Select Board chair Emily Mitchell welcomed guests invited to honor Bedford’s 2021 Citizens of the Year Lois and Brown Pulliam and to conduct the Bedford Minuteman Company’s 57th Change of Command ceremony at the Old Town Hall Great Room on Friday, July 8. The reception was delayed because of Covid restrictions governing indoor gatherings in September 2021.
In appreciation of their longtime, countless, and generous contributions to the civic, social, and spiritual life of the Bedford community, Lois and Brown Pulliam are awarded the distinguished honor of being named Citizens of the Year 2021.
~ Town of Bedford
Since their arrival in early January 1960, as a young couple with a toddler and a second child who arrived in March, the Pulliams became involved in nearly every aspect of Bedford’s community life as their family grew to six children, and over time, 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
The family’s initial community connection was with First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, the iconic meeting house on Bedford Common. “It was the first church we visited, and we remain members, more than 60 years later,” said Lois.
The Pulliams’ political commitments have run the gamut from nearly perfect attendance at Town Meetings to support of community organizations from the Democratic Town Committee, where both have been named Life Members, to Bedford’s League of Women Voters—Lois joined as a college junior in 1947, has been a stalwart ever since, and was named one of the Massachusetts League’s 36 Formidable Women in 2020.
In the early 1960s, Lois was a founder and the first president of the American Association of University Women’s Bedford-Lexington affiliate. She helped establish the Women’s Center at Middlesex Community College, chaired its speakers’ bureau, and taught communication skills courses. From 1979 to 1984 she served as staff coordinator for women’s issues in U.S. Sen. Paul Tsongas’s Boston office, after campaigning on his behalf, beginning with his first bid to become a Middlesex County Commissioner.
Brown was elected to the Bedford School Committee, serving from 1969 to 1972, then as a Trustee of the Bedford Free Public Library from 1972 to 1975. As an appointed town official, he has also served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Sidewalk Study Committee, and the Cable TV Committee.
The Pulliams’ commitments go beyond politics: multiple local organizations have felt the impact of their leadership.
Together the couple were among the founding members of the Friends of the Bedford Free Public Library; served as co-chairs of the Center School Parent Teachers Organization in the 1960s, and have remained members of the Bedford Historical Society for over 50 years. Brown has served as president, VP, and a member of the society’s board.
Lois and Brown were among the co-founders of the Central Middlesex National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, where Lois served as the first president of the Bedford branch along with several terms on NAMI’s state board. Brown joined the board of Eliot Mental Health Clinic in 1986. Now known as Eliot Community Human Services, the agency provides mental health services for the town through its contract with Bedford Youth and Family Services.
Kudos to the Pulliams for their long-standing service to Bedford.
Nominations for Bedford’s 2022 Citizen of the Year are due on August 11. Forms are available on the Town’s website.
The Bedford Minuteman Company’s 57th Change of Command Ceremony
Captain James Ringwood introduced the Bedford Minuteman Company’s staff for the coming year: Peter Secor, 1st Lieutenant; Roy Kring, 2nd Lieutenant Adjutant; Richard Manley, 2nd Lieutenant Finance; Marla Flynn, Cornet; Aubrey Jaffer, Sergeant Major; and Jeannette Pothier, Sergeant Quartermaster. Bryan Nash, James McGinn, and Charles Hacala comprise the Executive Board.