Page 2 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2022 DIRECTOR OLSEN | FROM PAGE 1 which is known offi cially as “The Richard J. Barry Senior Center.” “I would encourage all Seniors to take advantage of the activities, lunches, and wonderful events available,” Panetta said. “They have an informative newsletter with helpful information and a calendar showing events and lunch menu. It’s a great way to meet up with neighbors and make new friends,” she said. HOW IT BEGAN Olsen, a 1978 graduate of Saugus High School, has deep Saugus roots. Her uncle — U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Arthur F. DeFranzo — received the Medal of Honor posthumously after sacrifi cing his life to save many of his fellow soldiers while fighting the Nazis in France during World War II. In a 2017 interview with The Saugus Advocate, Olsen recalled that she was looking for a part-time job when her children were young and had just begun school. “The Senior Center was looking for someone to do data entry into the computer of all the seniors that attended the senior center on a daily basis,” Olsen said. “At that time the senior center was located in the building where the Youth and Rec is now. During the four years working there the Town received a Community Development Grant. Within that community development grant a new senior center would be built,” Olsen said. “At the time Frances Rigol was the director and we worked very well together, and she off ered me the fulltime position as her Administrative Assistant, when the new building was completed.” So, what should be the legacy of Joanne Olsen during her years working at the Saugus Senior Center? Here’s what members of the current Board of Selectmen had to say about her contributions to the betterment of Saugus: Selectman Jeff rey Cicolini: “Joanne has been a pillar in our community for many, many years. Her commitment and service to the seniors in Saugus is unparalleled and will be extremely diffi cult to replicate. I wish Joanne all the best in her well-deserved retirement and thank her for her years of service in Saugus.” Board of Selectmen Chair Anthony Cogliano: “My apologies to Joanne Olsen for missing her retirement luncheon due to my shoulder surgery. Thank you for your many dedicated years of service to the senior citizens of Saugus.” Selectman Corinne Riley: “I worked with Joanne through so many events that took place especially during covid. We had food drives together and she went above and beyond taking care of the seniors during the toughest part of the pandemic. I’ve come to know Joanne as a hard worker and very caring individual. She is going to be truly missed, but I wish her the best in her next chapter. I believe she was defi nitely the right person in her position.” Selectman Michael Serino: “I will miss not seeing Joanne when I visit the Senior Center. As the director of the Senior Center for many years, THIRTEEN YEARS AT THE HELM: Saugus Senior Center Director Joanne Olsen at last Friday’s (June 10) volunteer luncheon, where she announced formal plans to retire. She has worked at the center for close to 25 years — more than 13 years as its director. (Saugus Advocate photo by Tara Vocino) Joanne did a good job in providing a truly needed service to the seniors of our community. Joanne and her family grew up in Saugus. I knew her dad Ray DeFranzo, who was a close friend of my uncle and former Selectman Chris Serino. I am sure Joanne’s father would be very proud of her accomplishments in our community. I send my best wishes to Joanne and her family on her retirement.”

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