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Positive attitude and volunteer work help Waltham woman enjoy life to the fullest

Doris Nigro (Photo/Bonnie Adams)

By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor

Waltham – At age 87, Doris Nigro, is a lovely, well-groomed lady who has a positive, cheerful attitude about all aspects of her life. While she has seen her share of sadness at times, she always remains upbeat. Keeping active and living independently are important keys. But it is her large family and her volunteer work with the children who attend a school in Waltham that really contribute to her happiness, she said.

Nigro, who was born in Italy, came to the United States in 1932 when she was 2 years old.  She grew up in Lexington and then moved to Waltham when she married the love of her life, Tony.

“We weren’t high school sweethearts, we met when we were seeing others,” she said, with a twinkle in her eye. “But once we started dating that was it!”

The two were married for 54 years, before he passed away.

“He was the best husband and so handsome!” she said fondly.

The couple raised three children, Tony Jr. (who passed away in 2016), Dolores and Debra. Nigro is the proud grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of seven.

For 39 years, as she was raising her family, she worked at Raytheon as a group leader in the “best department,” retiring at age 65.

Family continues to play an important part in her life. Almost the entire clan gathers every Friday night for dinner, she noted.

She is also a mother figure of sorts to the children at Our Lady’s Academy, a Catholic pre-k to eighth-grade school in Waltham.

There she officially is a lunch volunteer, but what she offers the children is much more. For several years she also worked in the afterschool program, where she kept an eye on the younger children and helped the older ones with their homework.

“Sometimes the kids just need someone to talk to, especially if they are having a hard day,” she noted.

“I love doing it,” she said. “I know the kids have loved me, too, because they have asked me to come to the dances and even their graduation ceremonies.”

When she is not volunteering at the school she can often be found at the Waltham Senior Center where she enjoys the chair yoga and Zumba classes. Wednesdays she bowls and she also works out at the local Planet Fitness on occasion.

“I also love to walk when the weather is nice,” she said.

Although Nigro lives alone, and her family worries at times, she feels safe, she said, in large part to her “wonderful” neighbors.

“They really look out for each other, especially me,” she said. “Everyone is so nice.”

Nigro prides herself on her home, she said, doing all of the housework herself.

“If I can do something myself why wouldn’t I?” she said. “I even mowed my lawn until up to two years ago.”

Nigro’s advice to others her age is to stay busy with things that you love and keep as active as long as you can.

“I love the school and the senior center,” she added. “Being there [at those places] helps to keep my mind alert. I don’t know what I would do without them.”


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