KEENE SENIOR CENTER
70 Court Street
Keene, NH 03431
Meet Senior Center Member, Chuck Cotton!
Chuck, please tell me where you were born and describe your childhood:
I was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1937 and spent most of my
childhood in Providence. I was athletically-inclined, playing sports growing
up. When I graduated from Hope High School, I received a scholarship to a
school in Virginia. After one year there, I was awarded another scholarship to
play football in North Carolina. I played there for another year, but I wanted
to settle down, so I joined the Air Force. I was stationed in Plattsburgh,
NY, where I met my wife, Nancy. After serving four years in the Air Force,
Nancy and I returned to Rhode Island to raise our family. I went to Johnson
& Wales where I graduated with an associate degree.
Please describe your career path, and how you chose that career:
I tried different things and had a few short-term jobs. Right after I got out
of the service, I worked at a bank for 14 months. For three years, I was a
driver supervisor for a linen company. In 1974, my career developed when
I became a manager at a bowling center. I was in the bowling business for
16 years. After retiring from that business, I worked for the State of Rhode
Island where I was a LVER (Local Veterans Employment Representative). I
provided services for veterans, such as helping them find employment and
benefits. I did this for 17 years before retiring.
Tell me about your experiences in the Air Force:
I was stationed in Hunter Air Force Base in Savannah, GA for
two years and then shipped to Plattsburgh, NY for two more years, and worked in the personnel department. I also
played baseball for the base and basketball for the squadron. While in the Air Force, I coached the Little League
team, which I really enjoyed.
Chuck, tell me about your family.
Growing up I had one sister. She too was in the bowling business and also
worked for the state. My wife and I have three daughters. My oldest daughter is a pharmacy technician. My middle
daughter is currently unemployed, but is hoping to find a managerial position in the near future. My youngest
daughter takes after me. She is the recipient of all the things I could give to her (medically especially); as she also
has emphysema and kidney disease. I have four grandchildren. My oldest daughter had a boy and a girl. My oldest
grandson works as a welder, and my granddaughter is a record keeper for a doctor’s office. My other daughter had
two sons, who are currently 14 and 11. They are both tall and intelligent young men.
What led you to Keene and what draws you to the Senior Center? While traveling between 1959 and 1962, I would travel every other week to Rhode Island; I would drive through Keene. I had always thought it was a beautiful town. I fell in love with the area because I liked cities, just not large cities. My family and I used to vacation here every fall. We would visit the pumpkin patches, apple orchards and even visit Friendly Farm (a small petting zoo on Route 101). When I retired, my wife and I came back to the area in 2002. I wasn’t here more than a year and had already joined the Senior Center. The Center is tremendous as far as activities are concerned. They offer something for everybody. Anything that benefits an aging person, the Center provides. I am actively involved in cribbage and sing with the Keene Senior Swingers Singing group. When the Center puts together events, like special dinners, I usually participate in those gatherings as well. I recommend the Center for everybody. The Center has a wonderful atmosphere and is affordable..
Chuck, what is something that you are most proud of?
When I was working for the State of Rhode Island I was recognized for my work by the Small Businessmen’s Association. I was awarded from very distinguished people who worked for the state (like the governor, senators and representatives). I am also proud of the all-state honors I received from my athletic career. I was an all-state football and basketball player in high school, and was all-prep in Virginia.
Keene Senior Center 2013