TOWNSEND -- This spring Peter Buxton will be re-running for a non-veteran position on the Trustees of Soldier's Memorials, a post he has occupied for the last three years. Buxton was the first town resident to return his nomination papers for the annual local elections, coming up on April 22.
The Trustees of Soldier's Memorials meets quarterly and is made up of five positions, to be occupied by three veterans and two non-veterans. The trustees are tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the town memorials dedicated to the resident veterans.
Buxton, 69, first ran for the position three years ago. Growing up with several family members and friends who served in the military, he said he felt serving as a trustee would be a good way to give back.
"I enjoy helping the veterans. I enjoy working with them. I've met quite a few and it was just something I wanted to do," said Buxton.
Right now, the trustees are working to put up plaques in Town Hall for each of the 17 Townsend veterans that have been killed in action.
There are 17 gold star markers throughout the town commemorating each individual that will remain in their places, but Buxton said the plaques will serve as a single location for residents to visit and learn about each individual.
"Instead of driving all over town and looking at the markers, they can come to Town Hall. The information about the person who had passed on is there," said Buxton.
Buxton has been doing extensive research on the veterans who were killed.
"I enjoy doing that and bringing that to (the trustees), and just working as a team," said Buxton.
The trustees are also in charge of repairs to the town war memorials, making sure all of the memorial information is accurate and placing flowers at the sites. The committee generally meets quarterly, but will be holding an additional meeting next month in preparation for memorial day.
"We want to make sure we get everything done for Memorial Day as much as we can," said Buxton.
Buxton has lived in West Townsend since 1969. He and his wife, Carole, raised three children in town, all of whom have since left the nest.
"They're all out and about and have their own lives to live," said Buxton.
After working for 33 years as a sales consultant for RNP, a distributor of the Ford Motor Company, he retired this past June. With his newfound free time, said Buxton, he wants to dedicate his hours to the community by continuing to serve on the board.
"I needed something to do and I like doing it. It gives me the opportunity to do what I want to do as I walk down this path," said Buxton.
Although he traveled frequently with his company prior to retirement, Buxton has always found spare time to maintain his volunteer work. In addition to serving as a trustee, he also served in the Fire Department in the 1970s and had previously been on the Board of Fire Engineers. He currently volunteers time at the Senior Center, driving the Road Runner and helping to clean the hall every other week.
"It's helping people. I enjoy it. My wife is also involved. We do a lot of things for the town," said Buxton.
The Trustees of Soldier's Memorials also has a three-year veteran position whose term will be expiring this spring. The position is currently occupied by Chairman Walter Mann, who has served on the board for 12 years. Mann said he plans to run again.
Nomination papers for all open elected positions are available in the town clerk's office. The last day to pull papers for the spring election is March 1. Residents interested in running for an elected position need to acquire 36 signatures of registered voters on their nomination papers in order to be on the ballot. The deadline to submit papers to the registrars is March 4. The last day to object or withdraw papers is March 20. Town Clerk Sue Funaiole can be contacted with questions at 978-597-1704.
Follow on Twitter @Emily_Royalty.