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Chamber awards local man who helps others as a way of life

WARRENSBURG - A man characterized as the Good Samaritan of Warrensburg has been named Citizen of the Year by the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce.

Retired teacher and local cemetery superintendent Peter Haggerty has been awarded the honor.

For years, Haggerty has been responding to the needs of others without being asked, quietly volunteering his time and talents to make lives brighter in town, Chamber President Lynn Smith said Monday.

"This guy is phenomenal - Peter helps people, families, kids, the elderly - by seeing a need and doing what needs to be done," she said. "He runs errands, takes stuff to the dump for them, helps them move, tutors students whose parents can't afford it, you name it."

When told of the award, which is normally accompanied by a tribute banquet, Haggerty asked to remain out of the spotlight, Smith said. The two decided that the money that the Chamber would have spent on the affair be redirected to charity, Smith said.

"Peter is very down-to-earth, very low-key," she said. "He's a genuine person."

One of Haggerty's four daughters, Lyn Haggerty, noted that her father and her mother Judy have taken in many people through the years into their household, providing room, board and friendship for people in transition or in tough situations.

"People who don't have someplace to go end up living with my parents," she said. "He'd say 'If I can help somebody, then that's what I should do."

Josie Baker of Warrensburg, was one of those taken into the Haggerty household and helped out immensely, she said this week. Years ago, Baker and her four young daughters were welcomed into the Haggerty home, and they were given a boost when they needed it, Baker recalled.

"They were gracious then, and they are gracious now, and we've been friends ever since," she said. "Peter would do anything for anybody."

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