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Senior Spotlight: Jim Fitzpatrick

May 31, 2019 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Jim Fitzpatrick's advice: "Lighten up. Have fun!"

 Jim Fitzpatrick, 72, is a regular at the Senior Center and he is also the Vice President of the Bellingham Elder Service Group (BESG). “I’m just a kid in an old person’s suit!” he observed recently. “A lot of what we [in the BESG] do  is raise money for the Center’s activities, and organize day trips and lunches and birthday parties,” said Fitzpatrick.

“The best part of my job is back-stopping Bill,” says Jim about the BESG President Bill Eltzroth.

“Anything I ask, he does,” says Bill about Jim. “He does everything from publicizing our trips to places like Foxwoods and up in New Hampshire to picking up food at Panera Bread that we share with visitors to the Center.” And, says Bill, “he keeps everybody on their toes with his great sense of humor!”

“Ninety-percent of life is attitude,” observes Jim. “If you want to be happy, be happy! If you want to be miserable, be miserable. I’ve spent my life doing the right thing, working every day… now, I’m going to have fun.”

Jim spent 20 years in the commercial printing business and then about 30 years running group homes for children and adults with special needs. Before that, he was in the U.S. Army in Korea for about a year.
His wife passed away three years ago. “She was a great lady,” recalls Jim, “and I miss her. But life goes on… you’ve got to keep the memories alive… and enjoy the rest of your life.”

Jim has a daughter with special needs who lives in West Boylston and a son – with two grandsons – who live in Wrentham.

At the Senior Center, Jim has noticed a big change in the atmosphere at the Center. “Everybody seems to be happy and it’s nice to see people having a good time. Attendance is picking up. Josie (the Center’s new director) is doing a wonderful job.”

If you are thinking about visiting the Center, Jim’s advice is “don’t be shy… check it out… talk to people who come here.” And last but certainly not least: “Lighten up. Have fun.”






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