Member Stories

Articles about Member Stories that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Flesh-Eating Bacteria Claims Life

- Wife Alerts Others - This past July 15, Association member Albert Holt of Marion went
fishing at nearby Sippican Harbor, a daily routine usually followed by
golf in the afternoon.Seventeen
days later, the 69-year-old former New Bedford teacher was dead, the
victim of a rare flesh-eating bacteria from a contaminated fish.

Shootout In Shirley

- Police Buddies Shot 8 Years Apart - On the night of April 2, 1994, member Jim Mickel, then a Shirley
Police Sergeant, was gunned down by escaped murderer Robert Stewart
during a routine traffic stop.Lying
on the ground, a .357 magnum slug having ripped through his sternum and
punctured a lung, Mickel managed to call the station with his hand
radio giving a description of the vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which
sped off.

Retired Police Officer Finally Honored

- Shot During 1957 Holdup - Retired Cambridge police Captain Alfred Lange received an unexpected
surprise this June, when he was honored in a surprise ceremony at
Cambridge City Hall.

Walter Zagol's reaction to Band of Brothers

MAY 2002
- You bet I watched it,” was Association member Walter Zagol’s reaction
when asked if he tuned in to Band of Brothers, a 10-part miniseries
which recently aired on HBO.

Marianne Gebert: Oversees Counseling

- Program At State Retirement Board - One of the most sensitive jobs at the State Retirement Board is that
of counselor. Whether it be an employee who is seeking retirement
benefit information, a retiree questioning his pension check or a
surviving spouse asking for guidance, one of the Board's seven
counselors will be the first line of communication for members of the
State Retirement System.

Mass Volunteers At Ground Zero

- Retiree Gavigan Led Sheriff's Contingent - David Gavigan, a former state employee, did not go quietly into the
sunset when he retired from his job at the Commonwealth's Emergency
Management Control Center - The Bunker - in Framingham two years ago.Having
held the rank of colonel in the Mass. National Guard, he was quickly
recruited by Tom Hodgson, Sheriff of Bristol County, where he was given
the title of Special Operations Commander.

National Horror Strikes A Personal Note

- Association Members And Families Are Victims -
The horror that gripped our nation following the terrorist attacks on
New York and Washington DC did not escape directly impacting our
Association members and staff. As our officers and staff sat helplessly
watching the terror unfold on television that fateful Tuesday morning,
little did anyone know that two of our members and the brother of one
of our part-time employees would end up as victims.As the hours went
by, word came that two of the hijacked plans originated from Boston.
Combined with the news that thousands of people had been killed on the
ground, we knew that many of our 52,000 members would somehow be


- War on the Home Front - Association members were exposed to the ultimate horror when two
hijacked planes that had departed from Boston’s Logan Airport on
September 11 plowed into the two, 110-floor, World Trade Center Towers
with the loss of thousands of lives.Minutes
later, a third hijacked plane out of Washington’s Dulles Airport struck
the Pentagon, causing hundreds of additional deaths.

Revisiting Dick Clemens

MAY 2001 - Posed for Rockwell Classic - The
recent sale of Joe’s Diner, a local landmark in Stockbridge, Mass.
brought to mind an article published in the Voice 20 years ago.

Teachers' Retirement System Opens Call Center

MARCH 2001 -
Alternative Retirement Incentive Creates Demand - Members of the Teachers' Retirement System, who have recently called
the retirement board and felt they spoke with a familiar voice on the
other end of the phone, probably did just that. Beginning last
December, the Teachers' Retirement Board began a pilot program, by
which retired teachers have been hired to "man" the phones.