Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 17, 2014 at 9:35 PM by Global Reach

Marvel Smith from DeWitt served many years in the Clinton County Extension office in DeWitt.  She began as an office assistant in the fall of 1969, serving for 26 years, retiring in 1994.

4-H leaders and members remember Marvel for her ability to know all the forms and all the changes dealing with all the projects.  If Marvel didn’t know, then more than likely, no one would know. Looking back, Marvel remembers working with all the extension staff, but found the most enjoyment working with the aspects of 4-H.  Marvel was at the Clinton County Extension office when 4-H was in it’s prime, in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  She recalls there were about 50 clubs and over 1000 members. Looking back, her least favorite duty was processing the youth enrollment/project selection paper forms using a pencil to blacken dozens of the appropriate circles with no erasures on the forms.  She remembers taking them home to finish them.  When extension became part of the computer movement, life at the office got so much easier.  Many fond memories of working with Jimmy Miller, Norm Goodwin, Helen Whittington, Alice Moeller and Stephanie Hofer were made at the Extension office.

One of the highlights of her career was when the fair board was able to get the Extension office moved from the basement of the post office to across the street from the fair grounds.  Prior to that, the secretaries literally were loading typewriters, copiers and supplies into the trunks of their vehicles to take to the fair headquarters for the week.  “It was so nice to just run across the street if we forgot something after we moved across from the grounds.”

Marvel never was a 4-H leader, but it did not take long after beginning the job to realize the opportunities and educational potential that ISU Extension had to offer.  “I admired the dedication of the 4-H volunteers and youth committee members who put in so much time for the youth of Clinton County.” After leaving the extension office in 1994, Marvel worked part-time for a local real estate office for 10 years.  She has also volunteered in her church in several capacities.  She continues to be the bookkeeper for Warren’s Repair, a repair shop run by her husband and son.

Marvel and her husband, Warren, are the parents of three children, Laura Norcross, Stanley Smith and Anita Ilg. They have nine living grandchildren and are now enjoying their four great-grandsons.  As a 4-H Hall of Fame honoree, Marvel deserves recognition for her years of dedication to the 4-H youth and leaders of Clinton County.

Categories: Clinton

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