KEENE SENIOR CENTER
70 Court Street
Keene, NH 03431
Meet Senior Center Member, Stuart Carswell!
Everyone has a story to tell and we want to share it! We will be featuring one of our members each month in our newsletter. We would like to thank Stuart this month for sharing his story, and Brianna, a Keene State intern, for taking the time to listen and record it. If you are interested in sharing your story for a future newsletter please let us know!
Stuart, what was your childhood like?
I was born August 5, 1934 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Growing up I traveled all over the country because my father was in the army. In 1931, my father met my mother when he was an aide to President Hoover during a tour of the White House. I am the oldest child and have a younger brother and sister. When I was five years old, my family moved to Hawaii. We lived there between the years of 1936-1939. We were forced to evacuate from Hawaii because of the war.
Where did you attend school?
I attended elementary and middle school in Washington, DC. After that my family moved to Albany, New York, which is where I spent my high school years. In high school I swam competitively and it eventually landed me a swimming scholarship at Gettysburg College.
Stuart, what was your life like after college?
After college, I was drafted by the Marine Corps. This was common at the time as men were being drafted because of the Korean War. I worked as an armorer in the Marines where I repaired weapons and taught army school. I was also responsible for showing people how to use rifles. My job in the Marines allowed me to travel to some of the most amazing destinations including London, Puerto Rico, Panama, Switzerland, and Austria. In London, I was on embassy guard duty and was playing rugby. Playing rugby allowed me to travel to Ireland, France, Germany, Scotland, and England.
What did you do for a profession?
I first started my professional career as an employment manager at the Twinkie Hostess Company. As my professional growth developed, I went to Harvard University for three years and was the Assistant Director of Personnel (what we now refer to as Human Resources). Then I received an offer from Digital Computers in Merrimack, NH and became Vice President of Personnel. I was heavily involved in hiring building managers for this company. This job required me to have a good judge of character, and I think my friendly and outgoing attitude helped me significantly. I found an interest in personnel because I liked that it was a world-wide profession. I worked in personnel until 1988 when I retired. Upon retirement, I bought a motel and ski lodge in Stowe, Vermont that I ran and operated from 1991-1996. However, after two rainy winters I decided to sell it.
Stuart, why Keene? How did you end up here?
My mother lived here in Keene. I would come and go visiting during the holidays. After she passed away I just stayed here. I like Keene because of the community. I am fond the individuals here and like that the population has not been invaded by a mass amount of people like other big cities.
What is your involvement with the Keene Senior Center?
I have participated in several activities at the Center since 2000. I currently volunteer at the Center, but am most heavily involved with the Senior Swingers Singing Group. Prior to this, I taught a painting class and offered to help with cosmetic improvements to the Center including painting the walls and cleaning the building. I was also the Director of the Garden Club where I laid out the garden plans and planted a variety of vegetables including carrots, lettuce, bok choy, beans, and tomatoes. I played a big role in planting the seeds and harvesting the fresh produce. Most of what I harvested was consumed by members at the Center. Occasionally, I played poker and Scrabble at the Center. I am a regular at the Center and come twice a week for a few hours at a time. I strongly encourage others to join the Center and become active in the
programs and services that are offered.
Stuart, what is your favorite aspect of the Center?
I like the folks that come to the Center. I like the atmosphere here and the people who operate the facility who are always positive. I also enjoy the list of events, clubs, and services the Center has to offer because there is something for everyone. On Wednesdays the Center offers a Friendly Meal lunch sponsored by HSC for everybody, and the social activities are one of the best aspects of the Center.
What is occupying your time these days Stuart?
I am very active and spend a lot of time cross country skiing, playing golf, tennis, canoeing, and painting. I give back to the community of Keene by working part-time for HSC as a hospice aid and delivering meals to people through the Meals on Wheels program a few times a week. I spend time with my family, primarily my three kids, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren all whom live in the Keene area. I am most proud of my kids and the happy, successful lives they have created for themselves. I am also proud of the supportive people I have met through the Center.
Keene Senior Center 2013