Tuesday, September 01, 2009
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Grace Wibben of Atlanta among 4-H Hall of Fame inductees

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[September 01, 2009]  URBANA -- The fifth class of Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame inductees was recognized during the 4-H Family Event on Aug. 15 at the Illinois State Fair. Grace Wibben of Atlanta, an 11-year club leader and longtime volunteer, was among the 47 inducted this year.

HardwareThe Illinois 4-H Foundation established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2005 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers and former 4-H staff. Nominations for the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame are made by University of Illinois Extension staff.

"We are proud to honor these 47 exceptional individuals," said Angie Barnard, director of the Illinois 4-H Foundation. "Their dedication to the Illinois 4-H program is invaluable, and we are fortunate to have their influence on our young 4-H members. We are pleased to be able to pay tribute to their legacy for future generations to learn from."

Each inductee received a commemorative Hall of Fame medallion and will be added to the virtual 4-H Hall of Fame listing at 4hfoundation.illinois.edu/hall_of_fame.


Together, the 47 members of this year's Hall of Fame class have been involved with 4-H as members and 4-H club leaders for more than 1,376 years. Each honoree resides in a different Illinois county. Two individuals were inducted posthumously.

Following is the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame Class of 2009 and their affiliation with 4-H:

  • Myrtle Ali of Champaign, Champaign County, four-year member, 20-year club leader

  • Arla J. Ault of Granite City, Madison County, nine-year member, 32-year club leader

  • Paula Barksdale of Kinmundy, Marion County, five-year member, 22-year club leader

  • Charles Beard of Hebron, McHenry County, 10-year member, 25-year club leader

  • Tom Collopy of Dahinda, Knox County, one-year member, eight-year club leader, longtime volunteer

  • Darlene K. Curry of Green Valley, Tazewell County, 10-year member, 38-year club leader

  • Jeanette Droege of Brussels, Calhoun County, 25-year club leader, longtime volunteer

  • Pat Edmondson of Coal Valley, Rock Island County, 24-year club leader, longtime volunteer

  • Diana S. Ethridge of Freeport, Stephenson County, 10-year member, 41-year club leader

  • Marilyn Gannon of Murphysboro, Jackson County, 10-year member, 15-year club leader,

  • Jackson County Extension employee for 35 years

  • Carolyn Gerberding of Rochester, Sangamon County, 10-year member, 17-year club leader

  • Katheryn "Katie" Grumbine of Henry, Marshall County, seven-year member, 35-year club leader

  • Nick Hankes of Maple Park, Kane County, 10-year member, 35-year volunteer

  • Louise Hish of Broughton, Hamilton County, two-year member, 25-year club leader

  • Ranelle Hubele of Carmi, White County, 10-year member, 18-year club leader

  • Ruel "Buzz" Iliff of Wyoming, Stark County, 10-year member, 16-year club leader

  • Janice Kellogg of Yorkville, Kendall County, 11-year club leader, longtime volunteer

  • Lorraine Kinsey of Viola, Mercer County, five-year member, 24-year club leader

  • Ruth B. Knott of Ellisville, Fulton County, 39-year club leader, longtime volunteer

  • Edmund E. Kueker of Waterloo, Monroe County, eight-year member, 25-year club leader

  • Peggy Kulczewski of Monmouth, Warren County, nine-year member, 18-year club leader

  • Francis Morse of Tiskilwa, Bureau County, 21-year club leader, longtime volunteer

  • Dolly Mueller of Freeburg, St. Clair County, eight-year member, 36-year club leader

  • Virgina Nelson of Geneseo, Henry County, six-year member, 25-year club leader

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  • Donald "Don" Reitz of Gilman, Iroquois County, 10-year member, longtime volunteer

  • Pam Runyon of Farmer City, DeWitt County, eight-year member, nine-year club leader

  • Duane Runyon of Famer City, DeWitt County, 10-year member, nine-year club leader

  • Karolyn Sheppard, 1933-2009, of Pittsfield, Pike County, seven-year member, 34-year club leader, longtime volunteer

  • Nancy Simpson of Camargo, Douglas County, 39-year club leader, longtime volunteer

  • Ralph Spencer, 1921-2009, of Gillespie, Macoupin County, four-year member, five-year club leader, longtime volunteer

  • Loretta Steber of Claremont, Richland County, eight-year member, 20-year club leader

  • Barb Steidl of Forrest, Ford County, six-year member, 13-year club leader

  • Fern Stritzel of Johnston City, Williamson County, one-year member, 46-year club leader

  • Evelyn Rose Stumpe of Dow, Jersey County, 36-year club leader, longtime volunteer

  • Andrea Swanson of Carol Stream, DuPage County, 12-year club leader, longtime volunteer


  • Shirley Thornton of Carrollton, Greene County, 10-year member, 19-year club leader

  • Gary G. Turner of Garden Prairie, Boone County, eight-year member, 49-year club leader

  • Orrin Vandeburg of Sycamore, DeKalb County, 10-year member, 52-year club leader

  • Grace Wibben of Atlanta, Logan County, 11-year club leader, longtime volunteer

  • Jan Wiersema of Morrison, Whiteside County, three-year member, longtime volunteer

  • Carolyn Willenburg of Edgewood, Effingham County, 11-year member, 20-year club leader

  • Jane Elizabeth Williams of Martinsville, Clark County, six-year member, 24-year club leader

  • Mark Wills of Coal City, Grundy County, 11-year member, 25-year club leader

  • Gertrude Wilson of Dennison, Edgar County, 10-year member, 43-year project leader

  • Frank Woolam of Macomb, McDonough County, 10-year member, nine-year club leader

  • Betty Ann Yoder of Bloomington, McLean County, 11-year member, 36-year club leader

  • Wally L. Yoder of Bloomington, McLean County, 11-year member, 10-year club leader

The 4-H program is the largest out-of-school educational program for youth in the United States. It assists youth in acquiring knowledge, forming attitudes and developing life skills that will enable them to become caring, competent and contributing members of society. In Illinois, over 290,000 youth participate in the University of Illinois Extension 4-H Youth Development program. More than 25,500 youth and adult volunteers assist in the programming.


The Illinois 4-H Foundation raises private funds that are invested in Illinois 4-H programs that provide meaningful positive development experiences for Illinois youth to develop leadership, citizenship and life skills.

For more information about 4-H in Illinois, visit www.4-H.illinois.edu.

[Text from Illinois 4-H Foundation file received from Amy L. Hyde, Logan County Extension Unit]

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