METHUEN — The room was filled not only with city officials, but with veterans of all ages to celebrate Ed “Hoppy” Curran’s tenure as Methuen’s veterans agent as well as his decision to retire.
“Ed and his veterans program was second to none in the commonwealth,” Mayor William Manzi said. “He didn’t clock out at 5 o’clock. This is a sad day for the city of Methuen and the veterans.”
Curran was the the city’s veterans agent for nine years and helped numerous veterans, even ones who didn’t live in the city.
“When I was a city councilor, a member of my family had a problem, and the veterans service in another city was not helping,” Manzi said. “I didn’t think there was anything he could do, but I asked Hoppy anyway and he was able to help.”
The veteran was Manzi’s father-in-law Robert Crowley.
City Council Chairman Steve Zanni said Curran was a successful veterans agent because of how he ran the program.
“He took the job away from City Hall,” Zanni said. “He did that by going out into the community.”
Curran, given a standing ovation as he approached the podium, said it was a privilege to serve.
“Obviously, there isn’t much more I can say,” Curran said. “I look out and see the people I’ve worked with and served – it’s an honor that I will never ever forget.”
Curran said he lives by three values his father instilled in him when he was just 8 years old: faith, family and friends.
Curran said he would be remiss if he didn’t mention his wife, Ellen.
“She is my best friend,” Curran said. “Hopefully when she retires, she’ll be able to stand me.”
Curran said he has been working on his golf game the past couple of weeks and plans to keep doing just that.
Rep. Linda Dean Campbell said Curran is known not just in Methuen but across the state.
“Across the state he has a distinct reputation, not only in Methuen and the Merrimack Valley but across the commonwealth.”
Campbell added Curran was successful because he is sincere, competent, compassionate and straight to the point.
Frank E. Shimko of VFW Post 8349 honored Curran with a life-time membership to the VFW, and Curran joked he could never forget to pay his dues again.
The VFW also honored Curran with two large Army figures and a VFW jacket.
After the ceremony, those in attendance enjoyed sandwiches and cake as they chatted with Curran and other city officials.