FAYETTEVILLE — A steady stream of vehicles with their horns blaring once again reminded Lita Eskew she lives in a special place.

Eskew, who was born in Fayetteville on May 12, 1930 and is a 1948 graduate of Fayetteville High School, was honored with a surprise drive-by party for her 90th birthday on Tuesday.

"I saw all of those cars and decorations, the people," she said. "It was like a parade of my life.

"This community has been my life. It was mine and Kenny's life. To come back here (from a four-decade stint in Washington, D.C.) and live the rest of my life has been truly a blessing.

"Today is something I cannot even describe how I feel. It was the most touching thing in the world. I thank God to have so many blessings. What a blessing to have so many friends and family. I'm just so grateful. Thank everyone from the bottom of my heart."

She called it "the first time in 90 years I've been speechless."

Eskew, a mother of three who worked in a sheriff's department and as an administrative assistant for a hospital CEO, remains very active as a volunteer in Fayette County and in her church, Fayetteville United Methodist.

"Life is never boring when Lita is in the office," said Becky Sullivan, executive director of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce/New River Gorge CVB, where Eskew has been a longtime volunteer. "She makes a grand entrance and starts our day at the CVB with a 'yoo hoo.' We have really missed her through this pandemic.

"I'm so thankful for her and her volunteerism with Fayette County. She has been a vital part of the front desk greeting process for many, many years. I hope that I find as much joy and spunk in life as she does today. She brings me lots of joy. I hope her 90th birthday is as amazing as she is."

"The only sad part today is Kenny isn't with me," Eskew said as the celebration wound down. Her husband, Kenneth Eskew Sr., was a retired U.S. Army colonel and a Fayette County commissioner who passed away in 2010.

Email: skeenan@register-herald.com or follow on Twitter @gb_scribe

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