Posted on March 31, 2011 at 11:52 AM by Global Reach
Elsie Jean Wilson, of Grundy County, began working as an Office Assistant in the Grundy County Extension Office in May of 1959. She worked until May of 1961 and then returned to the Extension Office in September of 1964. Elsie Jean recently retired from her position in March of 2003 after 37 ½ years of service. During the time she worked in the Extension Office she worked with numerous Extension Directors and Field Specialists. She has served on a number of State Committees that included revising the state filing system and the Extension Field and County Operation Guide Manual as well as serving on the planning committee for the State Office Assistants Meeting.
Elsie Jean has experienced many transitions throughout her years of service to Extension. When she began working in Extension she had a manual type writer and mimeograph that you had to crank by hand. She had an important role in supporting the Office Staff, 4-H program, and Fair Board in Grundy County. Elsie Jean has gone through many changes from staff, technology, club organization, and people. She remembers how excited she was when the first electric typewriter arrived, then the computer, copy machines, and other new technology that arrived in the office.
As a youth she lived in town and was not given the opportunity to participate in 4-H but felt that she would really have enjoyed it. Back then it was a boys club and a girls club and now the clubs have opened up for all to participate. Elsie Jean has really enjoyed watching families as they have progressed through 4-H with their children, and their children passing on the experiences to their children. It has been great getting to know all of the different families from Grundy County.
Elsie Jean has served on the Senior Citizen Housing Committee, Grundy Center Community Center Board, has directed Bells and Choir, and sang in Metropolitan Chorale in Waterloo for many years. She collects bears and Department 56 Dickens Houses, but most of all enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren Faith (6) and Cole (4).
Elsie Jean feels she has had a great learning opportunity through Extension. “I have learned as much as anyone who went to college about livestock, crops, home economics, and more. The information I had to know and assimilate was so important to helping other people find the information they needed.” The knowledge and friends she made are priceless.
Elsie Jean is living in Grundy Center with her husband Everett. Her family includes her son Edwin and his wife Angela and two grandchildren Faith and Cole.