Norma Mikesell Celebrates 90th At Opera House

Marlinton, – Still feisty as ever, Pocahontas resident Norma Mikesell celebrated her 90th birthday bash at the Opera House in Marlinton this week with family, friends and a little dancing. Music for the celebration was provided by Bill Hefner and friends. Niece Sharon Kellison Knicely was one of those in attendance at the party.

“Today she’s celebrating her 90 years young” she says “if you could look at her she’s dancing now, she’s an inspiration to one and all; lot of wisdom there, lot of years’ experience.”

Knicely says she has many fond memories of Mikesell over the years.

“Oh probably favorite memory is she likes to have a drink of Scotch every night” says Knicely. “She says she’s been doing it for 50 years and she plans on doing it for 50 more – she says it keeps her pipes clean. And she says everything in moderation.”

She remembers one trip in particular to the western US.

“We had a trip out west, probably in 97, and I couldn’t keep up with her” says Knicely. “She almost lost her pants, because I love rocks and I was picking up rocks and you’re not supposed to. But she was putting them in her pants and as she was going downhill her [under]pants was showing.”

“She’ll like this and she’s going to kill me for giving you this interview.”

Of course, many in the county know Mikesell for her beautiful quilts. Knicely says Mikesell also served in the US Navy in WW II in the WAVES, or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services. She has a great deal of respect for the accomplishments of her aunt.

“She’s flown planes, she works on her computer, and she still takes classes at the Shepherd center; she still drives” says Knicely. “If I do half as much, if I contribute to society and my community half as much as what Aunt Norma’s done, I’ll feel like I have really accomplished something in life.”

Knicely shares the secret of long life according to Norma Mikesell.

“I asked her one time what her secret was and she told me always stay young at heart, always help somebody in need, and also she does not like to be around negative people with a lot of negative thoughts” she says. “She’s a sweetheart, and once you meet her, you don’t forget her.”

Good advice no matter what your age.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

Current Weather