ATKINSON — There were tears and laughter Thursday night when the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce presented its Citizen of the Year award posthumously to John R. Michels of Londonderry, who died earlier this year.
His wife Nancy and two of their children accepted the award at the Atkinson Resort and Country Club before a packed house.
Michels, a lawyer in partnership with his wife, served the town for many years — as town moderator, school district moderator and assistant town moderator.
He also served for two terms in the New Hampshire House and was a Vietnam veteran.
He was a sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment and the Right to Know Amendment.
The longtime Chamber member and supporter lost his long battle with leukemia in February.
Derry historian Rick Holmes presented his family with the top hat, traditionally given to the Citizen of the Year and worn in the Derry Holiday Parade, scheduled this year for Nov. 30.
Also honored was Amphora Restaurant of Derry, named the Chamber’s Business of the Year.
Peter Tsoupelis was recognized for his contributions to Relay for Life among other community efforts.
The restaurant holds “Charity Nights of Amphora,” during which a percentage of the sales are donated to a local charitable organization.
Outgoing board president Bill Parnell handed over the gavel to Bonnie Roberts of Home Helpers.