Citizen of the Year

Every year the town of Pittsfield, New Hampshire recognizes an outstanding citizen for the efforts to make Pittsfield a better place. Below, find a list of current and past “Citizens of the Year!”

A panel of former Citizens of the Year chooses the Citizen of the Year from the nominations received by June 16. The decision is announced by July 14 in time for Old Home Day. If there is someone you feel should be considered for Citizen of the Year, please send a letter with their name and why they deserve the award to

Citizen of the Year
PO Box 173
Pittsfield, NH 03263

2018 Pittsfield Citizens Of The Year

Freeze Brothers


Congratulations to George E. Freese III (Gef) and Robert A. Freese, 2018 Pittsfield Citizens of the Year!

We all know them as previous owners of Globe Manufacturing Company- who has been very generous to our community but each have given of themselves to many projects and endeavors.

For many years, Gef has mowed the lawn, trimmed the bushes and swept the street in front of the First Congregational Church. He also helped clean Floral Park Cemetery after the fireworks on Balloon Rally weekend.

Rob has also contributed his time, mainly to the Fire Department. Joining in 1980 as an Explorer and three years later becoming a regular member, he was one of the original EMT’s. He has served as a firefighter, lieutenant of the Rescue Squad, and three years as deputy chief. Today he is the Director of Emergency Management for Pittsfield. Rob has also been a strong supporter of the Police Department, funding the Canine Unit and the purchase of two police cruisers.

The brothers have given of their time, but they have also shared a huge amount of their monetary success to making our town a better place to live. There has not been a project in decades to which they have not contributed. Individually, and sometimes in conjunction with their company, have donated large sums of money to many of Pittsfield’s organizations: Boy Scouts, Rotary, Pittsfield Historical Society (Frank Lyman Park, the Thyng Memorial, the roof on its headquarters), Pittsfield Players (the sprinkler system), Pittsfield Youth Baseball (especially the recent renovation of the Park), and the Congregational Church (lighting for the town clock among other items).

They have also provided funding to the Fire Department for new Class A uniforms, an air compressor replacement, and new fire suits and their repair. They recently paid for new LED lighting, for racks to house individual firefighters’ equipment, and to have the interior of the building repainted.

Gef and Rob have been strong supporters of local education, providing funds for the Blueberry Express Day Care Center, scholarships for Pittsfield students and support of the Music and Arts Departments, summer programs and sports teams.

Recently they paid for lighting at the dam, the reconstruction of the bandstand in Dustin Park, the fireworks display at Balloon Rally and contributed to the new fence around Floral Park. They have pledged to make a major donation toward the repair of the dam at White’s pond.

These are some of the contributions Gef and Rob have made to the town of Pittsfield – we are sure there are many more! Pittsfield is very lucky and grateful to have two wonderful and generous individuals who take the time to make our community a better place to live! THANK YOU, Gef and Rob for ALL you do for Pittsfield! Congratulations for being chosen as Pittsfield’s Citizens of the Year!

2017 Pittsfield Citizens Of The Year
2017 Pittsfield Citizens Of The Year

Pittsfield’s 2017 Citizens of the Year are a couple that has been involved in our community for years – This couple has been business owners, elected officials, and members of many clubs and organizations – Congratulations to FRED & LIZ HAST!

Fred began volunteering in the late 50’s- for the Fire Department and as a member of the Budget Committee. He was a member and past President of the Rotary Club. Fred had the prestigious honor of being selected a Paul Harris Fellow. Fred has always helped out at the Balloon Rally and Penny Sale. He was a past President of the Pittsfield Lions Club. While a member, Fred helped run the summer carnival and helped with the Christmas Lights on Main Street prior to the Chamber coordinating the task.

Fred was a member of the Fire Department for close to 30 years; he was the Fire Chief for almost 20 of those years. He was instrumental in the construction of the current fire station.  Fred was the past President of NH Fire Chiefs Association. He is also a 40 plus year Forest Fire Warden, as well as serving on numerous fire-related boards throughout NH & NE. Fred represented Pittsfield and NH many times fighting wildfires in the Western states.

