Posted on August 24, 2017 at 9:04 PM by Emily Saveraid
Dennis Hullinger (1944-1994) grew up in a 4-H family on the farm. The lessons he learned in 4-H helped him during his adult life as a farmer, and led him to be involved in many volunteer organizations. Community was important to him, particularly encouraging the youth of his community. He rarely missed a chance to cheer on his kids, or other kids, at a 4-H event, a school program or any kind of ballgame. He was always there with a pat on the back and a “Good job.”
Growing up, Dennis was a member of the Woodland Willing Workers 4-H Club in Decatur County. He showed home-raised Angus cattle, as well as other projects, at the county fair and the Iowa State Fair. He enjoyed laughing and sharing stories of his youth with family and friends. As an adult, he supported 4-H by being a long-time member of the Decatur County Fair Board, 4-H Committee, Extension Council and leader of his son Benji’s 4-H club, the True Blue Workers. His wife, Judy (Duncan) also grew up in 4-H and was a leader of the True Blue 4-H club, of which their three daughters Brenda, Beverly and Cherlyn were members. His children were all 9-year members and exhibited a variety of projects at the county fair and Iowa State Fair, as well as shows throughout the Midwest. Through 4-H, he made many life-long friends, and never knew a stranger. Wherever Dennis went, he would bump into someone he knew and strike up a conversation.
Dennis was a big man with an even bigger heart and was happiest when spending time with his family. They spent countless hours together, working on the farm, training 4-H calves and traveling to shows. He enjoyed the competition, but more important were the lessons learned from working hard and being proud of his accomplishments. He won Grand Champion Steer at the Decatur County Fair in 1957, but was even prouder 25 years later when daughter, Brenda, achieved the same honor. Grandson Justin Dennis Shields won Supreme Champion Market Beef at the Decatur County Fair in 2017, 60 years after Dennis.
The next generation of Hullinger’s have continued to carry the 4-H torch. His children and grandchildren have been members of the Decatur County Fair Board and leaders of the Southern Trailblazers 4-H Club. Seven of his grandchildren have been 4-H members in Decatur County and have shown cattle along with many other projects.
In addition to 4-H, Dennis was also involved in other community organizations. These included Cattlemens Association, Farm Service Agency, Farm Bureau and the Lineville Lions Club. Whatever the task at hand, he showed up with a big smile, a strong back, and the willingness to help. For these reasons, we are happy to recognize Dennis Hullinger for his outstanding service to the Decatur County 4-H Program.