The Grapevine: A Look at Eight Women of Distinction

By Rosalyn Queen on February 15, 2024 from The Grapevine via

The Progressive Women’s Association has announced that the following women will be honored as Women of Distinction at a luncheon to be held on Friday, Feb. 23 at the Uptown Event Center in Clarksburg.  This event is held in conjunction with Black History Month with the purpose being to honor those individuals who contribute to our community by volunteering.
Rosalyn Queen, WOD chair will serve as the emcee.  Various local and Harrison County officials will participate in the ceremony. Rhonda Holyfield Mangieri, a former local individual, will deliver the Keynote Address.
The luncheon is open to the public by reservations. Here are biographies on the individuals.
Adrian Bailey
Adrian is thankful to Jesus for giving her the desire and strength to be of use to Him throughout her life. As a young woman living in Clarksburg, she has volunteered in her church as a Children’s Wednesday evening Bible teacher, making calls to church members for special events, being a member of the choir and drama ministries. For her family and friends, she has helped them with raising their children to serve the Lord by keeping them on weekends or taking them shopping and paying for them to attend special luncheons. Adrian feels that it was important to show children love and let them know they were special.  Having been away for over 20 years she returned to Clarksburg in 2017 where she found herself again volunteering for children’s ministries in her local church. Adrian also helped prepare Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Here most recent event involved preparing Thanksgiving meals that fed people who had to work, the homeless, or anyone that needed a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner. Her greatest pleasure has been helping her niece with her three preschool aged children, two of which are twins. For two and a half years, she drove to Laurel Park after work, sometimes six days a week to care for the children. Her employment at the DMV also was a job of service. She would always present people with a smile and help them with their needs as much as possible, whether it be titling a new vehicle, registration, new or renewed driver’s licenses, or handicap placards. This service did not stop when she clocked out. Her neighbors also needed help and she was glad to step in with the correct information or take their paperwork in for them. Now that she retired from the DMV, she found it hard to stay idle. God has opened another door where serving other’s is needed. She became employed at the Harrison County Senior Center as an Office Assistant to the Food Pantry Program. She conducts interviews and helps people receive supplemental food items. The Senior Center’s mission is to feed as many Harrison County residents as possible, within the required guidelines. Adrian feels very privileged to be a part of this organization. After helping a grandfather, who is taking care of his grandchildren, receive food supplements, and with tears he asked for a hug, that is enough thanks for her. Adrian prays that she will always be open and willing to help wherever the Lord asks her to go.
Estelle Farnsworth
Estelle was born in 1947 in Galloway, West Virginia to Columbus and Minnie Ford. Her dad was a coal miner, her mom was a housewife. She has two amazing brothers. She attended first grade at all black school in Galloway; schools were integrated in her second-grade year. She graduated from Philip Barbour High School in 1965. Estelle lived in Southern Califiornia from 1969-1976. She attended medical assistant school there in 1973. Estelle attended LPN school after moving back to West Virginia and graduated in 1979. She has always worked in the medical field, in doctors’ offices, home care, and hospitals. After 21 years of service at the VA medical Center she retired in 2012. She has been married 20 years to Stretch (Dorsey) Farnsworth. They enjoy camping in spring, summer, and fall every year. They have two children and five bonus children that makes their blended family. Their pride and joy are their grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She belongs to the Stonewood CEOS club where she is the secretary. CEOS meet every week to sew; and they have made literally hundreds of lap quilts to donate to Hospice and the VA Hospital. Estelle also volunteers at the mall each year to work the Angel Tree through the CEOS. She attends church in Stonewood and volunteers at the local nursing home where she reads to residents. She enjoys sewing and quilting, word games, sports, spending time with her family, and weekly breakfast with longtime friends. Estelle is a fanatical Steeler fan, win or lose. One of the most memorable events is when she and her oldest granddaughter traveled to Japan to visit her youngest son and family. Estelle’s proudest accomplishment is that she raised two sons and a daughter that are good, decent, hardworking, and accomplished people in society.
Agatha Holland
Dr. Agatha Holland is a native of Nigeria before moving to the United States 12 years ago to embark on her college education in music.
She attended Truman State University for her bachelor’s degree, the University of Central Missouri for a Master of Arts degree, and West Virginia University for her Doctorate degree. Through the years, Dr. Holland has received numerous awards and honors, most notably being a winner at the Pittsburgh Concert Society Major Artist Competition, receiving the William Edward Burghardt Du Bois Research Fellowship Award, and winning the FIO Italia Scholarship award.  She made her debut in New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall, performing a solo that received remarkable accolades.
Away from the stage, Dr. Holland is a devout mother of two children and a very strong Catholic.
She regularly sings at the Immaculate Conception Church here in Clarksburg where she is also a parishioner.  She enjoys raising her children and offering her time and skills in any way she can in the Clarksburg community and the world at large.
Sr. Beritha Mashu SII
