Dedicated to recognizing the women in our community who have influenced, encouraged and uplifed all those who she has come in contact with.

2019 Flowers In Full Bloom

The Peony Festival Board announces the 2019 Flowers In Full Bloom nominees.  These nominees were submitted by the community to be recognized as women who have influenced, encouraged, and uplifted all those who she has come in contact with.

These women are truly inspiring and worthy of the community's recognition.  


Carolyn Kesler is a caring, giving person in everything that she does.  She is truly a "one of a kind".  Carolyn is involved with the Parish Counsel at St. Mary's church, where she is very active.  Carolyn has two children and was married to Jim Kesler, who passed aweay 7 years ago.  She is a volunteer athe Niswonger Performing Art Center.  She is still working at Van Wert Health after 51 years. Carolyn is also a member of the Merry Widows group.


Alice Berryman first moved to the Van Wert area, to the Berryman homestead.  Alice said she wasn't happy here, as she was a "City Girl", and as a child, she and her family, often traveled to big cities with her Father, who was a pastor.  Alice knew no one here except her husband's family.  In 1984, a friend told her to "bloom where you are planted".  This inspired her to get a substitute teaching job at Lincolnview, which eventually turned into a full time position.  Alice now thinks there is no better place to live than in the country.  She and her husband Dennis attend Grace Bible Church, where she teaches Sunday School and Bible School.  Alice and Dennis have 2 sons and 5 grandchildren.


Joyce Brandt attends 1st Baptist Church in Van Wert.  She has served as a Christian Women's Club officer, the past President of the Van Wert Women's Club and is involved in the Merry Widows grief share program.

Joyce has 3 sons, 10 grandchildren, and 2 step grandchildren.


Connie Drake was a nurse for many years, at Van Wert Family Physicians.  She shared her wealth of knowledge through teaching at Vantage Career Center in the Health Careers program.  Connie also teaches piano.  She was nominated as a compassionate, funny and caring person.  She is a GEM!


Brenda Berres, is a retired nurse,  who worked for Dr. Hanson and Van Wert Ob / Gyn until her time of retirement.  She graduated from LIncolnview High School and Lutheran College of Health Professions.  Brenda has been married to her husband Gary for 29 years.  Brenda has 3 daughters, 5 grandchildren, 1 great grandson and a great granddaughter due in August.  Her hobbies are painting, scrapbooking, and crocheting. 


Linda Stanley spent her career days as a teacher.  She taught high school business and english.  She has spent many years as a volunteer at the Civic Theater, both on stage  and behind the scene helping with music, sets and costumes.  Linda is a member of Twigg II, where she serves at the treasurer and works at the Hospital Thrift Shop.  She is a member of the Elks Lodge, where she is a past exhalted  ruler and is now the Lodge organist.  

Linda says that volunteering is an important part of her life, and thinks that everyone should volunteer when able.


Marsha Ross has been married to Harlan Ross for 43 years.  They are the parents of Jennifer McGarvey and Jared Ross and have 5 grandchildren.

Marsha is loved by many people.  Her caring ways and lovely smile touch all who meet her.  Marsha attends Calvary Evangelical Church.  She has held numerous offices in her Sunday School.  She takes it upon herself to make sure that the church bulletin boards always look good. She served on the Van Wert Dog Park Committee and was part of the group who saw to the parks opening. Marsha uses her God given talents to comfort those in need and hurting people.


Arnetta Watson is the wife of Pastor Bill Watson.  They serve at the Pentecostal Way Church, on Leeson Ave., in Van Wert.  She is the Sunday School and events coordinatior as well as the church secretary and choir director. Along with all of her church duties, Arnetta volunteers for the Red Cross.  She is a wonderful person!

The Watsons have 3 sons and 9 grandchildren.


Pictured Top row L to R Joyce Brandt, Marsha Ross, Linda Stanley

Picture Bottom row L to R Carolyn Kesler, Alice Berryman,   Arnetta Watson, Connie Drake.