The Memorial Fund


The Active Retirement Association Memorial Fund was established in 2004 by a generous grant in memory of Robert E. Smith, an active and dedicated ARA member, by his family. Since then, donations in memory of members Carolyn McLean, Nick Popov, Gerald Tobey, Elizabeth Towle, Phyllis Wilcox, Barbara Byrne, Ben Getchell, David Funk and  Virginia Fitzpatrick have been added to the fund. Biographies of the honorees are included in the Memorial Book that can be viewed at any ARA General Meeting, special event or Memorial Fund event.

The ARA utilizes the Memorial Fund to support special events and for the purchase of equipment that might not be affordable within our normal operating budget. It is intended that events, such as The Seacoast Memorial Lecture Series, reflect the interests of the persons who have been honored.

A Note from the President

As proud President of this wonderful organization, the time has come for me to use my office to brag about the ARA Memorial Fund.  In our ARA community, we have had the privilege of meeting and hearing international heroes like the late Rev. Peter Gomes of the Harvard Divinity School; Executive Director, Robert Bixby of The Concord Coalition; Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Pulitzer Prize winner for "A Midwives Tale"; and globally recognized American Diplomat Nicholas Burns from Harvard’s Kennedy School. We got this gift because in 2004 the grateful family of the late ARA member, Robert E. Smith, gave us a generous grant to establish the Memorial Fund. The incredible parade of celebrated game-changers we have since enjoyed because of this kindness has become our pride, our fame and our vehicle for supplementing a sizeable budget that serves all of our members through the year.

Now I ask you to consider how many gifts ARA has given you over your years with us. Have you enjoyed an ARA program or series? Have you made an ARA friend? Have you grown? Have you learned something new? Benefited in any way from your Membership? Why not Pay it Forward and Gift us back. Write us a check in honor of your gratitude for ARA, your grandkids, kids, memories, events or just because you know we can’t really provide you with everything we do based on $50 a year membership. As it has for years, it will continue to come back to you in rich and memorable programming. We like to think we’re keeping you young. It’s a good time for you to keep us going! Please think about writing a check for our Memorial Fund. It’ll feel good and it’ll keep us healthy!

Additional donations to the Memorial Fund are welcome.  Those who wish to honor a loved one or a friend are asked to contact Michael O'Sullivan, the Chair of the ARA Memorial Fund Committee, at