NORWAY — Priscilla Burnette, a longtime administrative assistant at the Progress Center, will retire next month from the job that she said became a passion.

From involvement in the building of a community kitchen in 2011 to the dedication of the Matthew Record Memorial Park and Trail and hosting a top U.S. Department of Agriculture official, Burnette has been at the forefront of major developments and events at the nonprofit agency on Cottage Street. The organization supports individuals and families with developmental and intellectual disabilities in 46 communities within Oxford, Androscoggin, Cumberland and Franklin counties.

But most rewarding for her during the past 10 years has been working with consumers.

“After the first few months of working at The Progress Center, something happened — it became a passion, not a job,” said Burnette in her notice to friends and acquaintances of her impending retirement.

Just about to reach age 71, Burnette said it was time to settle down and sip warm coffee on cold, snowy winter mornings instead of making sometimes treacherous commutes from her home in Fryeburg to Norway.

Burnette moved to Fryeburg from Norway, where her great-grandfather Charles Edwin Dunn and his wife settled on what is now the Dunn Road after he returned from the Civil War. She said she will spend time in retirement doing more genealogical research and visiting local historical societies to find “lost” ancestors. That’s in addition to a myriad of other activities such as gardening, crocheting, traveling and volunteering at The Progress Center.

“I’ve always believed that if you live in a community, you should participate in that community,” she told friends in her retirement notice.

 Burnette’s official retirement date is Friday, Sept. 12.

“Although I won’t be employed at The Progress Center, I hope to stay connected through volunteering and other opportunities,” she said. “The 10 years I’ve spent at 35 Cottage St. in Norway have been nothing short of amazing, not to mention very rewarding.”

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