Fred has served on many committees for our town from Selectboard, Fire Department, Budget Committee, and Old Home Day Committee. Fred has also been very involved with the Food Pantry – many times driving to Manchester once a week to pick up the food.

Liz has also been very involved in our Pittsfield community. While raising their 6 children she was a Girl Scout leader and also a very active member of the PHS Booster Club. She is a long time member of the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Liz spends many hours volunteering at the Clothes Closet. It’s been said that she has a great knack for putting together fabulous displays!

Many people know and remember Liz from her many years of service as our Town Clerk and Tax Collector. She currently serves as one of the Supervisors of the Checklist for the registered voters’ list. Liz is also the Vice-Chair for the Housing Standards Agency. Some people may also remember her as the Avon Lady!

Liz was a member of the Women of Rotary and was always an active participant at any of their events. She was one of the first members of the Public Relations Committee and has been a longtime member of the Old Home Day Committee. She was very active in the Fireman’s Auxiliary and while Fred was Fire Chief, she supported him in many ways.

We are sure there are many other things that Fred and Liz have been involved in, but one thing is for sure – they have contributed a lifetime to make Pittsfield a better place. They are now enjoying lots of family time with their children, 11 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren, but still, make time to volunteer and we THANK THEM FOR ALL THEY DO!  Congratulations to Fred and Liz Hast, 2017 Pittsfield Citizens of the Year!

Pittsfield 2016 Citizen of the Year
Pittsfield 2016 Citizen of the Year

Congratulations to Joseph Darrah on being selected as the 2016 Pittsfield Citizen of the Year!

Joe was described in his nomination letters as someone with “endless energy”; as someone who “doesn’t wait to be asked – if he knows someone needs something done- he shows up and gets the job done!”  Joe gives back to the Town of Pittsfield every chance he gets.

Joe probably will not be happy about receiving this award as he never asks for any thanks and does not like recognition for anything he does.  But the Citizen of the Year selection committee thought otherwise.

Joe is active with many organizations in town – to name a few – Old Home Day Committee, Lions Club, Greater Pittsfield Chamber of Commerce and Beautification Committee.  A “few” of his projects include the mowing and maintenance of the Washington House lot and Aranosian lot for the Beautification Committee; the mowing of the dam site area and garbage and debris removal on a regular basis at the Rotary Park by the river.  He has trucked materials and donated the use of his equipment for the stonewall work at the Washington House lot and for the repair of the granite wall at the Community Center.  He donated more time, trucking and materials for the Historical Society Steam Pump project and also for the Tilton Hill Road Baseball Park.

Joe works with the Chamber of Commerce by putting up the Seasonal/Holiday and Historical banners throughout town in the Spring and Winter.  He recently helped to replace the framework of the Chamber’s “Welcome to Pittsfield” sign on Route 28.  The Christmas tree in Dustin Park gets new lights each year with Joe’s help.  Joe has done work at Drake Field to make room for the playground equipment and has removed the basketball hoops.

Joe has done charity work for local and state police departments – including helping with National Night Out.   He also donates each year to The Cabaret for a Cure. Joe and his crew have shown up (at the crack of dawn) and cleaned up and removed all of the fireworks debris from the Old Home Day and Balloon Rally fireworks shows (this is a tremendous sight if you have ever had to pick up that stuff!)

We are sure there are many other things that Joe does that we just don’t know about.  Pittsfield is lucky to have a wonderful individual who takes the time to make our community a better place to live!  Joe, THANK YOU for all you for Pittsfield.

Pittsfield 2015 Citizen of the Year
Pittsfield 2015 Citizen of the Year

Congratulations to Frances A. Marston on being selected as the 2015 Pittsfield Citizen of the Year!

Franny has quietly done A LOT of things in our community and many feel it is time to recognize her publicly!!

She has been very involved at the Park Street Baptist Church- serving as a Sunday School Teacher, treasurer and the pianist for 45 years. She served the Town of Pittsfield as Town Auditor for many years and was a member of the Supervisor of the Checklist for the town for 42 years.

