Building the First 55+ Cohousing Community in New England
Meet Our Members
Some of us are retired and others are working, either full time or part time. We have held a wide variety of jobs and have far ranging interests and avocations. We continue to pursue diverse environmental and civic volunteer activities.
Today David is a tenured History professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and is affiliated with the school’s American Studies, Environmental Studies, and Science & Technology programs. (He began as an Instructor of Mathematics!) Like many of our members, he sings with his church choir, and loves to listen to music, especially classical, Celtic/folk as well as the Beatles. He was a longtime member in a barbershop quartet, and has done “open mic nights”, harmonizing on rock covers. He has a long resume of volunteer work, including being Town Meeting Moderator for 7 years. Finally: he likes to cook, and can definitely prepare vegan means. He is married to Becky (see below).
After high school, Becky was an exchange student and lived in Denmark for a year. After medical school and a residency, she and her husband, David, moved to Central Massachusetts. After a number of positions as a primary care physician, she transitioned back to a community practice in Shrewsbury when the Coronavirus pandemic set in. She is very interested in Lifestyle medicine: nutrition as medicine, mindfulness and wellness; and is pursuing more training in this area. She has been part of her church’s music program, belongs with her husband, David (see above) to the Worcester Shakespeare Club, which reads through the works of Shakespeare, and belongs to a book club (like many of our members.)
Gwen was born and raised in Massachusetts, lives in Littleton, and spends the winter near her daughter in California. She attended Woodstock, then joined a commune in Turners Falls, where she had her first child. Eventually, she became a nurse and specialized in psychiatric nursing care. She was also a trauma specialist at the Bedford VA Hospital. She now works part time at Emerson Hospital doing in-patient psychiatric care. Gwen has so many interests! She is a member of Acton Congregational Church, does organic garden in her yard, and she loves knitting, quilting, sewing, kayaking, hiking, and traveling. She also loves to swim in nearby Long Lake in Littleton
Lee was born in Oregon, and lived all over the country before settling in Massachusetts. He worked for many years in computer software engineering, both academic and industrial—then went back to school to became a high school math teacher. Lee is very, very busy. He is affiliated with the First Parish Church of Stow and Acton (Unitarian Universalist), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and is on the board of the non-profit Stow Elderly Housing Corporation. He has a pilot’s license and volunteers for Angel Flight Northeast, which arranges free flights and ground transportation for those needing medical care. He also volunteers with Pilots and Paws, which transports animals for rescue.
Jen and Frieda
Frieda is a semi-retired Unitarian Universalist minister who lives with her partner and wife, Jen, in Framingham. She was born in Albuquerque, NM, raised in Los Angeles, and received her Masters’ Degree in Divinity from Brite Divinity School in Texas. She also worked in the computer industry doing project management, management and consulting. As a volunteer, she has worked with an organization that provides foster families for refugee children. In addition to their own children, Frieda and Jen are also loving parents to two dogs and countless cats. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walks in nature and cooking. Jen encourages her to exercise on the Peloton!
Jen oversees the design and development of leadership training offerings at Harvard Business Publishing. She is a member of several flute ensembles and often performs in the evening. When she is not working, you can find her on her Peloton, practicing her flute, walking her two dogs, hanging out with her four cats, fostering litters of kittens, visiting her kids, or puttering around the house with her wife, Frieda. She enjoys outdoor activities, and wants to stay dedicated to fitness and yoga practice. And she loves to paddleboard! Jen is really looking forward to living in cohousing where she hopes to learn new things from all of the interesting and talented people in the community.
Sarah was born and raised in New York state, and trained in Fine Arts in school. She worked as a production assistant for McGraw-Hill, and was a stay-at- home parent until her daughter went to high school. She is a dog-lover and owns a small Dog Walking and Pet Sitting business. In fact, Sarah spends much of her time walking her rambunctious Golden Retriever as well as the dogs she cares for. That keeps her outdoors most of the day, which she loves.
When she has time, she enjoys quilting, reading, and making sourdough bread and kefir. Other pleasures: going to her Zentangle and Tai Chi classes, and spending one afternoon a week watching my two young grandsons.
John’s avocation is fixing things, whether it’s his old house in Medford (which involves creating replacement pieces to match old parts), or his old parish church. Before retiring, he was a military research psychologist. In semi-retirement, he’s had temporary jobs: house staff at a circus, and technology assessments for a donut franchise company. A lifelong lover of firefighting lore, he has an extensive collection of firefighting- related books and toy fire engines (some dating from his childhood). He looks forward to living at Hager Homestead with his wife, Ellen, his new friends, and in a new home that does not require building new parts.
Ellen lives in Medford with her husband, John. She has been a professional costume maker for 30 + years, first at American Repertory Theater at Harvard, and for the last 28 years working from home. . She also enjoys knitting and sewing for herself. She and her husband are on their church’s buildings and gardens crew. While raising their two sons, she became a leader in a local Boy Scout Troop and 16 years later is still working with scouts, teaching merit badges and camping. She is looking forward to having a larger group to cook for when she moves to Littleton.
Born in Massachusetts and schooled in the Midwest, Judy returned to Boston after college. Before retirement, she worked at Harvard University as an administrative assistant in several departments. Her B.A. is in Music, and she has a Culinary Certificate from Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.
Judy enjoys cooking, and making music - on the guitar and recorder - and she loves to sing -- in her church choir, a folk group, a hospice choir, and in Revels Singers.
