Elderly Couple Rewarded for 70+ Years of Service to Community

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PINE BLUFF, Ark. — For more than three-quarters of a century, a Pine Bluff couple has served their community together.

KARK and McDonald’s of Central Arkansas are paying it forward to this husband and wife.

They have given generations a lesson in good old fashioned values.

95-year-old Cleovis and 92-year-old Arwilda Whiteside fit right in at the Pine Bluff nursing home where they live, Davis Life Care.

They are familiar faces because they serve their community as well as live in it.

Arwilda says, “Because one day it will be us. And I felt like we were called.”

Side by side the couple stay active, singing carols and passing out gifts.

“Back in the olden days we was taught that way,” says Cleovis.

The couple have also been 4-H leaders for more than fifty years, passing on that wisdom to today’s young people.

The couple share lessons in “how to cook, how to manage, how to stay at home and how to mind the parents,” says Cleovis.

They also know a thing or two about children.

Their daughter, Kathy Whiteside-Sims says their home has always been open to “anybody and everybody in our neighborhood.”

The Westsides raised 12 of their own, and fed generations of others.

“They would invite all of the children in, if it was raining, if it was cold. Momma cooked yeast rolls,” says Kathy Whiteside-Sims.

Kathy’s parents just celebrated a bond few will ever know, 77 years of marriage.

Arwilda says “that was the main thing in our home. Prayer. The bible is our lifeline.”

On Thursday, the Whitesides were surprised with the “Paid it Forward” reward.

The award came with a $250.00 gift card from McDonalds of Central Arkansas.

In addition to serving in 4-H and their church for decades, Mr. Whiteside also served his country in World War Two.

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