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Hall of Fame 2005

Induction of the 2005 members took place during the State 4-H Forum in Ocean Shores on October 14, 2005.
Bob & Nancy PeckBob and Nancy Peck have served as 4-H Club Leaders, Project Leaders, Superintendents, Judges, Training Coordinators, and Instructors for both youth and leaders in a number of 4-H areas for 29 years.

Nancy has served on the County 4-H Scholarship Committee for 21 years, 18 of those years as Chair. She as worked as Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent of the 4-H Sewing Department and Kitchen Activities at the county fair for 29 years. She has done quilting with youth, along with Master Clothiers.

Bob helped bring the 4-H National Photography exhibits to the county fair, and has served as 4-H Photography Superintendent for 25 years. He is our resident artist, creating signage and posters for local and county 4-H activities.

Bob and Nancy have donated countless hours to Battle Ground 4-H Area IV, Halloween carnival and Harvest Days. They also donate numerous hours at the county fair, which means they have celebrated almost every wedding anniversary at the fair! They have been involved in planning the State 4-H Forum and Western Regional Forum. To be sure young people have the opportunity to participate at the state level, they take the responsibility of getting all the county qualifying still life entries to the State 4-H Fair. Nancy coordinates the county sign-up for kitchen activities at the State 4-H Fair.

Bob is a founding member of the Discovery Gallery in Battle Ground, and has directed the District art Show for almost 45 years. He is also a Kiwanian and works with the community activities and fundraisers. Bob and Nancy have taught community education classes and helped at the local food bank. When their three children were still home, they worked as a family helping create the Battle Ground community float that is entered in the annual Portland Rose Festival parade.

Bob and Nancy have been nominated twice as Citizen of the Year for the city of Battle Ground. In 2005 they received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Battle Ground Chamber of Commerce for all their community involvement over the years.

Charles Hussey, a WWII veteran and retired engineer, has been a positive 4-H mentor to both youth and adults for the past 40 years.

Charles has given 4-H’ers a place to house their sheep and pig projects, and donated a lamb and feed for member’s that couldn’t otherwise have a project. He has transported animals to fair, to ensure all the 4-H’ers have the chance to show their animals. He graciously opens his farm for fitting and showing practices and lamb shearing days.

Charles purchased a portable livestock scale for the 4-H club to ensure proper animal weights. Each spring, after shearing his own sheep flock and selling the wool, he donates the money back to the 4-H club. He has been seen buying numerous 4-H animals back when support was low, and has spent countless hours building tack boxes for show equipment and supplies.

Charles does not seek the limelight or personal recognition – instead preferring the focus remain on the 4-H youth. He has incredible rapport with kids of all ages. Many 4-H youth have been blessed by Mr. Hussey’s generosity and guidance.

Charles and his wife, Alice, raised three children, and have three granddaughters – all former 4-H members. He volunteers at his church, and spends time maintaining his orchard and raising alfalfa for his sheep.

John Eby came to Auburn, WA in 1946, and in 1948 he founded the Northwest Junior Livestock Show. A show that gives 4-H and FFA youth the experience of raising, feeding, and marketing livestock in a positive, education environment. John not only served as Show Manager, but also spent countless hours teaching youth how to care for and show their project animals.

John encouraged business owners and community leaders to support the youth with their time and money. One of which was Sears and Roebuck, in their sponsorship of the awards banquet. He also sold bonds to finance the Show, until it was financially stable. In 1949, he paraded a steer through the Auburn Rainbow Café during an earthquake. Another year, he nursed Show participants through a measles outbreak.

In 1976, the Mayor of Auburn declared a “John Eby Day.” He was asked by several governors to represent the meat industry in state government. He was also very active in the Cattlemen’s Association.

John started the Meridian Meat Makers 4-H Club, and served as their leader for many years. His dedication to 4-H and FFA spanned over 25 years. After retiring as Manager of the Northwest Junior Livestock Show, he continued to be very active in the operation of it until his death. While John is gone now, the Northwest Junior Livestock Show still is going strong. He left a legacy that is now 60 years old, and has impacted many peoples’ lives through the years.

