For this First Lady Friday, we are bringing ourselves up to present-day. Today, we are delving into the accomplishments of Peabody’s first female city clerk, Natalie “Nat” Maga.

Natalie was born to Mary (Sullivan) and Harry Karpinski in 1944. Natalie has two sisters, Janet Spanos and Linda Lincoln, as well as a brother Raymond Karpinski. The family lived on Highland Park. Harry’s mother, Leontyna, came from Poland and was part of the founding congregation for St. Joseph’s Church. Harry retired as a lieutenant from the Peabody police force.

Natalie graduated from the Peabody High School Class of 1961. She was hired in 1963 in the city clerk’s office as a typist. She was promoted to Assistant City Clerk in 1965 and ultimately became City Clerk in January 1977. As City Clerk, Maga was responsible for so many essential parts of our government: voter registration, equal access to voting, certifying ballots, as well as more everyday events, like birth certificates, marriage intentions and recording business permits. In past newspaper interviews, Natalie credits her success to her mother, Mary Sullivan. Her mother encouraged her to accept the position at City Hall.

Card given out at Natalie Maga’s Retirement Party, June 24, 2005, at Jimmy’s Allenhurst. To the left is her senior portrait and image to the right is from 2005.


The Daily Evening Item, Lynn, August 5, 1974


Peabody City Council; Natalie Maga, City Clerk, in first row, center, 1982-1983. Courtesy of the Ray Wallman Collection.

Natalie remained an essential part of Peabody government for 42 years, retiring in 2005. She is quoted as saying, “This is an office that everyone in the city needs to come to one time or another, and I’d like them to leave thinking ‘That’s the way Peabody ought to be.’’’ She set the standard for public service.

Statistics given out at Natalie Maga’s retirement party, June 24, 2005

While retired from city office, she certainly hasn’t stopped. She is the office manager for Peabody TV, as well as an on-air commentator. In 2019, Natalie was named Peabody Irish Person of the Year for Peabody’s AOH. Along with Natalie’s professional accomplishments, she is the mother to children Thomas Maga and Patti Belanger, as well as her stepchildren – Ron Therrien, Robert Therrien, Tammy Hamilton, Tracy Brown and Heather Palomo.

The Daily Evening Item, Lynn, March 18, 2019


Natalie Maga and her husband Al Therrien, The Daily Evening Item, Lynn, 1988
Photographer: Walter Hoey


The Archives of the Peabody Historical Society and Museum

The Daily Evening Item, Lynn, Mass., 1964-2005.