The 2016 Ms. Senior Mesquite Pageant was held on Saturday, April 2 at the Mesquite Community Theatre. Celebrating the “Age of Elegance” were five talented, elegant winners who competed for the title of Ms. Senior Mesquite. Each woman deserved to win but ultimately only one can wear the crown.
The woman chosen for that honor this year is Jean Hardman.
The philosophy of the Ms. Senior Mesquite pageant is that, “seniors are the foundation of America and our most valuable treasure.” The judges look for the senior woman who best exemplifies dignity, maturity and inner beauty.
Hardman showed not only beauty and grace but she showcased her passion in the talent portion of the competition when she played her violin/fiddle. Hardman performs as first violin with the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra, in a Celtic music group in Idaho where she lives in the summer and hosts a weekly jam session at Desert Skies RV park in Scenic, AZ. She is involved with the group Strings-n-Things and performs regularly for functions and groups in Mesquite.
Hardman, as a 23 year old single mother, managed to pull herself and her child out of poverty by working hard to obtain a degree in accounting and graduated cum laude. She had a very successful career in various national laboratories in Idaho, California and New Mexico.
She met her husband at her 40th high school reunion and married at the age of 60. She learned to play golf just so she and her husband could spend their time together which they both do plenty of since retirement. They spend the winters in Mesquite and the summers in Pocatello, ID.
Hardman’s biggest battle to date is her fight with cancer. She calls herself “almost” a survivor. She has fought hard for the past two years and continues that fight. Hardman says in her bio, “Facing the possibility of death the past two years has been a life-changing experience.” There is no sign that she is slowing down or doing anything but pressing on.
She believes that the prayers of her friends and relatives lifted her up when she was too weak to pray for herself and is part of why she is here today- a healthy senior lady.
And as of 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, she is a healthy Ms. Senior Mesquite 2016.
First runner up to Ms. Senior Mesquite 2016 is Gail Laird, second runner up is Elizabeth Merrill and Kim Lyon was named Ms. Congeniality 2016.