PORTSMOUTH - Former executive councilor, state senator, state representative and current Portsmouth Housing Authority Chairman Ruth L. Griffin said: "You never retire."
While she stepped down as District 3 Executive Councilor in 2007, after 20 years representing the district that goes from Dover south to Seabrook and west to Windham, Griffin is still active.
She's currently chair of the Portsmouth Housing Authority, of which she has been a member for many years, She's also still active on a state level because, when she retired from the council, Gov. John Lynch asked her to serve on the State Park System Advisory Council.
"Once people know you're retired, they say: 'I know you are retired, but. . .' and they ask you to do something," she said. "It's very difficult to say no."
Griffin has said yes to a variety of ways to serve, starting with becoming a registered nurse. But the service that has touched the most people in the state, and helped earn her a Legacy Award, is her work helping to shape how the state has grown and prospered, as a state representative, a state senator and a longtime executive councilor.
A longtime and active Republican, Griffin served two terms as Republican National Committeewoman, was a member of the selection committee of the RNC for the 2000 convention, and served many times as a delegate to the Republican National Convention, starting in 1972.
Her service to the community was local as well as statewide and national. She served on the Portsmouth Board of Education and the Portsmouth Police Commission and was a longtime member of the housing authority before becoming its chairman.
She's received her share of awards, but she was surprised to learn she would be given a Legacy Award, which recognizes people who have done much for their community or the state as a whole, way above what might be called for in their vocation or even avocation.
Griffin said she was just doing what she thought needed to be done.