97-year-old woman wins State Queen pageant; crowned by Miss Arkansas

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – They say beauty is much like fine wine – it only gets better with age.

That’s certainly the case for 97-year-old Jessi Pittman from Fort Smith, Arkansas. 

She was crowned Arkansas State Queen on Tuesday in Hot Springs during the Arkansas Health Care Association pageant. 

“I told everybody I would lose it you know,” says Pittman. “So the next thing I knew was I had some pretty flowers in my hands and something went on my head and guess what it was – so I had to clap my hands just a little bit.”

Pittman says she is still in disbelief from her crowing.   

“I am happy for all the ladies,” explains Pittman. 

And in as the saying goes – if the crown fits…Wear it!

“She has been caught sleeping with her crown last night,” says Stephany McLane, activity director at Fianna Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation in Fort Smith, where Pittman now lives. 

This was the first time Pittman has ever competed in any type of pageant. She beat contestants from seven other districts during the state pageant and was crowned by Miss Arkansas.

Pittman spends most of her time chatting with friends and painting. She has been painting since she was a little girl. 

She never asks for money for her artwork simply the receiver has an appreciation for her passion.

“I enjoy it very much,” explains Pittman. “It a lot of work especially after having to clean the brushes.”  

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