Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on March 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM by Global Reach

2003 Lyon County - Mary Ellen SinclairMary Ellen Sinclair lived a life focused on the work and values that are a part of 4-H. Her parents, Nicholas and Cornelia Roach, were some of the early supporters of the 4-H program in Lyon County, Iowa. Along with her brothers Nicholas Jr. and Kenneth and sisters Mae and Barbara Ann, she was a strong and active member of the 4-H club in Rock Rapids beginning when she was 10 years old.

This family tradition was continued as she raised her own family.  Mary Ellen and her husband Marvin supported their 5 children as members of the local 4-H clubs. She served as a leader of the Rock Rapids Happy Rockies 4-H club and a supporter of the Rock Rapids boys club for over 40 years. Her efforts ranged from the supportive nudge to complete the record books to helping to groom and clean the livestock in preparation for show. In her leadership role she focused on the teaching aspects of 4-H and how it builds for success in adult life. She saw 4-H as a positive way to build lasting friendships. Mary Ellen also served for several years on the Lyon County Extension Service Council.

In October of 1989 she was recognized for her over 40 years of service to 4-H by Governor Terry Branstad as an Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame Award winner. Along with 100 Iowa volunteers, she was honored for her efforts in Lyon County with the 4-H program and other community and Holy Name Parish church service. She received the Hall of Fame Award from Lyon County. Additionally she has been acknowledged for her volunteer service to the Iowa Department of Human Services from the division of community services in Lyon County.

After Mary Ellen’s death in August of 2002 her dedication to the future of 4-H continues through the Mary Ellen Roach Sinclair 4-H Scholarship given annually to a graduating student from Central Lyon School District, who has been active in the 4-H tradition.

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