Women's Wall of Honor 2008Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women
Myra Arnold, Shirley Daniel, Kathy Foster, Mitzi Prince Henley, Dr. Diane Kelley, Marilue Mitchell Maris, Levada Meredith, Anna Peele, Doris (Dee) E. Stone, Dee Taylor, Phyllis Wade, Carol White, and Pam White.
(Individual descriptions were written at the time of nomination and have not been updated. Most of these women have gone on to do even more amazing things for their community and their neighbors.)
Myra is a model for serving others. She was an early and active member of the Junior Service League and a passionate member of Guardian Ad Litem. She is a pioneer of “Parent to Parent,” a support network for parents of children with disabilities. 24 years ago, Myra and husband Bob adopted Mollye Grace, challenged with cerebral palsy. Mollye attends college, with Myra as her caregiver. Myra is an active member of the Fisher House Board. I salute Myra for nearly 40 years of love and support of community, family and friends. This is a tribute to her unselfish giving and devotion.
Shirley Daniel is an acknowledged leader in the Niceville Rotary Club, holding offices of Secretary, Vice President, and President. She was selected as the 1997-1998 Rotarian Civic Leader of the Year and was awarded the “Service Above Self” plaque in 2001-2002 and again in 2006-2007. She serves as Chairperson for the Ambassadors of the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce and volunteers for Relay for Life, American Heart Association, and March of Dimes. Her dedication to helping children is readily evidenced by her support of Christmas Toy Drives for children in Shelter House and collection of school supplies for Caring and Sharing.
Nominated by Judy Wiseman
Kathy has made contributing to her community a lifelong love affair. In recent years, her volunteer activities have included active membership and leadership positions in Community Emergency Response Team, Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, Island Garden Club, Eglin Installation Growth Committee CAC, Destin Garden Club, Emerald Coast Bridge Authority, Republican Women of Okaloosa Federated, and Okaloosa Island Leaseholders Association. She does this with a soft voice and the power of being knowledgeable, well prepared and persistent. While making time to support these endeavors, she keeps balance in her life and time for her friends and family who value her deeply.
Nominated by Republican Women of Okaloosa Federated
Mitzi Prince Henley
Mitzi Prince Henley has overcome family tragedy, challenged personal life obstacles, rebuilt her family’s business, given back to her community as a philanthropist, volunteer and mentor, raised a unified family and projected the Lord’s joyful spirit while doing so. She reflects the best characteristics of our country’s founding pioneer woman. Mitzi lives her life as a person of faith, as a human being that acts on her feelings for others, as a businesswoman who focuses on detail, as a good citizen willing to hold people accountable, and as a mother and wife who is there for her children and her husband.
Nominated by Crawford W. Henley
Dr. Diane Kelley
Dr. Diane Kelley is a native of Okaloosa County and has served this school district as a career educator for thirty years. She has been an outstanding teacher, media specialist, and administrator. Some of her capstone projects include implementing Instructional Television and initiating Okaloosa Online. She is certified in six areas and holds her doctorate from University of West Florida. She serves as Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction for Okaloosa Schools and is authoring the Principal’s Leadership Plan for our district. She is responsible for our district achieving successful accreditation for the next five years. She has won numerous awards and is a member of many professional organizations. She is married to Harry Kelley and they have one daughter, Kristen, who is completing her medical residency in Montgomery, AL.
Nominated by Dr. Alexis Tibbetts and the School District of Okaloosa County.
Marilue Mitchell Maris
Marilue established the Emerald Coast Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors. For 20 years, she has been a hair donator for the Locks of Love Foundation. For 15 years, she has worked at the St. Jude’s Don Sutton Celebrity Golf Tournament. Her backyard serves as a release site for rehabilitated turtles, snakes, and birds and is a designated National Wildlife Backyard Habitat called Osprey Point. She is a member of the Wild Dolphin Project, National Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club, and Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Wild Bird Savior, and the National Audubon Society. She also helped develop hiking trails at the Henderson Beach State Park and is a lifetime member of the Friends of Eden State Park.
