Seniors bid farewell to longtime friend

Liz Doty, who stepped down as Wilton's senior activities coordinator, cuts a cake at her farewell party as social worker Lauren Hughes looks on. - Jeannette Ross photo
Liz Doty, who stepped down as Wilton’s senior activities coordinator, cuts a cake at her farewell party as social worker Lauren Hughes looks on. — Jeannette Ross photo

More than 100 people turned out to say goodbye to Lizabeth Doty, Wilton’s senior activities coordinator, at a luncheon on July 19. Senior citizens, town and school district employees, friends and family members joined the farewell celebration at Comstock Community Center. Doty has worked on behalf of the town’s seniors for 16 years. She is leaving to work in the Ridgefield office of her brother, William T. Doty, and her nephew, Patrick Doty, who are optometrists.

Noting the number of people present, Lauren Hughes, senior services coordinator, said “Liz inspires people to show up,” as she thanked her for her service.

Judy Zucker, who is on the Commission on Social Services which oversees the Social Services Department, also paid tribute to Doty. “Liz has taught me many things, including to say thank you. So, thank you Liz for your 16 years of service to the town.”

She also thanked Doty on behalf of the Comstock Building Committee, of which Zucker was chair, for her help during the renovation of the community center. “She managed to keep the senior center humming throughout it all,” Zucker said.

Sarah Heath, director of social services, thanked Doty for being “incredibly generous with her time, caring and considerate and whether we like it or not, she is always honest.”

Doty, known for her wit, addressed the crowd and told how she is moving on to “chapter three” in her life.

She spent the first 35 years of her career as a full-time educator and school administrator. Moving on to “chapter two,” she said, “spending 16 years as senior activities coordinator was like running a school for seniors.”

Her new venture will allow her to combine her years of teaching business skills with her computer skills and people skills. She noted that her mother, who was also at the luncheon, “was 89 when she retired from my brother’s business, so I’ve got another 20 years to go!”

Over her career here she said she’s written 80 issues of the senior newsletter, Corridors, 832 Senior Center News articles for The Bulletin, saw the senior center expand from one room to its present form, and worked with three directors — Suzanne Van Vechten, Cathy Pierce, and Heath — “all tireless in advocating for senior citizens.”

During that time, the senior center has grown to 16 weekly programs and 11,500 visits in the last fiscal year. Doty thanked the staff of Wilton Parks and Recreation, Parks and Grounds, the Social Services Department, the senior center instructors, and the seniors themselves.

Known for telling a joke or two, she closed by saying, “In the future, if you have any eye care needs …”