Citizens of the Year: Procopis, Thomas
Friday, October 18, 2013
The Friends of Town of Bedford Cemeteries bestowed its Citizen of the Year award on Sept. 26, to Jeanene Procopis and Beverly Thomas, whose work with the Bedford Village Common Development Committee was noted as tireless and fully focused for a number of years on the completion of the common, the town’s newest park.
Procopis and Thomas said they concentrated on a goal that was realized June 9 with the dedication and opening of the park on Route 101. The event was accompanied by music, song, dance and refreshments.
The Citizen of the Year award is one that previously has been awarded, as determined by the board of the Friends, upon some of Bedford’s best known citizens. Recipients include the late Doris Peck Spurway, a renowned town historian, David Bailey, a former police chief of the town, and the late Ralph Wiggin, a longtime fire chief.
Another previous award winner is David Danielson, a former town councilor and member of the Planning Board. Currently, he is the Bedford representative to the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission. He heartily agreed with this year’s choice of award winners.
“The Citizen of the Year award recognizes those that have contributed a great deal of time to the town. These women have done so much for the interior of the town – the village part of the town,” Danielson said. “The two have been very active.”
Jessie Levine, town manager, said recently that the Friends group has a membership of around 80 people and a board of directors that endeavors to preserve the wealth of town history as chronicled in its cemeteries. The group was formed by John Woods, now chairman emeritus.
“The award that goes to these ladies is well deserved,” Levine said. “They’ve put their hearts and souls into this park and they’ve been doing so for years. Both were a driving force behind the formation of Bedford Village Common since the beginning.”
Thomas said she was thrilled to see the enthusiasm that accompanied the grand opening of Bedford Village Common. She added that she was “shocked” about winning the award.
“I was completely shocked,” Thomas said. “I had no idea. I guess I’d have to say I am most proud that we continued to push through at each roadblock along the way. It’s been a long row to hoe, but certainly worth it.”
Procopis said that she and Thomas were appointed to the first-ever park committee in 2003. The culmination of 10 years of effort was recognized at the award ceremony.
Both credited Town Council and the many individuals, organizations and businesses in Bedford and beyond that contributed dollars, goods, services and the support that enabled the park’s completion.
“It really was and is a community effort,” Procopis added.
The contributions were recognized on the night of the event and both ladies concurred that the completion of the park was an effort undertaken by many and that they were glad to be a part of it.
For more information on the Friends of the Town of Bedford Cemeteries, visit www.friendsofbedford