A “few” of her other accomplishments include: serving as a 20 plus year member and treasurer of the Pittsfield Old Home Day Committee. She was a director of the Pittsfield Center Development Corporation (Pittsfield Community Center) for many years; she was a member and treasurer of the Pittsfield Chamber of Commerce; a trustee and treasurer for the Floral Park Cemetery Association; treasurer of the Barnstead Parade Cemetery in Barnstead; a member of the South Pittsfield Community Club; and a member of the Historical Society. She has been a longtime member of the NH Farm Bureau and has served on many committees of that group. She served on the 1982 Bicentennial Committee with her friend Arnold Wells. She was a 60-year member and Past Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star.

“Fran has been a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Now being the head of five generations of the Marston Family.”  From one of the nomination letters received….”Through her busy life, Franny has been and continues to be an inspiration for family and community members alike.”

Please join me in congratulating and honoring Franny Marston as this year’s Citizen of the Year.  Fran, thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for the Town of Pittsfield!

Pittsfield’s 2014 Citizen Of The Year
Pittsfield’s 2014 Citizen Of The Year

Congratulations to Ruth Strickhart on being named the 2014 Pittsfield Citizen of the Year.

Ruth has been an active volunteer in our town for many years. She has volunteered at the front desk at the Josiah Carpenter Library until her “retirement” on March 7, 2013 – 2 days after her 93rd birthday. Ruth spends one morning each week at the Historical Society doing data entry or other special projects. She also can be found at the Pittsfield Food Pantry where she has served as the manager and treasurer. She has overseen the volunteers there and does much of the paperwork that is required to keep the pantry running smoothly, including the personal and prompt thank you notes for the donations. Ruth is also active in her church. She was instrumental in implementing the Pennies From Heaven mission project which is still maintained at the First Congregational Church. It has helped several groups in town. The present goal is to collect $250 each for the Beacon of Light Ministry in Pittsfield and the Pittsfield Beautification Committee. She has been known to quietly behind the scenes support those going through some tough times. These are just a few of the things that we know Ruth has done!

Ruth was selected in May, 2011 to receive the Joseph D. Vaughan Award, which is presented annually by the State Committee on Aging and EngAGING NH for outstanding leadership and achievement as a volunteer on behalf of older citizens in NH. Ruth was also recognized at the 2013 Pittsfield Community Impact Awards, sponsored by Pittsfield Listens, as the Outstanding Individual of the Year.

We, the citizens of Pittsfield, are lucky to have such a dedicated and giving person in our community. THANK YOU, Ruth Strickhart, for all you do!

Pittsfield’s 2013 Citizen Of The Year

Congratulations to Daniel Schroth Piermarocchi on being selected as Pittsfield’s 2013 Citizen of the Year. Dan was a past Select Board member and has volunteered on or been elected to many Pittsfield Boards.  Dan is also a truly dedicated, self-less volunteer for our community.

Dan is known for his many stonewall projects – these walls are the cornerstone of his volunteer work and his connection and involvement with many different groups in town.

The two Chamber of Commerce owned billboard signs on Rte. 28 needed some improvement to the bases that held them and Dan volunteered to build them out of stone and has continued to maintain them.  Dan, as a Chamber member, has also “worked” at the Children’s Store during the annual Christmas Tree Lighting event for many years. He was in the crowd control role when the event was held at the (now) PYW building. He entertained the long lines of kids (and parents) waiting outside in the cold. We now hold the Store at PES so it’s warm, but he still entertains the crowd.

He has worked tirelessly with the Beautification Committee – constructing stonewalls for the various flower beds around town and is currently working on a retaining wall at the Washington House Lot.

The Historical Society built Lyman Park and Dan volunteered to help do the stonework. It was said that he and his team worked long hours nearly every weekend during the summer for two years.  He kept everyone on the job into the fall and even during snow storms to complete the project in a timely fashion.

Dan has also volunteered his time to repair and build stonewalls at the Pittsfield Youth Athletic Park on Tilton Hill Rd. On all of his projects, he spends quite a bit of time finding the right rock and placing it in the right place to build something that will last for years.

It’s not only groups and organizations in Pittsfield that benefit from Dan’s sense of community. We were told that a couple owned a house in town that needed paint and they were not able to do the project.  Dan rounded up some volunteers and painted the house. Another property owner needed help fixing up a barn and Dan again gathered some help and took on that project.

