John Turchinetz enjoyed the kind words and accolades of friends and officials Wednesday as the Wayland Council on Aging hosted a retirement celebration in his honor.
After 13 years in the post, Turchinetz retired from his position as Wayland's veterans agent, effective Aug. 16.
"I want to thank every one of you for your support," said Turchinetz, who sported a suit complete with patriotic American flag tie for the celebration.
State Rep. Tom Conroy, a Wayland Democrat, commended Turchinetz for his service to Wayland's veterans and the larger veterans population through his work with state agencies and lawmakers.
"He's been a pleasure to work with," Conroy said, presenting Turchinetz with a commendation of thanks from his fellow lawmakers. "He's been a great tribute to veterans and to our town. We are proud of you."
John Dyer, a fellow veteran who worked with Turchinetz in his role with Wayland's Public Ceremonies Committee, described the retiring agent as a "complex man."
He told the well-wishers about Turchinetz's longtime membership at the historic Park Street Church at Boston Common as well as his involvement with The Gideons International Organization.
In addition, Dyer continued, Turchinetz is a "devout family man" who cared for his wife of 60 years, after a long illness.
"Thank you for the friendship we've had over the years," Dyer said.
Even though Turchinetz has stepped away from his role as the veterans agent, Wayland Council on Aging co-director Julie Secord said the COA would keep him busy -- on his own schedule, of course -- volunteering with that group.
Turchinetz added that he intends to remain engaged in his other activities, including handing out New Testaments with the Gideons.