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2013 Woman of the Year Marcia Hite receives flowers from 2012 honoree Vicki Abernathy

The members of the Vinton Women's Club used children's firefighter hats for their traditional skit honoring the Woman of the Year -- fitting tribute to a firemen's wife who led her women's waterball team to many trophies as a long-time firemen's wife: Marcia Hite.

"She was like a second mother to me," recalled firefighter Charlie Garwood, who said that Marcia and Dave made him so much at home he would just walk in their house without knocking and head straight to the fridge.

Garwood was one of several firefighters who attended the spring VWC banquet, where several people offered spoken and written tributes to Marcia.

Dave Hite was a long-time firefighter, and friends recalled Marcia's years as the nozzlewoman on a four-member waterball team, one of four woman who wore their husband's helmets, boots and heavy jackets while aiming the spray of a hose at a beer barrel attached to a cable overhead.

But Marcia's activities and impact on the community extend far beyond the life of a firemen's wife. She and Dave were tavern owners before Dave entered the insurance business. Marcia later pursued her dream job as an flight attendant, then upon retirement joined many organizations.

A 59-year-member of Wesley United Methodist Church, Marcia "exemplifies Christian womanhood" and is a fearless caregiver who has faced all of life's challenges (including the Flood of 2008) head-on."

The members of the Cottage Garden Society remember her showing up at the Ray House, well-coiffed and wearing pink boots. Fellow club member Fran Stueck recalled Marcia's willingness to learn about flowers, while her older brother recalled that seeing Marcia wearing those pink boots was a dreadful sign that she had yet one more project for her three siblings to help with.

Friends described Marcia as a "chief organizer of class reunions." Neighbor Kathy Van Steenhuyse recalled how Marcia welcomed her family to the neighborhood nearly 30 years ago with a special Christmas gathering.

Those who remember watching Marcia grow up described how she lost her father in World War II, then reluctantly moved to the country when her mother remarried. They remember the girl who lived across the street from the swimming pool and scaled the fence for an after-hours swim, and the cheerleader who became Homecoming.

Those who know Marcia best now praised her willingness to become a care-giver for her mother and later, her husband.

Granddaughter Brooke sent a letter in which she described how one day when it was time to leave, she told her grandmother that she would miss her. Marcia pointed to the moon and when she returned home, to look at the moon and know that Grandma was looking at it, too. Granddaughter Erica, now a college softball player, wrote that she loves coming to Vinton to spend time with Marcia on the water.

Tami Stark also spoke of Marcia's love of the water, and how she and Dave loved boating and living near the river, and the many days spent with friends on the Cedar River. The summer after Dave's health issues forced the couple to sell their beloved boat, Marcia and her grandsons showed up to help the River RATS clean the riverbed during the first annual clean-up day.

One long-time friend described Dave and Marcia as "Mr. and Mrs. Nice," long time members of the Kiwanis Club who were active in many activities. Even now, Marcia averages $500 in ticket sales for the annual Pancake Day.

After the speakers had finished and the letters read, 2012 Woman of the Year Vicki Abernathy presented Marcia a bouquet of flowers.




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Comments (7)

Congratulations Marcia
By: Darrin Lindsey on April 2nd 11:12pm
Marcia, I remember those days on 8th Avenue as neighbors. You and Dave have done alot for everyone. You both deserve to be honored for everything you have done in past and future. I am so happy to have grown up with you both.
By: Beverly Lint on April 3rd 6:23am
What a great honor for a great lady! Congratulations Marcia! You have touched so many lives during your lifetime. We are especially happy that you touched ours!
By: Jody & Tyneal Herger on April 3rd 7:56am
Congratulations Marcia!!! I also am very thankful to have had you and also Dave touch my life.
By: Kelly Banghart on April 3rd 10:20am
So many memories of growing up together in Vinton. Congratulations to a wonderful friend.
By: Gretchen Holtz Kopecky on April 3rd 1:46pm
What a wonderful choice! Marcia is such an amazing person. Marcia and Dave have touched so many lives. You are a beautiful gracious lady Marcia.
By: Lisa Boeckmann on April 3rd 9:31pm
Kudos for Vinton Todayís spotlight on two of my favorite ladies ever: Marcia Hite and Vicki Abernathy.

Marcia was homecoming queen at VHS in 1960. I was homecoming king and president of the class of 1960. It was my great pleasure to witness Marcia and the 1960s gals accomplishing all of the work of which us 1960s guys were incapable. We had the best proms and dances ever. Us guys just stayed out of the way and won the Wamac conference in football.

Vicki Abernathy, if your readers donít already know, makes the best mincemeat pie in the world. I have been around the world and I know. She is also a great caring friend and supporter for my mom, Leila Boddicker, and Momís seasoned-citizens friends around Vinton.

Marcia and Vicki are great testimonies to a great place. Bravo!

Major L. Boddicker
Class of 1960
By: Major Boddicker on April 8th 1:23pm

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