaceutical industry.
This past June, we were proud to be a part of NH becoming the 20th state to officially call on Washington to initiate a constitutional amendment to protect our Democracy. I have organized a NH grassroots group of activists, NH Voters Restoring Democracy, and if you share our concerns about the insecure state of our Democracy, and what that means for our children, please go to VotersRestoringDemocracy.org and Americanpromise.net/contactcongress to learn about our work. Then please help us to flood the offices of Congressional legislators with e-mails from constituents from all over the country, all calling for the passage of this 28th amendment. Follow & share us on Facebook @nhdemocracy.”
–Corinne Dodge, NHRS retiree
“Since retiring from teaching 11 years ago, Larry Frates has become the Artist-in-Residence at the historic Belknap Mill in Laconia, NH, where he continues to create Watercolors, Caricatures and perform Magic.”
– Larry Frates, NHRS retiree
“Since retiring as a speech therapist in the Manchester School District I have chosen to volunteer in three major areas. Singing with my church choir @ Bethany Covenant Church, singing with the Elliot Hospital Associates Voluntaires and joining OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute).
The Voluntaires go to senior locations and offer a concert with songs that stir the memories and hearts of many. We are about 30 members who love bringing some joy to others through music. I enjoy setting up the locations where we go to sing. OLLI helps keep my brain active and engaged as a senior. There are so many learning opportunities from around the state to take part in. Serving on various committees helps me offer other skills that I have. OLLI provides those 50+ opportunities to meet new friends, learn for the fun of it, travel and volunteer.
The connection between the Voluntaires and OLLI is that they are both volunteer groups run by volunteers!
Life since retiring has provided additional opportunities for me to remain active, productive and happy.
Attached are three pictures. The Voluntaires and OLLI. My husband Jay and I attended and OLLI class with the Army Air National Guard in Concord. An amazing class where we heard about their many rescue missions in NH, saw their equipment.
– Janet Gagne, NHRS retiree
“Spent time volunteering in the Caribbean with a Museum and my faith community there; took two months to travel around the US by myself, visiting friends, national parks, and enjoying regional highlights; volunteer driver for local agency that helps other seniors with transportation needs; volunteer at a Family Center; assist friends and family who are nearby in many ways; use computer to stay in touch with distant friends and family.”
– Julie Swan, retired in 2003
“I have been enjoying hunting and raising and training Labrador puppies.”
–Jim Magee, NHRS retiree
“I retired from DOT (Hampton tolls) Jan 2002. Not doing anything stressful but trying to stay young and healthy is a challenge.”
–Jim Colbert, NHRS retiree
“After spending almost 15 years as a trustee for the Retirement System and 41 years on the police force, I retired and started a lobster business in Portsmouth. I have never regretted even for a day my decision. During the winter months, I still travel around the country speaking on retirement issues at conferences (in warm climates) and am now a trustee for the NH Municipal Retirement System (PFPOPE) which is a 457 plan and much smaller than NHRS.
I also work part-time in the winter for the Strafford County Sheriff’s Dept. doing polygraph exams. I now have plenty of time to do all the things I want without a daily schedule. If you are thinking about retirement "try it you'll like it!!!”
–Dean Crombie, NHRS retiree
“I retired as the Clerk of the Lebanon District Court in 2000. Having re-located to Florida that same year, I am now in my 18th year of a new career as a Real Estate Broker Associate in Cape Coral, FL. It's hard to believe I have been in this field longer than I was in the Lebanon District Court!
My husband, a retired Vermont State Police Detective Sgt., now owns and runs his own business here. Fortunately for us, our two children and their kids reside here as well.
In our spare time, we like to golf, travel and spend time with our family. I'd like to say we miss the New England weather, but that is definitely not the case!! If any of you are contemplating a move to the sunny south, I highly recommend our SW Florida area, most particularly Cape Coral.
Happy retirement everyone!! Stay warm!”
–CC Stone, NHRS retiree
I’m enjoying my retirement by publishing fiction. After seven years as an adjunct and eleven as a professor of writing at Nashua Community College, I finally have the time to write. I’ve published four novels and more than a dozen short stories since retirement. My novels "Kaleidoscope," "Baby Blues," "Catch .net," and "Caught in the Middle" are happily ever after sweet romances, not erotica.
My short stories have taken me into the circus, outer space, erotic revenge, vampires, real life, and more. They are: “Batman and Robin” in What’s Your Superpower?, “No Warrior Left Behind” in War Paint, “Little Girl” in Art Inspires Words, “Before the Ball Dropped” in Kissing Midnight, “Secret Santa” in Christmas Past, “Bridges Burned” in Vague Book, “Crazy About Her” in Crazy About Love, “Falling for You” in Falling for Crazy, “At First Sight” in Craving One Night, “Little Green Men” in Moonstruck, “Arresting” in TTYS, “Turned” in A Deadly World: Vampires in New York, “Vive le Resistance” in A Deadly World: Vampires in Paris, “Emilia” in Dracula’s Brides, “Purgatory” in Insane Insomnia, and “Hoarder” in Crazy Fools.
In 2019, I have two YA novels being published: Bully and Bubble Gum Love and several more short stories. You can follow me on Amazon to keep up with my publications, and follow and like me on Facebook (AuthorRitaDelude).
In addition, I’ve been quilting and completing quilts for my four children and their spouses and nine grandchildren. Retirement is great when you have things you love to do!
–Rita Delude, NHRS retiree
I have been retired for 6 years. In that time, I have traveled to Alaska for 6 weeks, remodeled my kitchen, vacationed in France, participated in the birth of 3 of my 5 grandchildren, been to Disney, taken more photographs and knit more sweaters than I can count. I babysit for two of my grandchildren one day a week. I am so fortunate to be close to my family.
–Evalyn Maghakian, NHRS retiree
“Retirement has provided me with the opportunity to be a full-time children’s author. This is the cover of my newest book, which came out first in Dutch and is coming out in Korean, Chinese and Arabic. Last October, I attended the Strawbery Banke Authors’ Festival which was particularly sweet because I used to bring my fourth graders there each year for a field trip. I also do school and Skype visits and bookstore events. But mostly I am at home writing and revising and meeting with other children’s writers to work on our craft. This has become like another full-time job, but I can make my own schedule and no bells ever ring to tell me when to stop or start! I also can write anywhere. My laptop travels with me! I am so grateful that I can continue communicating with children in this new way.”
–Carol Gordon Ekster, NHRS retiree
“Since 2012, retirement has been full, with a variety of service projects at home and in foreign lands. One particular rural Nepal school has been my primary passion, where I continue to return: 2013, 2015, and again 2017. Below are pictures of my work with my teacher-sister and teacher-colleague, having been trapped for 5 weeks during and after a major 7.8 earthquake and 43 aftershocks. Over 8,500 people died. We three found remote people, handed out food and supplies, and opened the safe areas of the school to all the children while teachers and parents were occupied in setting up makeshift tents or tin huts in which to live. We returned two years later having written a Rotary grant proposal for a library and training for all the teachers and students. Soon we will return for our 4th stay to carry on our next phase of working with teachers.”
–Joan Holcombe, NHRS retiree
“Trip to Europe was wonderful. Switzerland, Scotland, England, and France.”
-John D’Entremont, NHRS retiree
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
"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
“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
“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
“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
“Visiting my niece in Florida.”
–Robert Vorce, NHRS retiree
“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
“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
“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
“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
“Helping homeschoolers, making dolls, and spending time with my husband.”
–Barbara Wingren, NHRS retiree
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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