Marcia and Steve Rothenberg
Busier than Ever
Marcia and Steve Rothenberg stopped to browse in KitchenWares during a 2016 stroll down Newbury Street. They overheard someone talking about Beacon Hill Village’s Kitchen Tour and inquired about it. When the couple learned the Village welcomed residents across Boston, not just Beacon Hill, Marcia took the phone number. “I called Beacon Hill Village the following Monday and Steve and I went to the office for orientation. We learned about services and described our needs,” she says. “It was exactly what we were looking for.”
Transplants to Boston’s South End, the Rothenbergs raised their son and daughter in Holliston. They have three grandchildren who Marcia, a retired social worker, babysits twice a week. A clinical psychologist, Steve practiced in Framingham for 35 years before opening his Boston office. Their move to Boston in 2014 coincided unexpectedly with a cancer diagnosis for Marcia. Over the next year, she underwent surgery and extensive rehabilitation. “I didn’t know a soul in the city,” says Marcia, recalling being laid up on the couch, her golden retriever by her side. “I was very lonely.” Looking back, Marcia wishes she had known about Beacon Hill Village. “I could’ve used their help while I was recuperating.”
Today, Marcia is in excellent health and spirits – something she and Steve attribute to her involvement with Beacon Hill Village. “I attend exercise classes religiously – it’s been great for building up my muscles.” She uses her social work expertise on the Services Committee, arranging equipment for members and developing support groups, including recent ones for caregivers and widows. She’s part of a book club, is an ambassador for new members and even joined a knitting group, though she’d never knit before. “I hate knitting,” she admits. “But I love the women I knit with.”
Steve works full-time and joins Marcia at cultural and social activities in the evening. He’s part of the Village’s “geek squad” and offers tech help to members. He says Beacon Hill Village has filled an important gap for the couple. “I don’t know if we could’ve remained in Boston without the Village,” Steve says. “When we lived in the suburbs, Marcia was very involved with maintaining our home and gardening. She had to give that up to come to Boston.”
Marcia assures Steve that she’s not missing much these days. In fact, the couple’s kids, who once worried about their parents in the city, are now in awe of their lifestyle. “We’re busier than ever!” laughs Marcia.
In addition to Marcia’s clubs and committees, what activities do you enjoy together?
Steve: I’m always looking at the calendar and was glad to see an evening lecture by Atul Gawande, MD so I was able to attend. We’ve been to lots of Massachusetts Historical Society events and a bunch of Red Sox games.
Marcia: We attend the annual rooftop gathering at River House and the Passover Seder, held this year at the Firehouse.
What have you learned from other Village members?
Marcia: The older members are incredible role models and make me not afraid of aging. I remember doing the Black Heritage Trail when I first joined. It was 100 degrees and the 20 members, many much older than me, didn’t give the heat a second thought. They marched along and I hurried to keep up!
What has the Village given to you as a couple?
Marcia: We’ve found a supportive community and formed special friendships. And connected with the most amazing people at every turn.
Steve: When I turned 65 and went on Medicare, I reached out to members for supplementary coverage recommendations.
Marcia: Turns out, the member who helped him was my professor at Boston University years ago!