We asked and you answered. Out of more than 75 entries, four women were selected to be finalists in our Remarkable Women contest. These women are pillars of the community who inspire, lead, and forge the way for other women. Each Tuesday we’ll share one of their stories with you.
BEEBE, Ark. – For a group of women in Beebe, one of the keys to longevity in life is exercise.
Twice a week they go to the Sheppard Center at Beebe First Methodist Church for a workout class led by 95-year-old Vanita Hill.
When asked how long she has been leading the class, Vanita remains coy with her answer.
“Just put down (since) 2000 because I really don’t know how long it’s been,” she responded.
Even with the hard work she still loves helping others. As the women stretch, strengthen and tone, they will tell you that Vanita creates quite the challenge.
“She does so many things at her age that people at 50 can’t do,” Chris Shubert, who nominated Vanita as a Remarkable Woman, said.
Around the time Vanita was born in 1926, a person could buy a loaf of bread for 9 cents and a gallon of gas was just 23 cents. Vanita said she grew up poor.
“We took our clothes in a little red wagon, went down to the creek and washed our clothes down there and then brought them back and hung them up,” she recalled.
But her life is now rich, as she bakes up sweet treats in her kitchen, drives, and attends church. She has three sons, seven grandkids, and 11 great-grandchildren.
Vanita also makes trips to the nursing home to cheer up the residents.
“Well, it’s my life, that’s just the things that I love to do,” she said. “Yes, I went to the nursing home this week, I guess.”
To sum up Vanita, leading the pack to physical fitness and everything else she does makes her a Remarkable Woman. And what does she think of being a Remarkable Woman nominee?
“An honor yes, but so humbled I just, I still can’t believe it.” Vanita said.
It’s just one more story to tell in her amazing journey.