MARION, Va. (WJHL) — The Town of Marion, Virginia is honoring two women and long-time residents this holiday season by making them Co-Grand Marshals of the Marion Kaleidoscope Christmas Parade on Dec. 1.
A release from the town said Ann Jackson and Fern Blevins represent nearly 200 combined years of life in Marion. The women are being honored for their lifetimes of service and dedication to growth in the town.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our community to recognize two of our citizens, representing nearly two hundred years of life in America’s Coolest Hometown,” said Mayor David Helms.
“Mrs. Jackson, at age 95, and Mrs. Blevins, at age 100, have seen so much in their lifetimes, and their stories and their lives are an inspiration to us all. The ladies will lead Marion’s parade, representing their amazing lives, contributions, and legacies of all the women of our fair town.”
Ann Jackson was born in Marion in April of 1929, according to the release. She married her husband in 1960 and had one son, who was the first child enrolled in the Mountain Community Action Program’s (CAP) Head Start, where Ann worked for 23 years before retiring.
She wrote and published her first poetry book titled “As He Spoke, I Wrote” in her 90s. Now, she’s 94 and working on her second.
Jackson is reportedly the oldest member of her church, Mount Zion Family Worship Center. The release said Jackson still loves to cook, clean and tend to her garden.
Fern Blevins will celebrate her 101st birthday at the Christmas parade, according to the release.
She was born on Dec. 1, 1923, in the Mill Creek area of Washington County, Va. The release said she spent some time teaching at her alma mater Barrack High School before becoming a stay-at-home mom of five kids.
The release said after her husband’s passing, she remained on her family farm raising beef cattle until 2021.
She’s served the Marion community through substitute teaching, PTO involvement and a home demonstration club.
She’s a lifelong member of the Lebanon United Methodist Church and has served several leadership roles there, the release said.
The Marion Kaleidoscope Christmas Parade takes place on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. along Main Street.