HOM and American Senior Magazine are saluting seniors who have given back to the New England community. This week, we want to salute Natalie Peterson, who was nominated by her friend Susan.

Susan writes:

"Natalie is one of the most amazing people I know. She turned 82 in February and though she's struggled physically since her 20s, she is still going strong. She's a writer, historian, teacher, counselor, journalist, photographer, lover of lighthouses and so much more. She's been a high school gym teacher and lacrosse coach, English and Spanish teacher, and after her car accident at the age of 22, when she couldn't physically do gym or coaching, she became the school guidance counselor. She was highlighting as a college professor in Maine, when the accident occurred.

After leaving the school system, Natalie worked as a journalist for two newspapers and did her own historical research in her free time. She worked hard for years and was the only person to locate the remains of a woman in New Hampshire who was burned to death in her home by her husband, decades ago. She made sure the remains were moved to a proper cemetery and were given a proper headstone.

Natalie has spent most of her adult life studying lighthouses, doing photography and falling in love with the state of Maine. It's all of these things that have given her the strength to overcome her many medical failings. She's overcome multiple types of cancer, while living with diabetes and the limited use of her right arm due to nerve and tendon damage caused by her accident. She's living with cancer now that will never go away, but is successfully being controlled by medication.

Natalie has accomplished so much throughout her life despite her illnesses, and I am in awe of her every day. She made me who I am. She helped me develop my own writing by introducing me to the writers' group she attended. Then, when we were visiting the Olsen House in Cushing, Maine, she inadvertently opened my eyes to the world of photography by handing me her spare camera so I wouldn't be bored. Natalie's huge heart and the need to give back to her community around her makes her number one in my book. She has travelled the country and back, but her heart always calls her home to NH and Maine. There's so much more to her and her life story. There's just not enough room here to write it all down."

Each week, HOM will be featuring a different senior who has made New England a better place to live. Nominate a special senior in your life to tell their story. They can be a relative, friend, neighbor or someone else you know. You can even nominate yourself.

Here's our featured seniors so far:

Learn more about American Senior Magazine or give the gift of an at-home delivery to the seniors in your life at AmericanSeniorMagazine.com.

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