Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Boston Housing Authority Administrator Bill McGonagle, and the Franklin Field community honored the late Juanda Drumgold, a longtime resident in the public housing development at a Tuesday ceremony. The Franklin Field Senior Center on Ames Street was re-named in memory of Drumgold, who died in October 2016.
“Ms. Drumgold was a true voice and tireless advocate for the residents of Franklin Field and for the greater Dorchester area,” said Mayor Walsh in remarks to a crowd that included members of her family. “Her advocacy and commitment to children, families and seniors will be treasured and missed, and this dedication speaks to her life and her voice.”
Her son, Darryl Drumgold, spoke on behalf of her family and thanked the city officials and Franklin Field community members for coming together to recognize and celebrate his mother’s life work, stating that, “She dedicated her life to community and family, and it’s always been her passion.”
During her years living in the Franklin Field community, Drumgold would come to the center once a week to exercise and on other occasions to organize events and initiatives for the neighborhood. Franklin Field residents and tenant task force members also knitted a quilt in her honor that was dedicated to the Center.
The quilt, which now hangs on the wall of the Center, is another example of how much she is appreciated and how her love and efforts for this community was recognized and reciprocated.
“Mrs. Drumgold was a true friend; a kind soul who dedicated her life to this development and to the residents who call Franklin Field home,” said Bill McGonagle, BHA Administrator. “She was a pillar of this community, and we count it an honor to celebrate her in this fashion.”
Originally from Brockton, Drumgold initially moved to the South End neighborhood of Boston where she and her sister Patricia Drumgold worked to raise their family, before moving and settling into the Franklin Field Public Housing Development. She worked with the City’s Elderly Commission, took an active role in Age-Friendly Boston, and appeared on the television show Seniors Count. She also volunteered through Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Community Action Council.
McGonagle added, “We never left a community meeting without a few new assignments from Ms. Drumgold.”
Her son Darryl added: “I shared my mother with an entire community and an entire city. That’s just the kind of person that she is; an incredible woman. My friends were her kids, and we all grew up together.
There’s not one person in my life that I’ve grown up with or been around that she hasn’t touched or had an influence on.”