MIDWEST CITY — Retired state employee and fitness enthusiast Zenetta Kendricks, 62, won the Ms. Oklahoma Senior America Pageant on Saturday.
“I didn't think I would win, so I was surprised when I heard my name,” Kendricks said. “I am very excited.”
The pageant, hosted by Rose State College, featured 15 contestants ages 60 and older whose talents ranged from playing musical instruments to professional ballroom dancing.
“I really couldn't tell who would win, there was so much talent,” event organizer Cynthia Judd said.
Kendricks' talent was a monologue about aging gracefully and staying healthy.
“I think it's important to incorporate healthy living into our lives as early as possible but to know that it's never too late to start. In this busy world, it's easy to get bogged down by all the pressure and stress, but we have to find a way to rise above that,” Kendricks said.
Judd said Kendricks is a living example of the benefits of healthy living.
“She's all muscle,” Judd said. “She works out every day. She knows the perception of what aging looks like, and she didn't want to become that way.”
Judd said the pageant has a goal of encouraging women to stay active, physically fit and educated throughout their adult lives.
Before embarking on a career in finance, Kendricks received a bachelor's degree in business from East Central University in Ada and a Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma City University.
Kendricks, who lives in Oklahoma City and has 14 brothers and sisters, brought nearly 100 friends and relatives to the competition, Judd said. It was the first time all 15 siblings had been together in years.
Kendricks will represent Oklahoma at the national pageant Oct. 20-25 at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J.