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Val Buckley Puts Seniors First

When Val Buckley and her husband, Derek, came to Easton from England, they planned to stay a year. But a year became 35, and with each one that’s passed their love for quiet American life has intensified.

"I love Easton,” Val said as she showed people where to go at the Easton Senior Center . “I've loved it ever since I came here."

Val has worked tirelessly on behalf of the town’s elderly since her arrival here. In 1984, she served on a building committee tasked by the town to find a space for senior activities. For years, seniors had met at Jesse Lee Methodist Church, but they needed a larger space. More than 25 years and $1.7 million later, the senior center was born out of the old Samuel Staples Elementary School.

"This has turned out to be one of the best things we ever did," she said. "We've become a real regional center, and the more that we have become regionalized the more Easton residents have benefited."

Her husband has served as town clerk for the past 10 years, but he originally worked in technology research nad holds several patents. Derek earned his Ph.D. at England’s Leeds University, where the two met nearly 50 years ago.

Public service extends to the couple’s daughter, Karen, who works as a legislative liaison for the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Their son, Paul, lives in London and is a partner in a private investment bank. Both of their children graduated from Joel Barlow High School.

In their spare time, Val and Derek enjoy traveling to London to visit their grandchildren. They are also avid Manchester United fans, which Val insists is "the only soccer team in existence."

With rare exceptions, the two have spent every lunch hour together since they were married. "Wherever he's worked or I've worked we've always tried to have lunch together."

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