Cathy Pierce will retire Dec. 16

After more than 10 years of service, 65-year-old Cathy Pierce said the time has come for her to leave her position as Wilton’s social services director.

“I’ve been here for 10 and a half years, and I’ve just gotten to the point in my life where I want to do something different,” said Pierce, who will retire from the position on Friday, Dec. 16.

Although she is leaving her position in the department, Pierce said she is not going into full-fledged retirement.

“It’s not like I’m retiring to Florida and never working again,” she said. “I’m too young for that and I would be bored.”

Instead, Pierce said, she plans to expand her private psychotherapy practice in Norwalk, which she has maintained part-time while working as Wilton’s social services director.

“It’s almost impossible to do this job and expand a private practice,” she said.

With her daughter graduating from college in June and her recent move from Norwalk to Stratford, Pierce said, “everything is just falling into place, so this is the next step.”

Come Dec. 16, Pierce said, she looks forward to being able to make her own schedule, starting her days later and not having to drive to work in rush-hour traffic.

With more free time, she said, she also looks forward to “having the opportunity to take walks on the beach, exercise, play the piano, read, and sleep.”

Since 1979, Pierce has worked in a variety of social work settings.

“I’ve worked in hospital settings, for the American Cancer Society, for Senior Services in Norwalk, the Family & Children’s Agency in Norwalk — I’ve done a lot of social work jobs,” she said.

Pierce said her role as Wilton’s social services director — through which she’s worked with “all age groups, in the community and with budgets” — pulled from all her different experiences in the field.

“It’s been varied, interesting, very rewarding and never boring,” she said.

While she won’t miss “worrying about budget issues,” Pierce said, she will miss the people she’s worked with in Wilton.

“I’m going to miss my co-workers, I’m going to miss the clients and I’m going to miss the volunteers I’ve gotten to know over the last 10 years,” she said.

Pierce said she has “really enjoyed” working in a community as “caring and generous” as Wilton, whose residents have been “very supportive” of the Social Services Department.

“During the years of the recession, when we had so many families in financial distress, we were really supported and helped by many members of the community so that we could help their neighbors,” she said.

“It’s really nice to be a social worker in a community where you can really help people.”