Super Senior: Dorothy Willard

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ORLEANS, Vt. (WCAX) There is no such thing as a leisurely stroll with Dorothy Willard.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You're a fast walker!
Dorothy Willard: I'm not even walking now!

Life is in motion for this 90-year-old.

Joe Carroll: How many miles a day do you walk?
Dorothy Willard: Two-and-a-half.
Joe Carroll: Do you walk in the winter, too?
Dorothy Willard: Yes, just bundle up and go!

We're touring the town where Dorothy grew up and still lives-- Orleans. She's a little off the beaten path. Her normal walk takes her on the outskirts of the village, but with me in tow, Dorothy's hoping her friends will catch a glimpse.

"Most of my friends are 6 feet under by now," she said.

Dorothy says being picked as a Super Senior is an honor that's not deserved.

Joe Carroll: Did you say your friends will be surprised that you're on TV?
Dorothy Willard: They won't believe it, they'll never believe it. They'll be dumbfounded.
Joe Carroll: Why?
Dorothy Willard: Well, I haven't done anything special.

She's special at the Orleans Federated Church, where she's been the pianist for 25 years.

"Maybe I can sing a little, don't start that though. Let me see if I can," she said, starting to sing. "I got the sunshine of your smile, I love the laughter in your eyes and every dream I dream of you; you're the one I idolize."

It's a secular song, not a Sunday song. But it describes Dorothy to a T. Like the song says, she radiates with her smile.

Joe Carroll: I was rolling [the camera].
Dorothy Willard: Oh, darn you!
Joe Carroll: You sounded excellent.
Dorothy Willard: No, I didn't! Now stop that.

Walking again, this time to her house.

"People find it hard to keep up with me," she noted.

Dorothy's travels are not just in Orleans. She met up with her family in Nashville to see the total eclipse.

Joe Carroll: What was that like?
Dorothy Willard: Awesome!

The family reunion was also a rare occurrence.

"And we made a date, too, for seven years hence!" she said.

Dorothy and her husband, Everett, raised four kids. They're are scattered all over the country and even England. She was married to Everett for 65 years.

"He said, 'I'm not afraid to die, the only reason I don't want to is I won't be able to take care of you,'" Dorothy said.

A conviction of faith and family eased her loss.

"He was always a farmer at heart," Dorothy said.

For a long time, they owned a dairy farm in Derby.

"I wouldn't marry anyone who didn't like to dance," Dorothy said.

Life is what you make of it and Dorothy's is full of wonder.

Joe Carroll: Is there anything you're not interested in?
Dorothy Willard: No!

She even read the dictionary.

Joe Carroll: You read the whole dictionary?
Dorothy Willard: Yup, but don't ask me to recite it by heart because I can't do it! But it was fun.

"I'm afraid we struck out," Dorothy said when we got back on the street.

For anyone who knows Dorothy, she has hardly struck out.

"I love the sunshine of your smile," she sang. "I love the laughter in your eyes."

A reflection of who she is in a song.