By Lizbeth Brosnan
Anne Foner, retired sociology professor, reminisces easily about her students and their ever-stimulating conversations. However, her least favorite part about 25 years of teaching at Rutgers University in New Jersey was the large volume of papers she had to grade.
After her husband, Mo, became ill, she moved from Queens to Manhattan and cut back on her own writing and publishing, and turned to volunteer work.
Anne has two daughters and one granddaughter. One daughter lives on the Manhattan’s East side, while the other lives in her same Westside apartment building. She sees her family often and plans on getting together with them for the holidays.
After mandated retirement, Anne did not leave the field of sociology right away. She continued to be involved in academic publishing for as long as she could. “I was really lucky to continue to work,” Anne explained.
She also continued to volunteer at a number of places, Anne describes as a “continuity of what I was doing before.” To Anne, retirement presented opportunity, adding that it is a myth is that retirement is a terrible thing in which you lose all contacts and any meaningful work. She explains how not everything falls apart, and that it is just a different stage of life.
One organization where Anne had volunteered after retirement was called Partners in Conversation in Queens. Here, Anne helped those who did not know much English practice their English skills through conversation. She worked with a diverse group of men and women, ranging in age. Anne shared that when looking for somewhere to volunteer, “trying to find something interesting is not easy.”
As she got older, Anne also continued to teach classes at NYU. Anne had a long and extremely interesting career and is very lucky to be able to have continued to work in the field that she loved for so many years.