She knits, gardens, cans her own tomatoes, and makes jams to put on her homemade bread.
She makes baskets and canes chair seats.
And she has two cats.
Mayhew and Victoria
Victoria and Mayhew are the cofounders of Hager Homestead.
(above l-r: Mayhew, Katie McCamant, and Victoria at the 2022 National Cohousing Conference)
Victoria grew up in rural Indiana, and had a career as an actor before moving to the Netherlands in the 1980s where she worked as a writing instructor and freelance scientific editor. That’s where she developed a passion for gardening. After moving to Boston, she worked as a grant writer and marketing writer/editor in academia. Her passions are singing traditional music (she met Mayhew singing and dancing in the Cambridge Christmas Revels) also cooking, gardening, and shabby chic interior design. She has been active in every aspect of Hager Homestead’s development!
Mayhew earns his living as an electrical engineering consultant, but his real passions are singing, bicycling, kayaking, motorcycling, gardening, cooking (and eating!) and working on just about anything mechanical. He ventures into Boston often to concerts of classical music, and describes himself as a complete Anglophile. Mayhew has been taking cello lessons for the past few years, an instrument that is completely new to him. He is also a lover of motorcycles, and often speaks fondly of his Vespa. Like Victoria, he has been active in every part of our community’s development.
Valerie enjoys warm weather outdoor activities such as kayaking, swimming, gardening, watercolor painting and more. For about 10 years now, she has been rug hooking and hopes to attend TIGHR (The International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers) meeting in Newfoundland in 2021.
She also hopes to travel, hopefully with other Hager Household friends, to distant lands.
Karen has been a Montessori teacher for many years and runs her own home- based preschool in Arlington, where she lives with her husband, Gary. She is an avid student of self-development, and has led Authentic Relating Games (which foster clearer communication and more successful relationships) and co-facilitated weekend personal growth retreats. She is also an actress and has performed with community theaters, improv groups, choruses, and has taught improv theater classes.
She can’t wait to learn new skills and hobbies from her future neighbors!
Gary works in the construction industry, designing trusses for private homes and commercial buildings. He describes himself as a connoisseur of stand-up comedy, and also says that he loves his Harley. He likes building and fixing things, values personal growth and meeting new people. He and Karen both enjoy traveling and toured Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Istanbul a few years ago. Gary enjoys taking his turn hosting the Hager Homestead Friday evening Happy Hours, helping anyone who needs help, and is often heard to say, “to make a short story long. . . . . “.
Barbara was born in New Jersey and escaped to the Midwest for college. Eventually, she settled in Boston with a group of college friends. After working various jobs, marriage and children, she became an accountant…. But she retired early, because she always wanted to travel. Her passions are travel (53 countries and anxiously waiting to add more), gardening, cooking and hiking. She wants to revive her interest in fine arts training and learn watercolor painting. And, of course, to continue taking artful photos, especially on travels far and wide. She looks forward to the next phase at Hager Homestead, developing cooking and gardening skills with her new neighbors.
Priscilla is a lifelong gardener who recently sold the organic gardening business she founded 21 years ago. Previous careers include institutional advancement for nonprofit arts organizations and high end retail sales. A widow, she lives in the exurbs of Boston with her Bengal cat, Mister Stripey, and enjoys reading, contra dancing, travel and the great outdoors.
Brenda lives in Acton with her husband and 3 year old pooch. They are parents to two children, one living in NYC and the other in the hills of east Tennessee. She was a family therapist in private practice for 46 years until retiring just before the pandemic. Now she enjoys caring for the family home, entertaining friends, gardening or just digging in the dirt, as well as taking long walks. She is a lifelong meditator in the Vipassana tradition and since 2011 has been pursuing her spiritual studies through a small school based out of southern India. She is thoroughly enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle and is looking forward to moving into the Hager Homestead Community.
Tom enjoys growing tomatoes & herbs in the summer vegetable garden, caring for his home in Acton, cross country skiing in fresh winter snow, bridge, reading, kayaking, Cape Cod, cooking year round and walking his rescue hound Jack. He is married to Brenda. They have 2 adult children.
He maintains a private psychotherapy practice.
Barbara Smith is retired after a life of varied work: journalism for a long time, but most recently as an aide in a special ed. resource room, which she found very gratifying. Also: She has two children, who are even more gratifying. She served on her town’s local conservation commission and, before that, worked in the media for many years. She plays Candy Crush on her phone but just discovered WordScapes, and is quickly becoming addicted to Spelling Bee on the NY Times.
She has five bird feeders, one of which is dedicated to bluebirds, and a cat, who watches the birds
Mike trained as an immunologist in the UK before moving to the US and spending his career working with biotechnology companies, both in diagnostics (genetic testing and Alzheimer’s disease) and drug development (cancer and muscular dystrophy). He now mentors new biotech CEOs but is mostly involved volunteering at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm as well as advocating for conservation and sustainability through Green Acton, an advocacy group in Acton, MA
He is a birder and uses that as an excuse to travel both in the US and abroad while also on a quest to see all of Shakespeare’s plays on the stage.
Sheila is now retired from a career in various aspects of clinical trial data management. A native of the south of England, she previously worked as a small animal veterinarian both in the UK and the USA. She feeds her lifelong passion for nature and gardening by maintaining her own yard, volunteering with the crops team at Drumlin Farm, and at the Acton Arboretum.
Quieter moments are spent watching birds (often with husband Mike), reading and knitting.