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The Cohasset Mariner of Cohasset, Mass., named John Ward Coe ’49 its Citizen of the Year by unanimous decision. The newspaper gives the award to the nominee who has made the greatest contribution to the community.

“I was flattered because there are other people equally as deserving,” says the soft-spoken Coe.

Many of his neighbors agree that Coe prefers to serve his community with quiet commitment. He volunteers to serve lunch each Thursday at the community’s senior center, and he spends each Monday as an escort at South Shore Hospital. In the past, Coe has served on the Council of Elder Affairs board.

“I like people, and since I’m retired, I want to get out and do things,” he says. “It’s mutually beneficial.”

Perhaps one of his most prominent roles in Cohasset is his portrayal of the town crier each December. During the Village Fair, Coe dons a tri-cornered hat and carries a bell in his effort to direct people from out of town to the fair’s events. He enjoys seeing both people he’s known for years and new faces.

Coe attended Lafayette on the G.I. Bill after serving in France, Germany, and Africa during World War II. The veteran flew gliders and was awarded several citations, including an Air Medal with two clusters. He earned his degree in government in only three years by studying through the summers.

“Everyone was nice to me,” Coe recalls. “It was a quick experience, but a thoroughly enjoyable one.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles