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Granby Living Feb2018

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CELEBRATING OUR SENIORS Granby's Phillip Main is a ‘New Englander, through and through’ BY SARAH MERRILL F ormer Granby Probate Judge Phillip Main and his wife Patricia have lived in Granby for 55 years. Main estimates that when they moved here in 1962, Granby had about 5,300 residents, compared to today’s 13,500 or so. “Today, Granby is held in very high regard around the state. It’s a town that draws young families,” Main says. He notes that this was not yet the case in the 1960s and ’70s, when the town was experiencing some growing pains. For a while, town meetings were quite heated and the schools needed attention. Main believes that thanks to a group of talented residents — some of whom proved their commitment by serving on various town boards for close to two decades — Granby has “grown up beautifully.” He adds that Granby is still a place where partisanship rarely gets in the way of town leadership making the decisions that are right for Granby. A self-professed “New Englander, through and through,” Main was born in 1936 and raised in New Britain. He attended Bates College (class of 1958) and then the George Washington University Law School. Main returned to Connecticut, passing the Connecticut Bar in 1961. He worked for Connecticut General Life Insurance (now Cigna) for only one year before deciding he wanted to practice law. Main began his law career in 1963 at the Simsbury law firm Whitman and Pease. (William “Bill” Pease was a longtime West Granby resident.) Main became a partner at the firm in 1967 and practiced law there for about 40 years, after which he practiced in Granby for five years, finally retiring at age 75. Main says that his career was enhanced by serving as Granby’s probate judge. He was elected in the early 1990s, when longtime probate judge Arline Mooney retired. “It was a welcome opportunity to serve the town,” explains Main. A probate judge handles cases such as estates, conservatorships and adoptions. “The job is exclusively about working with people and helping solve problems, some of them quite emotional in nature.” He adds that in a small town like Granby, he was friendly with many of the families he served. Main held the office for 15 years until the mandatory retirement age of 70. First residing on West Granby Road, the Mains moved to their current home in a woodsy neighborhood off Barn Door Hills Road. They’ve been in their home, built for them by their good friend Al Pierce of Pierce Builders Inc., for 47 years. Some of their neighbors have been there equally as long. They are bordered on two sides by the McLean Game Refuge. Their peace and quiet has occasionally been disturbed over the years when hikers have come to the Main’s door, having lost their way. Phillip Main at age 13 in 1949 “We think it’s great,” laughs Main. “We just pop them in the car and drive them back over to Route 10, where they started their hike.” Phillip and Patricia raised two children in Granby. Main has fond memories of coaching Little League and basketball, watching the kids Thinking of buying, selling or investing in real estate? Call Jessica Moore your local REALTOR ® 860-808-4904 14 GRANBY LIVING Jessica Moore, REALTOR® 5 Star Zillow Premier Agent DIGITAL WORKFLOW // COMPUTERS // NETWORKS // DIGITAL SECURITY subseven Supporting the Farmington Valley Locally Owned 860.653.6630

march in the Memorial Day parade, and having the kids by his side when selling Christmas trees with the Granby Lions Club. “They had all the great experiences that Granby kids still have,” Main says. “Of course, the kids used to complain that there was nothing going on in Granby. They said they would never live here as adults.” Well, Main’s son is a Granby resident whose own kids went through the Granby schools. The Mains have contributed to the town in innumerable ways over the years. In addition to his time as probate judge, Main is a 55-year member of the Granby Lions Club, serves on the board of the Salmon Brook Historical Society, and remains an active member of the Commission on Aging. In the past he served on the Planning and Zoning Commission. We Listen. As for Patricia, she was involved in the YWCA and volunteered heavily with the schools when their children were attending. More recently, she’s been with the Granby Community Fund for six years. The Mains are also active at South Congregational Church, where Main is a deacon emeritus. Phillip and Patricia Main have no intention of leaving Granby, where their roots run deep. “Pat and I should be downsizing at our age, looking for different accommodations,” he says. “But we’re not going to leave Granby.” A majority of their friends have stayed in Granby and, of course, part of Main’s role with the Commission on Aging is cultivating an environment that encourages senior citizens to stay. “Any move we make will be within Granby,” says Main. “We’ve had a tremendous life here.” Sarah Merrill is a personal historian with Merrill Memoirs, based in Granby. She works with individuals and families to capture and record their personal memoirs and family histories. Visit her website at Time to get busy living. Celebrate a Lifetime of Smart Decisions by Making Another One Right Now. Like a successful career, a fulfilling retirement is built on smart decisions. Choose The McAuley, right in West Hartford, and celebrate your success in style – with great neighbors, fun ways to stay active, new things to learn, and local cultural events. It’s one of the smartest decisions you’ll ever make. 275 Steele Road, West Hartford | 860-920-6319 West Hartford’s Only Life Plan Community INDEPENDENT LIVING • ASSISTED LIVING FEBRUARY 2018 15

Granby Living May 2017