Kathleen Heiser found her way to Beachmont via Long Island, N.Y. in 1997 and since then, she has been dedicating all those years since to the city of Revere and her neighborhood.
Before coming to Revere, she found herself, for the first time, at the age of 48, going to Suffolk County Community College on Long Island earning an associate’s degree in English (with honors) with a minor in Women’s Studies. Her husband had passed away around this time and Heiser found herself as editor of several feminist journals at the college. She then found herself at Stony Brook University in New York State. While there she raised enough funding to start a feminist journal at that university.
“I never thought I was smart, I really never did,” she said, “I worked really hard.”
“My grandson, just a little guy, said to me, ‘aren’t you too old for college’,” she said. “I told him you are never too old to learn.”
Heiser has a way with children as evidenced by her years as a first grade teacher at the Garfield School for 15 years.
“I try to surround myself with really good people, who are positive, forward thinking, generous,” she said in her Endicott Avenue home. “That’s important.”
In her work on the board of the Revere Beach Partnership, Heiser has devoted ideas, creativity and hours to the Pumpkin Festival, the Kite Festival, the Art Festival and the Sand Sculpture Festival (where she cooks a meal for all the sculptors).
Heiser has served on several committees in Revere including president of the Beachmont Improvement Committee (where she is a cheerleader for all events). She started the clean street sweep fleet, which goes around picking up trash
“My whole thing has been how to make Revere glisten and shine, and get rid of the negative chatter that we hear about it,” she said. “I want people to take pride in their community and stop saying, ‘what do you expect? It’s Revere’. It’s Revere and it’s wonderful.”
She also serves on the Suffolk Downs Advisory Board, works with the Seacoast High School, the cultural council, Revere Cares, Revere on the Move and the Historical Society. She’s also not a stranger to sharing her ideas with the city council.
During the summer months she has given her elbow grease to four new playgrounds in the city – Louis Pasteur Park, the Costa Park, and Harmon Park.
Heiser is also a creative soul and found herself donating her time and talent to the painting of switchboxes around the community.
Heiser, 74, who has raised seven children and has 18 grandchildren, is now more recognized to scores of children as Mrs. Claus.
For all she has done and continues to do in making Revere a better community, Kathleen Heiser is the Revere Journal’s Woman of the Year.