Dan loves his community and spends a lot of time working on projects that beautify our town. He is always willing to help and doesn’t wait to be asked – he usually volunteers first.

Thank you, Dan, for taking the time to be a great volunteer in Pittsfield!  We appreciate all that you have done.

2012 Pittsfield Citizen Of The Year
2012 Pittsfield Citizen Of The Year

Raymond “Ray” Webber III has been chosen as the 2012 Pittsfield Citizen of the Year. Ray has been a valuable part of the Pittsfield Community for many, many years and has volunteered in countless organizations and community projects – usually, much of his work is done behind the scenes as he is not one that likes to be the center of attention.

Ray has volunteered for many 4-H projects with our local Victory Workers 4-H club where he has taught numerous youth invaluable woodworking techniques and skills.  While assisting our youth with their chosen projects he teaches self-confidence and shows them that their projects have value, as well as a sense of accomplishment. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Merrimack County 4-H Foundation. He also volunteers as one of the cooks for the Hopkinton Fair 4-H Leaders Food Booth.

Ray serves as a member of the Pittsfield Historical Society Board and is always involved in many of their projects. He has assisted in installing the Cotton Mill Bell on Factory Hill; repairing the gate at the dam site at the bottom of Factory Hill; spent countless hours each spring planting flowers and doing fall cleanup at the Lyman Park on Carroll Street. He continually offers the use of his truck for hauling mulch, dirt or whatever else may be asked of him.

Ray was a member of the Parks and Recreation Committee for many years and worked on various projects at the Town Pool as well as cleanup at Dustin Park. He is a very active member of the Old Home Day Committee – again, helping wherever and whenever needed. He has been a volunteer for the annual Octoberfest, Winterfest and the Children’s Christmas Store sponsored by the Greater Pittsfield Chamber of Commerce.

Ray volunteered when the original playground was constructed at the Pittsfield Elementary School. He has chaperoned school ski trips for many years while his daughters were students in the Pittsfield Schools. His daughters have since graduated but Ray continues to transport ski equipment, as well as chaperone the students.

His most recent volunteer contribution was building the dugouts for the new ball fields at the Pittsfield Youth Athletic Field on Tilton Hill Rd.

As you can see, Ray is and has been for many years a valuable asset to the Town of Pittsfield. These are but a sample of his volunteerism. We are sure there are much more we do not even know about.  Anyone who knows Ray knows that he always has a smile on his face and is more than willing to offer a helping hand anytime he is asked. Ray is a very kind and generous individual and he has relentless energy. He has made many friends in Pittsfield and surrounding communities while biking with a group or with his family. Biking is indeed his favorite past time when he isn’t volunteering. He’s always in the background and never asks for any recognition of any kind – that is why the honor of being Pittsfield’s Citizen of the Year for 2012 is most fitting and deserving.

Thank you, Ray for all you have done for Pittsfield.  We truly appreciate it!

Pittsfield’s 2011 Citizens Of The Year
Pittsfield’s 2011 Citizens Of The Year

Pittsfield has chosen Bev and Rene Drolet as 2011  Citizens of the Year. It is baffling how two people can accomplish so much in the space of a day and still have time to leisurely walk their dog around the center of town stopping to trade the news of the day and offer encouragement to those they meet along the way.

Through the years when both were active in full-time jobs and since retiring, they have worked as a team and separately to make Pittsfield a little better; a little warmer place to live.

The little pond beside their house is kept free of debris in the winter for skating by the neighborhood, sometimes with hot chocolate and a fire to keep the skaters warm. What better reminder of home than the small beanie babies which were popular with all and what better place for their new home than Afghanistan, where they made a connection between two peoples. Bev saw the opportunity to do this and began collecting them to send there. As Bev was inside caring for elderly friends, Rene was outside mowing their lawns.

Inside the office at Shaker Village, Bev coordinated volunteers; outside Rene kept the parking serene. Bev has remained socially active as well. She has organized 12T events, runs a summer theater workshop, has taught and still teaches sacred dance to seniors at Havenwood. They are also active in their church.

