Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 9, 2013 at 9:12 AM by Global Reach


Marilyn Joy EngleMarilyn Engle grew up in a farm family in southern Iowa and became a member of 4-H in the club led by her mother.  At Iowa State University she earned a degree in chemical engineering.  With her husband Richard she moved to Sioux City where she became active in the Woodbury County 4-H Program.  She started the Morningside Mini Maids 4-H Club where eventually her four daughters were members.  Marilyn nurtured and taught the girls in a way that they became expert seamstresses and enjoyed and excelled in food and nutrition projects.  She encouraged them to participate in demonstrations in the club setting and to later polish their education presentations on the county and state level.  Marilyn did this for her own daughters and for every youth in her 4-H club.


In addition to being a 4-H leader, Marilyn served on the county level in several volunteer positions.  In 1973 she became a member of the Extension Youth Committee.  In 1974 she helped organize the Woodbury County 4-H Sub Committee and was the first chair of the group.  The group was developed to keep consistency in the 4-H program, to encourage and help youth with their record books and to assist when applying for awards beyond the county level.  She also knew where to go in Sioux City for financial support of the 4-H program and found sponsors for many special project awards for outstanding record keeping.


Marilyn was a mentor for other 4-H leaders.  She was a 4-H clothing superintendent and later became overall 4-H building superintendent.  As superintendent she was responsible for assisting over 20 other 4-H department superintendents, organizing  judging day, and keeping track of over 3,000 4-H exhibits. 


Marilyn and her husband Richard opened their home to 4-H and other groups, where committees could meet and would also be given a tour of their home, designed by her daughter, Rebecca in the prairie style of Frank Lloyd Wright.


In recent years Marilyn hosted a tea for Nancy Franz, director of ISU Extension Families and 4-H.  Other “pioneers” of Woodbury 4-H were invited along with staff to discuss the new trends of Iowa State University Outreach & Extension including 4-H.  Marilyn is active in her church and has served in leadership roles on the local, district and state levels.


Categories: Woodbury

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