TOWNSEND -- Longtime Senior Center Director Christine Clish is planning to retire this summer after 32 years leading the organization.

Clish said that after becoming eligible to retire last year, the time was simply right, although she enjoyed her time as director.

"I loved the job," she said. "I loved the interactions with the people. I just loved it. I didn't want to do anything else."

She is tentatively planning her last day for early August but has not officially decided yet, she said.

In the meantime, a committee will be formed to find her replacement. Clish said it will likely consist of members of the Council on Aging, the town administrator, the library director and other department heads.

"They will advertise the position, receive résumés and do the weeding out and the interviewing," Clish said. "Their goal, I think, is to have someone in place before I leave."

Although her replacement is not required to be from Townsend, Clish said she would recommend someone local.

"The job needs someone with compassion and an understanding of senior citizens and someone with good organizational skills, someone with a lot of energy," she said.

Clish said that when she took the job in 1982, she was called the Council on Aging coordinator and worked only six hours per week. In 1990, her title was changed to director, and her hours were eventually increased to 35 hours per week.


In her retirement, she said she hopes to spend more time writing poetry and to visit her son in Virginia.