Nominated by Women’s Council of Realtors – Emerald Coast Chapter
Levada Meredith is a native of Florida. She was born in Port St. Joe, Florida. Levada is a graduate of Florida A&M University and the University of West Florida. She taught school for 42 years. Levada retired from Mary Esther Elementary School after serving 34.5 years. Levada is a Diamond Life member of the Okaloosa County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is known widely in the community because of her work with the Sylvania Heights Front Porch Initiative of Florida and the Greater Peace Missionary Baptist Church Outreach Ministries. She designed and conducts her unique “Sister to Sister” seminars for young black women that are held in formal-church and sorority venues.
The passion she exhibits as a civil rights activist and an educator continues to fuel her efforts to improve all our lives.
Nominated by Patricia J. Moran
Anna Peele, an accomplished educator, with 35 years of teaching experience in art, craft, and culture, has inspired her students over the years. As retired director of the City of Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park and Cultural Center, she continues to support her community as chairman of the Friends of the Museums, and as docent at the Camp Walton Schoolhouse, and Garnier Post Office Museums. Actively participating in the Fort Walton Beach Charter Chapter of the American Business Women has brought Anna a wealth of friendships, professional recognition and support. Dedicated to her husband and family, she sets an example for others to follow.
Nominated by FWB Chapter, American Business Women’s Association
Doris (Dee) E. Stone
Dee (affectionately known) was a remarkable woman. Her loving persona went beyond her daughter and granddaughter. She gave of herself. While serving with her husband of 41 years throughout his 24-year military career, she obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. A compassionate example of community presence, she volunteered at Battered Women Shelters, Crisis Lines, Relay for Life, Methodist Church. Professionally, she held a Contracting Officer’s Warrant and was 5-yer Treasurer, National Control Management Association. A 29-year Government employee serving her country, she was the first female Director, 96th Contracting Squadron, Eglin AFB. Throughout life, she loved, cared, and lived to mentor all; focusing on others as a commander, leader, community activist, and friend.
Nominated by 96th Contracting Squadron
Dee has been a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother for many years. She was diagnosed with cancer when her children were small. But she overcame that with God’s help. She has been a Bible teacher for 35 years and led Precept Inductive Bible Study courses for over 20 years. The commitment she made has led many to a greater understanding of the scriptures. She wanted others to know the love from God that she knew. Because of her willingness to care for her grandchildren and to take them to church, they have grown into Christians that love Jesus. Her students greatly appreciate her.
Nominated by Precepts Class
p>Phyllis Wade is an inspiration to all. She is serving as our church secretary but has raised the job to a ministry. Since she is also a member of our congregation, she takes the affairs of the church and its members personally, treating everyone like members of her family. She never seems too busy to stop and listen to anyone who calls, although the amount of work she is asked to put out is tremendous. When she sees a need within the congregation, she steps in to volunteer, serving on the council, as a youth leader, as president of the women’s organization, etc.
Nominated by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Women
To her many friends, Carol White is somewhat like an earthly angel with a crooked halo. She makes us laugh. She listens to many sad stories and never repeats them. She prays for us, puts her arms around us, and loves us. She is our sister, our mother, a loving friend. Carol has served as President of Baptist women. She is director of an adult Sunday school department at First Baptist Church, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Her loves are God, family, country, friends, singing praises and people. To know Carol, is to love her. Her husband is Ralph White.
Nominated by Round Table
Pam White is nominated by Bev Bain and the Emerald Coast ABWA Chapter. She has been a member and is our 2008 ABWA Woman of the Year recipient. She is President Elect and has been Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President and is active in the chapter’s annual Boating Poker Run. She has been in banking for 35 plus years and is a Commercial Lender with Vanguard Bank. She attended OWCC and Institute of Banking plus 2001 graduate of Leadership Okaloosa. She has served as United Way Loaned Executive, March of Dimes, Leukemia and Cystic Fibrosis plus member of both Fort Walton Beach and Destin Chambers of Commerce.
Nominated by Bev Bain and the Emerald Coast American Business Women’s Chapter