Still going strong for Pittsfield, they are involved in one of their most time and energy consuming projects yet. They have been managing the Pittsfield Clothes Closet for the past seven years. They are the janitors, interior decorators, maintenance personnel, and when necessary, repair and clean donated items.

Indeed Bev and Rene have made Pittsfield richer by their presence. Congratulations on your selection as 2011 Citizens of the Year.

Pittsfield’s Citizen of the Year Pauline Wheeler
Pittsfield’s Citizen of the Year Pauline Wheeler

Pauline Wheeler is the 2010 Pittsfield Citizen of the Year. Pauline has been a valuable part of the Pittsfield Community for many, many years and has volunteered in countless organizations and community projects. Pauline has been active in 4-H for over 45 years. She currently teaches and has taught for many years, food/cooking, sewing and crafts to young 4-Hers. She has always had children at her home working on their many projects, such as getting ready for 4-H Dress Review, where each child has to sew some type of clothing and model their work before judges; and assisting children with working on the presentations for 4-H Demonstration whereby each 4-Her has to demonstrate some type of food preparation in front of judges. She not only assists these children in the preparation process but also guides them in showing self-confidence and speaking before a panel of judges. Pauline has been responsible for shaping countless young people into believing in What they are presenting, as well as encouraging them to try harder each year to accomplish even higher goals. She is a member of the Merrimack County Leaders Association and an organizing member of the 4-H Northeast Leaders Forum.

Pauline has been a member of the Amoma/Golden Rule Circle of the Pittsfield Baptist Church for decades. Pauline can be seen at church for Sunday morning services and she spends her Sunday afternoons visiting and bringing goodies to individuals who look forward to her visits where she can fill them in on what is happening in the community and uses this time as an outreach for these individuals who are no longer living independently.

Pauline has been a member of South Pittsfield Community Club for over 50 years. She can be seen in the kitchen at all the South Pittsfield Community Club Ham and Bean Suppers on Saturday evenings during the spring and summer.

Pauline is caretaker and liaison to the Quakers regarding church matters of the Quaker Church in South Pittsfield for many decades. She organizes and attends summer services at the church. If you have ever attended one of these where Pauline is present, you can see the pride she shows when she greets each attendee, makes them feel at home and when the service is over makes sure that the building is locked and everything is in its place.

Pauline is an active member of the Circle of Home and Family Group and works on many fundraising projects. One such project is the balloon quilts that are raffled off every year at the Annual Pittsfield Balloon Rally. Each member of the group makes a quilt square and when they are completed someone in the group sews the donated squares together to make a unique quilt available for the fundraising raffle which brings in funds for various Pittsfield community outreached projects.

Pauline was a former voltmteer at the Pittsfield schools and former member of the Pittsfield Booster Club while her children were in school. She is now attending various school activities for her grandchildren.

As you can see Pauline is and has been a very valuable member of the Pittsfield community. We have mentioned many activities and organizations that Pauline has been active in but we also know there have been many more since Pauline always Works in the background. She quietly goes to work and makes sure everything is organized. She has accomplished all of these great deeds while raising eight children. When asked, she always finds time to bake something or offer her support to any projects that may be ongoing. She always does this with a smile and has kind words for those trying to make Pittsfield a wonderful place to live and play. You may not see Pauline with a shovel at ground breaking ceremonies, but she will be there with the cookies and punch! Thanks Pauline!

Tom “Fuzza” Freese Named Pittsfield Citizen Of The Year 2009

“Fuzza” Freese has been named Pittsfield Citizen of the Year for 2009. “Fuzza” graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1967 and has run a business in Town for many years. Your best picture of him is driving that aqua and white vehicle, which could charitably be called an antique, but is so loved.

Those nominating him cited many community-based projects he has participated in. “Fuzza” is a member of the Historical Society and is usually seen at Old Home Day and at the Balloon Rally with his tall stovepipe hat fundraising for them. He is also seen at Lyman Park planting flowers in the spring and raking it in the fall. For a couple of years he was very busy in helping to bring the Sargent Forest trail to fruition. At Christmas time, he aids in putting the lights on the tree in the park. Simple enough to say, but oftentimes more difficult to complete. He is known as the “cocoa man” at the Christmas Tree Lighting, ladeling out hundreds of cups of that steaming drink and delivering them to eager participants.