Sr. Beritha is a native of Zimbabwe, Africa. Born and raised in a Peasant family of 11 children, seven boys and four girls. Her parents were Catholics, and all were baptized as babies. Sr. Beritha’s parents worked hard to raise the 11 kids and send them to school. Each of her brothers and sisters reached the level of education according to each individual’s ability. She joined the Order of the Sisters of the Infant Jesus (SJI) in 1964. She did five years nurse training and worked in hospitals and clinics for a couple of years, then took secretarial courses. For 22 years she worked in administration in several institutions prior to her Mission to the United States in 2004. Sr. Beritha came to Clarksburg at Immaculate Conception Parish where she has been for the past 20 years now. Her main ministry at the Parish is to visit the sick in homes, nursing homes, and hospitals. Praying and bringing Communion to all those who are no longer able to come to Church is a very enriching and rewarding experience to her.  She and her sister are very grateful and appreciate the Clarksburg community, especially the Parish community of Immaculate Conception for their hospitality and making it a second home for them. They do have the opportunity every other year to go back to Zimbabwe to visit their families and religious community.
In April she will be going back to celebrate her 50th anniversary as a nun with her group and Community at large.
Angela Michael
Angela Michael is a Certified Nursing Assistant on the Inpatient Mental Health Unit at the Louis A Johnson Medical Center in Clarksburg.
Mrs. Michael also holds an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting and Technology that she obtained at the West Virginia Junior College in Bridgeport. Mrs. Michael has played a big part in the community as she has organized Community Board Relations Meetings with the community and federal corrections facilities.
She has played a big part in helping with food drives for school children and Christmas events for children and their families. Mrs. Michael has helped organize and prepare large diversity dinners for the residents in the federal halfway house as a past employee. Mrs. Michael loves helping people from all walks of life, it has always been a passion of hers.
Faith and family are also very important to her, she enjoys spending time with her adult children and her nephews. Mrs. Michael's philosophy is never judge a person because you never know what steps they have walked through in life. Always be kind and caring.
Danielle Mattison
My name is Danielle Denise Mattison. I am a 38-year-old wife and step-mother to two beautiful girls. I was born and raised in Akron, OH where I attended Butchel High School. After high school I attended a state accredited technical school to become a STNA (State Tested Nursing Assistant). I began working in the field as an STNA in 2006. I started that career path at a facility that specialized in taking care of adults and seniors with disabilities. I fell in love with caring for people and I would say that it was one of the greatest experiences in my life. In 2015 I moved to Weston to be closer to my then boyfriend who is also from Akron, OH. He attended Glenville State College where after graduating he accepted a job offer as an accounting manager at a small oil field service company. We moved to Clarksburg a short time later in 2017. When I moved to West Virginia I decided to change career paths. I got into hospitality, where I started as a front desk agent, quickly climbing to front office manager at TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Bridgeport. I was offered a job at The Hilton Garden Inn Clarksburg as front office manager with the goal of becoming assistant general manager. I have accomplished that goal, and I am currently assistant general manager at The Hilton Garden Inn Clarksburg. In my spare time I like volunteering with whichever sport our oldest daughter is participating in at Liberty High School (freshman). Those sports are usually cheerleading, basketball, and track. I also enjoy reading and cooking. I have yet to find a church to call home in the Clarksburg area. We have visited many and just want to make sure we make the right choice in calling one our home church. Our faith is very important to us so, we will continue to visit churches until we find a home. Again, I am truly honored that Ms. Lisa even considered me for something like this. I thank God every day that I made it out of the environment that I once called home. I am thankful and blessed to be able to call Clarksburg my home now!
Danielle Walker
Tenacious. Determined. Energetic. Delegate Walker was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and attended New Iberia Senior High School and Tech Area Technical Institute. She is the mother of two sons, the late Demetry “Mack” Walker and Devin Walker.  Her impassioned pleas and speeches for equity and diversity in Morgantown and throughout the state caught the attention of neighbors and community leaders who encouraged her to run for the West Virginia Legislature, and she won a seat in 2018, 2020, and 2022.
She resigned in 2023 but continues to bring education and actions to her community and other communities throughout West Virginia.  She has organized blood drives in honor of her late son who fought a short battle against leukemia. She continues to keep his life and legacy alive by supporting a scholarship in his honor, which is managed by Your Community Foundation. 
As a Mountain Mama, she continues to encounter the voices of Mountaineers to protect clean air, clean water, safe, accessible, affordable housing, diversity, and civil liberties. Her resiliency will always guarantee that Mountaineers are always free.
Tamika Moore
Tamika (32) lives in Bridgeport with her husband Justin Moore and three children, Zuri (7) Sasha (5) and Malik (2) and their Chihuahua Brody. Tamika owns and operates her own clothing boutique, Uniquely MOORE Shop, which has been in business going on six years now. She makes graphic tees and sells women’s and children’s boutique clothing along with unique gifts for all occasions. Her hobbies include:  shopping, thrifting, crafting and traveling. Tamika is a graduate of Fairmont State University where she has two degrees, including one in fashion.
Editor's Note: All photos provided by the blogger.

Connect Bridgeport
© 2024