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Peggy Bennett: Where Is She Now?

Posted By Allison Streepey, B.A., CRS, PLS , Monday, July 24, 2017
Updated: Monday, July 24, 2017

The oldest living retired NALS legal secretary, Peggy Bennett, soon to be 98, is still physically and mentally active and busy traveling to receive more and bigger awards.  There was an article in April 2013 in the NALS docket when Peggy was only 95. Remember, she competed in the Senior Olympics (and still does) and performed regularly with the TNT Tappers dance troupe (and still does).  Peggy reads five newspapers a day, volunteers daily and tirelessly, and still has time for visiting family, playing bingo, cooking for friends, and going to the movies.  Amazing!

Peggy was raised in Brooklyn, New York, and is the last surviving member of her family of 16 siblings.  In 1946 she moved to Newburgh, New York, to raise her family.  She worked as a legal secretary and was a member of NALS for 38 years before retiring.  Life has been full all the way.

When Peggy was a member of the National Association of Legal Secretaries, now NALS…the association for legal professionals, she served as president of her local chapter—among other offices—but the national NALS conferences were the highlight of her professional life.  Peggy traveled to every state possible (and to Mexico) for the NALS educational conferences.  NALS had members from Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada.  During that time, she met Eula Mae Jett, the founder of NALS, at a NALS educational conference in Florida. “What a nice gal from California!” Among the original networkers, Peggy had NALS pals from all 50 states, and this was before social media.  Thank you, Eula Mae. 

Being so active is the secret to Peggy’s happy, long life.  This includes meeting new friends and public service.  Sharp as a tack, Peggy worked until she was 72 and has volunteered ever since.  She still walks to work to volunteer at the Newburgh Police Station in the records department.  She thinks of the cops as “my kids” and the policemen think of her as “mom.”  She has known some of them for 35 years.  

Peggy enrolled as a RSVP volunteer in Orange County in 1993 and has volunteered in 14 different areas, such as the Orange County Senior Advisory Council to Disaster Preparedness, delivering meals to the homebound, assisting with tax returns, providing entertainment and physical activities for seniors, among many more opportunities.  So far, Peggy has logged over 6,530 total volunteer hours!

Where is Peggy now?  She has been traveling the state to be recognized for her volunteer work.   On May 9, 2017, Peggy attended the New York State Office for the Aging 2017 Older New Yorkers’ Day celebration in the Hart Lounge @ The Egg in the Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York.  She was recognized by Greg Olsen, Director of the New York Office for the Aging, where he thanked Peggy for “donating [her] time, experience, and expertise to improving the lives of others.”

On May 15, 2017, Peggy received the Orange County Outstanding Contribution by a Senior Award presented at a spring luncheon in Middletown, New York.  Sherry Zambrzycki, an RSVP Coordinator for the Orange County Office for the Aging, describes Peggy as “dedicated, hard-working, intelligent, compassionate, athletic, energetic, reliable, warm, and friendly.  [These] are just some of the words that apply to this wonderful woman.  Peggy is a treasured resource here in Orange County.  She is a cheerful inspiration and a great example for us to know what is possible in life and to give all we can to help others.”  

Also on May 15, 2017, New York state senator William Larkin, Jr. wrote a letter of congratulations to Peggy enclosing a certificate of appreciation and a State of New York Legislative Resolution honoring her for special recognition by the New York State Office for the Aging, and said, “Thank you for enriching our community all these years.” The Resolution is a beautifully written document and the highest honor.  It describes Peggy’s personal and professional life briefly and focuses on her volunteer work for the aging community.  This Resolution describes her well by stating, “Whereas, Throughout the entire period of her community service, a period of constructive involvement, Peggy Bennett has stood constantly in dignity, good grace, and humor . . .  Rare indeed is the impressive dedication shown by an individual for the benefit of others which Peggy Bennett has displayed throughout her life.”  

On June 1, 2017, Peggy received a Proclamation from the Orange County legislature in recognition of her achievements and good works, “so that all citizens of Orange County may be mindful of her efforts and example, and accord to Peggy Bennett all due esteem, respect, appreciation, and honor.”  

Thank you, Peggy Bennett, for showing us all how great life can be for legal professionals after retirement, enjoying volunteerism, and being dedicated in service to others.  

Allison Streepey, B.A., CRS, PLS, is the Business Administrator for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Office of Educational Development. She has over 15 years’ experience in pre- and post-award research grants administration and in serving as the Senior Grants Administrator for the UAMS Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. She also served as an IRB Administrator in the Institutional Review Board office for the protection of human subjects in research. Her current legal experience involves federal and state grants and contracts, employment law, and federal research grants administration. Allison is thrilled to be a member of the NALS Editorial Board and enjoys reading all the articles and writing.


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Amy J. Shackelford (Sears) PP PLS says...
Posted Monday, July 31, 2017
What an inspiration!
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