Last Saturday at the Heritage Center it felt like the whole city of Scottsboro and beyond came to honor a very special person.

They were all there for Vesta Lou Skelton and her birthday party. State Sen. Steve Livingston read a Senate Resolution in her honor.

And the whole time, Vesta Lou walked around, greeting and thanking those who came. By the way, they were celebrating her 100th birthday.

We celebrated a little early because today is the day. Vesta Lou is officially 100 today.

I first met Vesta Lou in 2007 when I joined the Sentinel. On a September day I went to do a story on her husband, Mark Scott. From that moment on, I felt a kinship with two of the best people I have ever met.

Mark Scott’s great grandfather, Robert Scott, founded the city of Scottsboro. Vesta Lou will always say she only married into the family. But we all know the truth, she has meant as much to this city as anyone ever has.

She and Mark Scott married in 1947 and spent almost 68 years together before he passed away in 2015.

Yes, they were the golden couple simply for their love of the city and love of each other. Like Mark Scott, she is part of the Greatest Generation, who also served her country during World War II.

She was working as a nurse in Cullman County when the war started. One day, Vesta Lou walked past a sign that read, “The service needs you know.”

Soon enough, she was serving as an officer in the Navy Nursing Core, working in the Panama Canal Zone.

She met Mark Scott a few years after the war, after both returned to Scottsboro. They met on a dance floor, Mark Scott taking her away from her date that night. Six months later, they were married.

Last Saturday, as more and more people arrived, she took it all in stride. She thanked each one, moving around like a youngster.

She is a treasure in this city, and it was a good feeling seeing the people honoring her.

Happy Birthday, Vesta Lou.

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