Mary Katterfield volunteers in a number of roles at Chesterfield's Stonebridge Recreation Center, which hosts many programs for local seniors.
Accustomed to working long hours over a 40-plus-year career in Washington, Mary Katterfield wasn’t about to put her life on cruise control after she retired and relocated to Chesterfield in 2013.
She has always stayed busy. She wanted to give back to her community and found volunteering to be just the outlet she needed.
“The power of one can get a whole lot done,” said Katterfield, one of three inductees into the Chesterfield Senior Volunteer Hall of Fame this year.
The Senior Volunteer Hall of Fame was established in 1982 to recognize members of the Chesterfield community age 60 or older who have devoted their time to serving others in various ways. A life of service often goes unnoticed, and this program allows for people to be recognized for their hard work and dedication.
During her career, Katterfield worked as a library director, archivist, legislative analyst and faculty member at the American University School of Law.
Passionate about education and children’s literacy, she has organized fundraisers at Chesterfield County Public Library’s Meadowdale branch and tutored second- and third-grade students in reading at Dale District elementary schools.
She has contributed in many other roles since moving to Chesterfield, giving thousands of hours of her time, talent and considerable experience while expecting no financial compensation.
Katterfield became a board member of Chesterfield Triad, which strives to educate seniors and caregivers about programs, services, techniques and systems that help prevent crime against seniors and improve their quality of life. She has also served on the Council of Aging, Age Wave Coalition and Partnership for Housing Affordability, among many other organizations.
Katterfield strongly believes in civic engagement. She worked as an officer of election at Meadowbrook High School and has participated in many of the county’s citizens academies, including Police, Fire and EMS, government and schools.
As an avid gardener, she was able to turn her hobby into a volunteer opportunity by becoming a Master Gardener in 2017 through Chesterfield’s Cooperative Extension Office. Through her work, she has assisted with plant exchanges, educational programs and outreach at the state and county fairgrounds, Parks and Recreation facilities, churches, public and private events.
Katterfield believes in keeping the mind busy, especially as you grow older.
“You need to find things you like to do to stay active and engaged,” she said.
Katterfield enjoys solo travel and says that pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is crucial to development. She continues to travel extensively and has presented a monthly solo traveler’s class to county seniors for the last four years.
She also encourages future generations to step up and give back to the community.
“When you start volunteering, it should be something you want to do,” Katterfield said, “and something you are passionate about.”
In that regard, she certainly has set an impressive example.
This blog post was written by Communications and Media summer intern Michael Senter, who is a rising senior at Randolph-Macon College.