Female residents of Holiday Retirement communities have lived through momentous events in history, including earning the right to vote, breaking stereotypes that women should stay home to raise children, and holding influential roles in politics. In celebration of Women’s History Month, Holiday Retirement compiled a timeline outlining major milestones for women throughout American history, survey responses from more than 4,000 female residents outlining their opinions on notable women’s issues, and interesting stories about some of its most inspiring female residents.
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Holiday Resident Survey
Having lived through some of the most progressive years in U.S. history, and in light of Women’s History Month, we asked more than 4,000 of our female residents to complete a four-question survey about the significance of women’s rights, women as role models, and their hopes for women in the future.
Read more inspiring stories about Holiday Retirement seniors on our resident spotlight page.
Annie P., lifelong champion of civil rights
Annie, a resident at Rancho Village in Palmdale, California, is well-known for her lifelong efforts as a civil rights activist; in fact, she chartered a chapter of the NAACP in the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1945. When Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, she and her husband chartered a plane to attend the funeral. She participated in the procession that walked behind his casket for more than 3.5 miles. You can also find her name engraved in the wall at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center.
Dr. Elizabeth L., passionate about helping immigrants become U.S. citizens
At 74 years old, Dr. Elizabeth is best known as a champion for immigration rights. In fact, she designed a curriculum to teach U.S. history and civics to immigrants. She resides at The Garden Club in Bellevue, Washington, knowing that this curriculum is still in place today. Hundreds of immigrants have gone through Dr. Elizabeth’s class to become U.S. citizens. She says she hasn’t had a student fail the test yet!
Judy D., 1952 Olympian
It was 63 years ago that Judy, now 90, represented the United States in the 1952 Helsinki Games in the breaststroke. Judy was born and raised in southeast Portland and credits high school with where her Olympic dreams took hold. This historic woman now resides at Edgewood Downs in Beaverton, Oregon.
Katherine H., Order of Military Medical Merit award recipient
Known to many as Lieutenant Colonel Katherine, she began her career in the U.S. Army as a volunteer in the wake of Pearl Harbor. Now, at 101 years old, Katherine is one of very few to receive the Order of Military Medical Merit award. This prestigious award recognizes Army medical personnel who have demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character. She now calls Essington Place in Joliet, Illinois, home.
Lillie C., first African American female basketball player
At 90-years-young, Lillie was one of the first African American women to play basketball in North Carolina. Lillie was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame at Atkins High School in North Carolina. Lillie grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, during a time of civil unrest in the South, but she was determined to be treated equally. She took part in protests and refused to leave lunch encounters at North Carolina A&T University. Lillie considers herself as one of the original freedom fighters. She currently lives at Forsyth Court in Winston-Salem.
Neva H., former Grand Prix driver and champion
At 92-years-old, Neva knows what it is like to have a need for speed. She’s a former Senior Malibu Grand Prix driver; and champion. Neva’s favorite part of racing: “Beating all the other men drivers.” She began racing in 1970, once her children were full-grown. Today, Neva proudly displays her awards at The Worthington in Gahanna, Ohio.
Shirley B., champion of checking items off her “bucket list”
Shirley, a resident at The Manor at Steeplechase in Franklin, Tennessee, certainly knows what it’s like to live life to its fullest. Shirley first learned about the concept of a bucket list when she was just 9 years old and has been checking off items ever since. From trying strange food like ostrich to visiting foreign places, Shirley has dedicated her life to getting the most out of each day. In fact, she hasn’t stopped. This year, on her 94th birthday, Shirley went up in a hot air balloon!