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The Reign of Ms. Senior Orange County

Did you know Fountain Valley is home to a beauty queen? Kathleen Rockney won the title of Ms. Senior Orange County last year at Ms. Senior California of America.

Kathleen works and plays in Fountain Valley and is representing her city, and county, with pride until March 30 2020. Catch her around town and give her a pageant wave!

? Age of Elegance

Ms. Senior California of America is a pageant just for seniors! The pageant’s philosophy is based on the “Age of Elegance.”

According to Ms. Senior California of America “The Ms. Senior America philosophy is based upon the belief that seniors are the foundation of America, and our most valuable treasure. It is upon their knowledge, experience, and resources that the younger generations has the opportunity to build a better society.”

The pageant skips the swimsuit and consists of a personal interview, evening gown, philosophy of life and talent.

Kathleen’s philosophy on life is heavily influenced by Audrey Hepburn and Princess Diana. These women are a great foundation for a beauty queen.

The stature of Audrey and Princess Diana really come out in Kathleen. She exudes the confidence of a strong woman with elegance. She doesn’t let things stand in her way and she is so so kind.


?Miss congeniality

Kathleen Rockney has a special vibrancy and warmth about her. After all, she did tie at state for Ms. Congeniality! When you meet her it’s like hugging a real-life princess. (Even squirrels popped out of the trees when we did our photo shoot!)

Kathleen also isn’t your typical beauty queen and she never had her sights set on becoming one. Pageantry found Kathleen through a friend of hers from the Fountain Valley Woman’s Club. Encouraging Kathleen to enter the Ms. Senior California pageant, the seed was planted.

With 6-weeks to pageant day, no prior experience and a background in computer science Kathleen said yes. Naturally. Then she earned the crown on her first try at 66-years-old!

“My kids are amazed. I’m always doing something!” Kathleen laughs and her eyes light up.

Ms. Senior Orange County, Kathleen Rockney.

?It takes a village

“The skill I needed to learn is asking for help,” Kathleen said.

Kathleen knew she needed a village to make this a reality. Falling on hard times with illness during the holidays and a beloved pet that needed surgery, pageant money simply wasn’t there. If she wanted to add Ms. Senior Orange County to her list she had to get help.

She needed the entry fee, head shots, wardrobe and a talent. She needed it all at a really really good price too!

Kathleen knew she could do it and her history proves no different. She has a go-getter flame in her eyes and a laundry list of accomplishments.

  • In 1983 she was headhunted for AT&T, which brought her to California.
  • She raised two sons and adopted a baby girl from South Korea.
  • She was diagnosed with Epstein–Barr and Fibromyalgia in the early 90’s and saved her own life by taking the products she sold for vitamin company, USANA. (The same vitamin company that invented the test for Epstein-Barr.)
  • She holds a Screen Actors Guild card.
  • At 57 she climbed Mt. Whitney to raise money for charity.

This woman is unstoppable. She would find a way. Kathleen borrowed her evening gown, jewelry and shoes. She found a sponsor for her entry fee who also covered her head shots. Assembling her team in record time, all that was left was the talent. The dance.

?”I don’t have to prove anything.”

A love for dance has trailed Kathleen all her life. Before kids, college and a move from the Midwest to California she would dance as a child from four-years-old.

Taking free classes in the community as a kid turned into dropping-in to New York studios for fun as an adult. After her second child she took Broadway, ballet and jazz dance classes. She knew dance would be her talent for the pageant.

“I don’t have to prove anything,” Kathleen said.

Kathleen hadn’t been on a stage in 40-years. She taught herself fresh steps from Korean Hip hop YouTube videos and created her own choreography to the song ‘Man in the mirror’ by Michael Jackson. Kathleen never fails to surprise!

Kathleen Rockney fixing her pageant dress in Mile Square Park.


?Becoming a queen

Kathleen’s experience in pageantry was filled with support and friendliness. The competitors were helping each other with hair and makeup and giving compliments backstage. The women shared advice and cheered each other on.

After all the potential Queens finished the last segment of the pageant, talent, they took the stage for one last stand while waiting for the crowning ceremony.

“Anyone with a desire can do this,” Kathleen says.

Kathleen earned her crown in hand-me-downs and borrowed jewelry. She did her makeup and hair herself. Kathleen really does mean ANYONE can do it. She hopes you will!

Will Kathleen make Fountain Valley become home to Ms. Senior California next?

Ms. Senior Orange County holds court until the end of March 2020. She is available for public speaking, parades, appearances and other events. You may contact her pageant director for speaking engagements here: [email protected]

Kathleen Rockney with her tiara, sash and scepter at Mile Square Park.

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The Reign of Ms. Senior Orange County