Lyme Citizen of the Year
About the Citizen of the Year Award
In 1999, a gift from Rachel Miller created the Lyme Citizen of the Year award, to be bestowed on someone who has provided outstanding service to the Town of Lyme. This award honors those who have had an impact in our town in a variety of ways. It is not a rite of passage, one that is given each year to the next person in line. Rather, it is an award that is earned by members of our town who give their time in government, organizations, and service, working in a multitude of ways to make Lyme the engaging, dynamic, and caring community that it is. These ordinary people doing extraordinary work not only make this town thrive, they also inspire others through their dedication and often quiet service.
Nominations for Citizen of the Year are accepted during January and the first part of February each year. Each year we receive nominations for many people deserving of the award, and this year, we are pleased to announce the Citizens of the Year, a couple who serve our town and its residents with their unique gifts. The Lyme Foundation is pleased to introduce our two Lyme Citizens of the Year, Pat and Tony Pippin.
Pat and Tony Pippin (Read at the 2019 Lyme Town Meeting)
Lyme Country Store: it’s in the heart of Lyme, and Pat and Tony are the heart of the store. They have watched over the daily ebb and flow of our town for over 30 years from their business on the edge of the Common and, more than that, they have connected us as we have moved in and out and around Lyme.
Pat and Tony have operated a store continuously, 365 days a year, since 1966. After opening their original location in Hanover at the site of today’s Cutting’s Northside, they purchased the Lyme Country Store in 1987. They made an immediate impact in town, helping to start a lunch program to provide healthy meals for Lyme School students (think checkerboard bread sandwiches with carrot sticks and an apple). They’ve been going ever since, and we all turned to them for help.
It’s Thanksgiving and your family needs milk. It’s the Lyme School basketball tournament and the 8th graders working concessions need coffee for the 8 AM game parents. It’s the morning of Town Meeting, and the 7th grade needs coffee for their food sale fundraiser. It’s one of those bitterly cold days, and the Lyme Fire department needs coffee and soup while fighting a major house fire. Where do we turn for all that support? The Lyme Country Store. It may not always be Pat or Tony serving or delivering, but they’re the force ensuring that the access, the service, and the donations are available. They’ve been constant and committed supporters of Lyme community.
More than just presiding over one of the commercial hubs of Lyme, Pat has been a fixture of singing groups in the Upper Valley and was an organizing member of the Valley Chords. She’s worked with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Hampshire over the last few years, representing children to ensure their voice is heard in family court. She’s the president of the Lyme Utility Club and the “instigator” (per her daughter Liz) of the Tree Festival, to which she and Tony have donated food and cocoa for the opening night. Pat’s service on the food committee for the 250th Celebration here in Lyme helped make that a wonderful event for the entire town.
Need a plumber or contractor? New to town and need to know the dump hours or location? When you need to know something about Lyme, Tony is the person who can answer these and other essential questions. In the words of one Lymie, Tony’s “the living contractor list.” With son Tony Jr and others in town, he’s brought to life the ice rink on the Common. Tony has been described as quiet and intentional, the calm presence behind the counter, and an unceasing support for Pat.
Pat and Tony have raised a family deeply engrained in Lyme. Daughters JJ and Liz and son Tony Jr, plus seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild, have given them years of activity and happiness. You can see that in their ardent support of Lyme School, attending many a concert and play. And they’ve extended their family reach beyond blood to welcome others into their fold. Tara McGovern tells the story of her move from San Francisco to Lyme while pregnant with her daughter. A quick stop for a bite at the Lyme Country Store turned into a conversation about the definition of a “grinder”; then to an offer to sing with the Lyme Lites; then to an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. That’s what makes Pat and Tony Pippin so special: you ask for a sandwich and get a Thanksgiving dinner.
Lyme is a special place because of our connection with and responsibility to each other and the larger community. Pat and Tony have made connection an integral part of what they do; they create spaces and opportunities for us to meet, mingle, sing, and rejoice with each other in the heart of Lyme. And for their continuing contributions to Lyme, we at the Lyme Foundation are proud to recognize them as the Lyme Citizens of the Year.
Former Citizens of the Year
2018 Ellen Thompson
2017 Peggy Little and Paphanh Sithavady
2016 Nancy Elizabeth Grandine
2015 Kenneth Uline
2014 Earl and Beverly Strout
2013 Michael Hinsley
2012 Jean and Mike Smith
2011 Charles Balch
2010 Patty Jenks
2009 Carola Lea
2008 Bill Murphy
2007 Laura DeGoosh
2006 Betty Lee
2004 Fred Phillips
2003 Albert Pushee
2002 Don and Julia Elder
2001 Becky Franklin
2000 Kenneth Elder
1999 Dorcas Chaffee