Want to retire, sit at home and watch television all day?
While that’s how some folks spend their “golden years,” but others prefer different options, choosing to savor every moment and creating opportunities to keep active, make new friends, and broaden their horizons.
For some seniors, the word “retirement” never means “inactivity.” They generously share their gifts by performing volunteer service to others, or working part-time, not only to earn extra income but also to get out of the house, meet people, and make the most of each day.
After teaching elementary grades in local Catholic schools for 40 years, Swansea resident Jeannine St. Laurent became a receptionist and worship leader for the Waring-Sullivan Funeral Homes, and regularly assists grieving families at wakes, funerals and services.
She also volunteers two mornings per week at Charlton Memorial Hospital, where she serves as a pastoral minister, a role that gives her the privilege to visit and bring Communion to Catholic patients.
“I’ve had a good life,” reveals the 81 year-old mother of two and grandmother. “I’ve received a lot in life and I have to give back to the community.”
Although the devout Catholic enjoyed visiting many of Europe’s most majestic cathedrals, St. Laurent sees “equally beautiful steeples in Fall River” every day when she travels east over the Braga Bridge.
Her advice for living a full life is simple: “Keep busy and be with people.”
Another senior who just won’t stop is Joyce Pinsonnault, 68, who has been a familiar face in the children’s department at the Fall River Public Library for decades.
Soon after she formally retired a decade ago, Pinsonnault was called back into service and continues to maintain a hectic schedule at the library, where her warm smile and friendly demeanor have welcomed generations of enthusiastic patrons.
“I never really left,” the mother of two says, adding that while she slowed down a little to care for her husband Al, who died six years ago, she quickly resumed her busy schedule. Her children Lisa and Roger, grandson Ian, and many friends always keep her moving and having lots of fun.
“They keep the old lady going,” she chuckles.
Active in the community, Pinsonnault serves as the vice president of Pet Partners, a local low cost animal wellness clinic, and volunteers at Forever Paws, where she is a board member, former President, and Committee Chairperson.
“I absolutely love animals,” Pinsonnault tells, adding that she has always had a place in her heart for abandoned cats and dogs in need of a loving home.
“Don’t throw time away,” she declares, when asked for her prescription for a meaningful and productive life. “I never stay in my pajamas. I always have something to do and I don’t want to die until I’m dead.”
read the entire article in June/July South Coast Prime Times