Posted on August 24, 2015 at 4:32 PM by Global Reach
Mildred Lyons has been involved in 4-H since her teen years when she was a member of 4-H in Wright County. She participated and exhibited at the local and state level. One of her favorite stories is telling about the time she went to the state fair with her father. They took a boar to show in a small 2 wheeled trailer and the boar jumped out when they stopped. Somehow they found him and went down and back to the state fair in one day.
Mildred married Lester Lyons and welcomed eleven (11) children to that union. Diane, Marcia, Stan, Gloria, Nancy, Dennis, Scott, Becky, Doug, David, and Brian who all became involved in 4-H. Mildred continued to be an active participant of 4H and instilled her love for 4-H onto her children and other youth by serving as a 4H leader for over 22 years in multiple counties in Iowa. Mildred served as a leader in Johnson, Delaware, Clayton, Allamakee, and Winneshiek counties. She helped many youth with their projects and provided a positive influence to those she worked with. Raising and showing Holsteins were her biggest projects and passed this love on to her children and grandchildren.
Mildred’s children continued their involvement with 4H by encouraging their children (Mildred’s grandchildren) to become active members of 4H. This includes being on judging teams, county councils and helping with various committees and fundraisers for the county. Mildred has had several of her children who have been and are 4H leaders. She has had a son and daughter serve as Winneshiek County Fair Board members as well as sons, son-in-law and daughter-in-law still active on the Winneshiek County Fair Auxiliary Board. Mildred has been the biggest cheerleader for her family by attending the county fair where her family is exhibiting. Mildred has not missed leading “Team Lyons” at the county fair for 61 years. In 2006, 10 of her grandchildren showed or exhibited at the fair. Mildred’s youngest grandchild, Tucker, is in his first year of 4H in Winneshiek County. She probably was the closest to missing a fair in 1956 when she and her husband had to drop off their oldest child, Diane, to a friend so Diane could participate in the 4H parade. Mildred and Lester were on their way to the hospital for the delivery of their 6th child, Dennis.
Most who know Mildred expect to find her sitting on the bleachers in the show barn that seems to be reserved for her, even though her name isn’t on it. Some of the fair board members asked where they should put the ceiling fan so she could be comfortable. In a recent conversation with a friend, they asked if it was possible for Mildred to save them a spot to watch the dairy youth show. She has also received the 4H alumni award in Winneshiek County.
Mildred and her family have supported the Winneshiek County 4H program by attending fundraisers, donating to building funds, and contributing to the Clover Club program in the past. The fairs often served as the family’s vacation but also let them meet and garner new friends not just on a local level but all over the state with their 4H involvement started by Mildred’s love of 4H.