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News :: 'Congratulations, Mrs. Nice:' Marcia Hite named VWC Woman of the Year
· 10:39pm April 2nd, 2013
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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