June 2017: Barbara Chase

What is your birth date? November 25, 1934

Where were you born? Montclair/Glen Ridge

Are you currently employed? If so, doing what? If you had a career, what was it? I retired from the State of NJ Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired (Department of Human Services) after 22 years. I came up through the ranks at CBVI, from Senior Clerk Typist to Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for visually-impaired adults with secondary handicaps to Career Development Specialist. I retired as Contract Administrator. I also had interim employment (2 years) as Assistant Program Director of Independence Hall, a residential program for unwed teenage mothers and their babies. This program was under “DYFS” and United Community Corporation. I did counseling and supervised residential staff.

How are you engaged in the community? I’m currently a member of the Montclair Senior Citizens Advisory Committee – my main function was co-host and producer of Senior News & Views, the Montclair Cable 34 Senior TV program, from its inception. I’m also a member of Do Drop In Senior Activities Program at Wally Choice Center, an active team member of the Swinging Seniors Bowling League, and a member of Sistahs to Sistahs Literary Club.
Volunteering: Prior to the Do Drop In, Mr. Choice initiated the Montclair Grass Roots Walkers and Retirees Program. In addition to recruiting seniors for that effort, I planned several bus trips to Broadway shows, a major league baseball game, and the Three Little Bakers Dinner Theater and Bakery in Delaware. I’ve also been an AARP Tax Volunteer for three years.

What are some of the most important lessons you feel you have learned throughout your life? That I enjoy learning and find that I can learn something new each and every day. Also, that I am not resistant to learning from my children (and grandchildren). They experience things I previously never dreamed possible.

What is your mantra or words you live by? Initiate, or take advantage of opportunities to do something helpful for someone else. It may come back to you. Or it may not, and that’s okay too.

What are your plans for future? How does Montclair fit into these plans? Surviving, as I continue to age, and enjoy my family. I have no plans to leave Montclair.

If you know of a Montclair senior who should be featured, please call Katie York,
Director of Senior Services/Lifelong Montclair, at 973-509-4967.

June 2017 Senior of the Month Barbara Chase