Friends call her the Lady in Red.

Elizabeth D. "Betty" Steelman, of Egg Harbor Township, is known for dressing in the vibrant color. It matches her personality, which is evident when she talks about her days in the U.S. Navy WAVES during World War II.

"We had to get shoes a half size larger than usual," Steelman said of Navy training at Hunter College in the Bronx in 1944. "We found out when we marched, our feet swelled."

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She was assigned to office work at the Navy Bureau of Personnel in Arlington, Va., across from Arlington National Cemetery, and remembers the military cemetery as a quiet place, with open fields and few visitors.

"But when I went back in 2009, you couldn't walk for busloads of people. It was just amazing," she said. The open ground had filled in with thousands of veterans' graves.

Her late husband, John, was a member of the Steelman family, with roots in Atlantic County since the 17th century. Because of him, she got interested in local history and is a member of four historical societies.

At her recent 90th birthday party, attendees included Carolyn Patterson, of the Linwood Historical Society; Sally Hastings, of the Somers Point Historical Society; Dick Squires, of the Atlantic County Historical Society; and June Sheridan, of the Egg Harbor Township Historical Society.

"Each and every one kept their society going when people lacked interest and didn't come (to meetings). They never gave up," Steelman said. "They gave their whole hearts and souls to their historical societies."

Steelman's recipe for a long life is simple.

"Joining things and keeping interested in things makes you go longer," she said.

Envirothon champs

Students from Team A of the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science, or MATES, Manahawkin won first place out of 33 teams at the 2013 New Jersey Envirothon Competition that was held recently at Camp Kettle Run, in Burlington County. They advance to the Canon North America Envirothon in Montana in August.

Local members of the MATES Team A are seniors Emily Golembiski, of Little Egg Harbor Township, and Gillian Schriever, of West Creek.

Science teachers Adam Sprague and David Werner advised the teams.

Film Challenge winners

A team of students from Leaha Lukas's TV Production class at Southern Regional High School recently won Best Performance in the New Jersey High School Film Challenge.

The team included junior Dan O'Hara and sophomores Nick Garrison, Jimmy Ward, Ali Phillips and Libby Stott.

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