“Fuzza” is also known for his big heart. He has shown his love for his fellow citizens by helping where he can without thought of how it would disrupt his schedule or repayment. Another good person to represent Pittsfield as its Citizen of the Year.

Richard & Lois Foss Named Pittsfield’s Citizens Of The Year 2008

Richard and Lois Foss have been named Pittsfield’s Citizens of the Year for 2008. They did something extraordinary in 2008 – they gave $1,000,000 to benefit Pittsfield Middle High School graduates. This will empower Pittsfield’s future citizens and leaders to bring something back to this community which has afforded them the opportunities of a small town with a not so small heart. This domino effect will reach out and empower more people to energize this town to a potential not yet dreamed of. They have believed in Pittsfield, never giving in to what can’t be done, but underwriting what can. This, not the money, is what the Fosses have done that is extraordinary.

Sometimes it takes only one great action to bring the Citizen of the Year plaque to someone, but in this case there are many other things that recommend the Fosses for this honor. Mr. Foss served his country and upon returning was active in the Peterson-Cram Legion Post. He was long a business owner in Pittsfield with many contributions being made through his construction business. He is responsible for our senior housing apartments just off Main Street which have provided our elderly with comfortable, inexpensive places to live. He developed the subdivision on Molly Lane and erected all of its houses. He later developed the property around White’s Pond, better known as Winsunvale, a name that he gave the development.

His company completed the work of raising the Episcopal Church and placing the addition on the holding tomb at Floral Park Cemetery. He also built the Globe Building and his former office building serves as the location of Brown Engineering, the Paige Insurance Agency and Jefferson Pilot Investments. While being involved as businessman, he also served personally as selectman and budget committee member. He was instrumental in planting the spruce Town Christmas Tree next to the Episcopal Church.

It takes a team to make the decisions and direct the actions necessary to be involved in so much. Lois was the impetus and balance necessary for the Fosses’ insightful involvement. When they retired to Gilmanton the Fosses remained a support to Pittsfield projects – helping the Pittsfield Players with renovations and placing new bathrooms in the Scenic Theatre; helping to remove the bell from the tower of what is now the Community Center and placing it on the Police Department lawn; creating the Foss Family Foundation to support worthy undertakings on a personal and community level; working with the Historical Society and Legion to erect the two wings on the Veterans Monument in Dustin Part last year; serving as Clerk of the Works and donating to the Youth Baseball Athletic Park.

What does it take to be named Pittsfield’s Citizens of the Year – a willing spirit, a generous heart and neverending optimism.

Citizens of the Year (prior to 2008)
2007Reuben Leavitt
2006Corine & Leon Miller
2005Louis Houle, III
2004Willaim J. Provencal
2003Andrea Riel
2002Shirley Brooks
2001Stephen Catalano
2000Larry Berkson
1999Paul & Carol Richardson
1998Laurie J. Houle
1997George & Florence Freese
1996Robert O. Moulton
1995Vincent Smith
1994Etta Whittier
1993Eldon “Bud” & Belle Heath
1992Beverly Murdough
1991Scott Brown
1990Arthur & Elsie Morse
1988Henry F. Stapleton
1987Adolph Daroska
1986Edith Genest
1985Sidney & Sonia Robinson
1984Lillian & Edgar Siminou
1983Arnold L. Wells
1982Lester S. Emerson
1981Agnes I. Ring
1979Arthur & Vaulien Dame
1978Randy Genest
1977Roland & Helen Charron
1976Nolan Avery
1975Gilbert S. Paige
1974Ruth Lank
1973Ruth H. Kimball
1972Dr. John S. Argue
1971Harriet R. Ames
1970J. Frank Drake
1969Alfred & Margaret Jenisch
1968Marion R. Freese
1967Thurston & Ann Carpenter
1966May B. Emerson
1965David Purdy
1963David St. George
1962James F. Walker
1961William B. Ely
1960Doris H. Drolet
1959Adelard R. Pelissier
1958Victor E. Trace
1957E. Pearl Osgood
Sources: Town Reports, TheSuncook Valley Sun, and Plaque at Carpenter Library