Nancy Key was named Ms. Missouri Nursing Home Queen for District 7 on Thursday following a virtual pageant sponsored by Missouri Health Care Association.

Nancy Key was named Ms. Missouri Nursing Home Queen for District 7 on Thursday following a virtual pageant sponsored by Missouri Health Care Association.

Key, 85, is a resident of StoneBridge Lake Ozark in Osage Beach, Mo. She was among five ladies from long term care facilities across central Missouri who shared stories about their families, careers, hobbies and community service accomplishments during the District 7 pageant that was held Tuesday via the Zoom platform due to COVID-19 concerns.

The pageant exemplifies the elegance of women over the age of 60. Contestants first submitted personal videos along with their biographies. A panel of judges reviewed the submissions and selected the Top 5 finalists who advanced to the virtual pageant. Contestant were judged on their presentations during Tuesday’s Zoom to determine the District 7 Queen and her court.

Key’s court includes:

First Runner-Up Judith Kauffman, 73, of Warsaw Health & Rehabilitation Center in Warsaw, Mo. She and her eight siblings grew up on a rural Missouri farm, where there was never a dull moment. In her biography, she described one incident in which they chased her sister’s boyfriend until he jumped through the chicken coop and climbed a tree. She graduated from Warsaw High School in 1964. She was married twice and had three daughters. Her second husband, Bill Kauffman, was the love of her life. She initially worked as a nursing assistant at a nursing home, eventually following her mother’s footsteps in the restaurant industry. She enjoys helping her neighbors play Bingo, assisting staff with the dining room, being outdoors and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Second Runner-Up Mary Bonnot, 88, of Jefferson City Manor in Jefferson City, Mo. Her family moved to Jefferson City after the birth of her sister. She married Charles Bonnot after graduating from St. Peter’s High School. Among her proudest accomplishments is raising her two sons alone after her husband’s sudden death in 1970. Bonnot was a long-time state employee, but she also worked as a real estate agent and was active in an investment club and Beta Sigma Phi sorority. Bonnot also traveled to Russia, Switzerland, Ireland, Barbados and took several cruise ship adventures. She enjoys Bingo, playing cards and visiting with her children, grandchildren and the other residents at her long term care facility.

Third Runner-Up Marjorie Taylor, 100, of Stone Bridge Senior Living in Hermann, Mo. She grew up in a faithful, church going family with eight siblings in Jonesburg, Mo. She continued to live with her parents after graduating high school. During World War II, she married her high school sweetheart, Harold, while he was on furlough from the Army. They had one son, who provided her with two grandsons and one great-grandson. She and her husband were big St. Louis Cardinals fans. Taylor worked various jobs before becoming an Avon sales representative – a career she has enjoyed for 62 years. She attributes her good health to never getting a driver’s license because it encouraged her to walk a lot. She was also a long-time Red Cross volunteer.

Fourth Runner-Up Polly Allmon, 93, of Lenoir Woods in Columbia, Mo. Affectionately called “Polly Pocket,” she can be found wearing a tiara, snuggling in a warm blanket and drinking coffee. She grew up with six siblings in Pittsburg, KS. Allmon married her high school sweetheart, Bernie, who had a dental clinic named for him after his retirement. Their first born son died at 16. They wanted more children but struggled with fertility issues, so they adopted a son and a daughter. Their family tradition of helping the children make crafts to put on their mantel at Christmas is among her fondest memories. She enjoyed caring for her family, sewing, volunteering and Beta Sigma Phi sorority. Allmon moved to Columbia with her daughter 10 years ago. She has been lighting up Lenoir with her smile ever since.

MHCA is Missouri’s largest long term care trade association representing licensed proprietary, not-for-profit, skilled nursing, assisted living and residential care facilities. MHCA member facilities are divided into seven districts. Each district will hold its own virtual pageant this summer, with each district’s winning queen receiving the opportunity to compete in the statewide pageant competition.

District 7 includes the counties of Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Gasconade, Howard, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, Osage, Phelps and Pulaski.

Key was born in Deepwater, Mo., but her family eventually moved to Kansas. As a child, she enjoyed tap, ballet, acrobatics and piano. While in eighth grade gym class, she spied a boy who she wanted to meet. He was calling a Square Dance the following school year and asked her out. They had their first formal date on March 18, 1950, and have been married 69 years. They have three daughters, six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren with one little one in Heaven. They have lived in five states.

The couple later took up square dancing, and she traveled several places with her caller, including a big gathering of dancers in Wagoner, OK. Key held several different jobs before retiring in 2001. She enjoyed numerous other hobbies, including bowling, sewing, traveling and camping. She also wrote club columns for two magazines. One of Key’s biggest thrills came while living in Ohio. She was selected as an extra in the movie “Cold Turkey,” by Normal Lear and starring Dick Van Dyke and Pippa Scott along with Bob Newhart, Tom Poston and Jean Stapleton. Key now advances to the statewide pageant competition. The MHCA State Pageant to crown the 2020 Ms. Missouri Nursing Home Queen will be held via Zoom in late August, after the district pageants have been completed.