Last month, AgeSpan had A LOT to celebrate! And their “party” put a spotlight on 50 remarkable 60-or-older folks, seven of whom are Methuen residents.  

The organization, previously known as Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, marked its decades of caring, educating and advocacy with a luncheon held at the Blue Ocean Events Center in Salisbury. AgeSpan provides “the services people need to so they can live safe, healthy lives in the community of their chioice.”

Nearly 450 guests attended “50 Years of Inspiring Aging: Celebrating the Power, Value, and Voices of Older Adults,” where the keynote speaker was former longtime WCVB Channel 5 meteorologist Harvey Leonard.

During the event, AgeSpan introduced their “50 over 60 List,” showcasing older adults (nominated by community members) whose remarkable lives serve as daily inspiration to others. Seven incredible Methuen residents were recognized. They are people who “encourage positive attitudes, healthy aging, intergenerational experiences, community service, activism and caregiving,” according to AgeSpan CEO Joan Hatem-Roy, a Methuen native.

Learn about them here:

*Katy Abraham, 81, is committed to assisting older adults. She dedicated numerous years to teaching courses for AgeSpan’s Healthy Living Center for Excellence on chronic disease treatment, pain management, diabetes control, and balance enhancement. Katy also gives back to her community as a board member at the Methuen Council on Aging and through St. Anthony’s Maronite Church in Lawrence. She’s a member of the Daughters of St. Anthony and is active on their Sunshine Committee, visiting shut-in parishioners. She has also become a prize-winning author and poet.

*Beverly Brown, 80, has a commitment to education and devotion to community service that has persisted beyond her retirement from teaching. Beverly serves as a literacy volunteer at Nevins Memorial Library, assisting immigrants who are learning English. She participates in book groups at both the library and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, contributes to the local food pantry, acts as the church liaison to Communities Together, helps with the Methuen Festival of Trees, and lends her voice to the Methuen Senior Center’s Happy Hearts Chorus.

*Ray and Kay DiFiore, 80 and 81, respectively, have a 50-plus-year history of public service and engagement with their church and community. Ray, a Navy veteran, held the position of director for the Department of Public Works in Lawrence and Methuen and earned recognition as “Person of the Year” in 2021 by American Training in Andover. He sits on the board at Creative Living in Andover. Kay, a founding member of the Methuen Festival of Trees, serves as an Emeritus Board Member, and was involved with Creative Living. The couple volunteers their time to Holy Rosary Church, Holy Rosary Shrine and the St. Alfio Society of Lawrence.

*Larry Giordano, 79, has dedicated most of his life to championing foster children and imparting his passion for karate. In 1968, he initiated the Methuen Karate Association and, at 79, he remains an active instructor. In 2005, Larry extended his advocacy by founding Foster Kids of the Merrimack Valley – a cause close to his heart since he was a foster child. His life is marked by civic duty including roles as a Methuen police officer, Methuen City Councilor, State Representative, Public Safety Commissioner for Massachusetts, member of Kiwanis International, the Sons of Italy and St. Alfio Society, and volunteers at St. Lucy Catholic Church.

*Joanie Lawrence, 67, who teaches fitness and meditation classes at the Tewksbury Council on Aging, stepped up during the pandemic so she could continue to support others. During that time, she recorded her fitness classes for the Tewksbury cable station, offering an avenue for people to stay active and connected. Joanie was also the first to resume in-person classes, and teaches fitness, yoga and meditation at other councils on aging. She finds time to collect and deliver clothing for people who are unsheltered, spending time with them to listen to their stories and make them feel seen and hopeful. She also volunteers with the Kindness Collaborative and Methuen Arlington Neighborhood Inc.

*Agnes Takvorian, 90, is known for her upbeat and positive outlook on life. A lifelong learner, she has always embraced understanding current events, history, art and many cultures. Agnes has long been a calming influence in challenging situations with her selfless dedication to others. Her ability to overcome obstacles makes her a source of inspiration for many who praised her kindness and gentle spirit. During her time as an AgeSpan employee, she frequently participated in many of the agency’s special events. Agnes donated many hours volunteering for community organization in the Methuen area and for her church.