Bernice DukeBernice Duke was a 4-H leader in Klickitat County for over 20 years. Her specialty was in the Dairy Program, but she has been a great inspiration to all 4-H members in the Trout Lake community. She even took a beginning dairy member, from 50 miles away, under her wing, and helped him become an excellent showman. She also cooked meals for the 10-12 Klickitat County 4-H exhibitors at the State 4-H Fair for several years. Along with Betty Schmid, Bernice founded the Trout Lake Dairy Fair in 1965. She is still involved in the fair, although the dairy part has been discontinued due to the loss of dairy farms in the community. Her love of children (including five of her own) prompted her to start a “Cousin’s Camp” many years ago for her 24 grandchildren.

Bernice was also a 4-H Clothing project leader, helping members with their projects and getting them interested in the Make It Yourself With Wool Contest. She and Betty Schmid organized the Trout Lake Quilters in 1983. Besides organizing an annual rummage sale, and learning new skills on quilting machines, the group constructed two different wool quilts that were raffled off the help support the state contest.

Bernice is very involved in her church. After the sale of the family dairy farm, she and her son, Jeff, and daughter-in-law, Beki, founded Jonah Ministries, which offers a variety of youth camps and retreats to several hundred young people each year.


Betty SchmidBetty Schmid joined the Trout Lake Community 4-H Club in 1942, and began leadership in that club in 1959. Though her expertise is in the home economics area, she and Bernice Duke founded the Trout Lake Dairy Fair in 1965. Betty has been an active member of the Klickitat County 4-H Leaders’ Council, serving as President in 1970-72.

Betty has been involved, for many years, in the Trout Lake Community Fair, organizing the clothing, fancy work, and food exhibits, as well as the style revue and talent contest. Her sewing club presented demonstrations, annually, for the Trout Lake Grange. She worked with members on their projects in her home, sometimes furnishing machines for them to use.

Betty and her husband, Leonard, raised five children—all 4-H’ers. After Leonard passed away, Betty continues to stay busy. She is very active in her church, and organizes many community activities. She is a member of Trout lake Grange, presently serving as Master, Secretary, and Women’s Activity Chair. She is known has the “community bread baker,” specializing in cinnamon rolls and cheese bread. She and Bernice Duke started the Trout Lake Quilters in 1983. That group stays very busy making quilts for community raffles, organizing an annual rummage sale, and learning new skills on quilting machines.

Don and Marion Vetter heavily influenced the Pacific County 4-H program through long years of leadership.

As the only veterinarian in the community, Don was the source of vet science project information. Horse member worked year-round and had frequent activities that Don could participate in. He knew all the member well and knew each horse by name or disease. Many members in the 1960’s and 70’s received their project animal from Doc Vetter. He gave away more livestock than he ever owned. It was his influence and enthusiasm that helped to start the 4-H / FFA livestock auction, from the barnyard scramble.

Marion is remembered as a visionary. Her years as the Beef wrangler’s Main Club Leader, Camp Cook, Pacific County Fair Livestock Superintendent, and 4-H Council Treasurer are important, but not as important as the example she set. Many Pacific County youth considered her a second Mom. Thanks to her, members learned public speaking for 4-H Demonstration Days in the Beef Wranglers’ Club, which made public speaking at school seem easy.

In their memory, the Pacific County Horse Program still awards the Vetter Memorial to the member with best-combined scores in record book, public presentation, and educational poster.

Helen BurgessHelen Burgess was born in Stevens County, where her mother and grandmother both served as 4-H Volunteers,  and is in her 28th year as a 4-H volunteer, currently as Main Club Leader for the Haynickers II 4-H Club. Shortly after Helen married, she and her family volunteered three entire summers as caretakers of the Stevens County 4-H Camp.

Helen was the driving force behind the Stevens County livestock judging project, and she volunteers to help with livestock judging when she is at the state fair. She has been the backbone of the annual Meat ‘n Good Times Livestock Clinic, a showcase event in Stevens County. She has been Superintendent for the Livestock Market Systems Approach class at the Northeast Washington Fair every year since it began.

Helen has chaperoned at club activities, local and state fairs, teen conference and rallies, and livestock shows. She decorates for every 4-H or fair activity on a shoestring budget—and has a gift of bringing out creative talents of youth in doing so.

She has served on the Stevens County 4-H Leaders’ Council as President (1996-2001), Reporter, and currently Vice-President. In 1997 Helen was recognized as Stevens County Outstanding Leader. She remains an active 4-H volunteer long after her own children have completed their successful 4-H careers.

Helen represents the ultimate 4-H leader. She gives endlessly of all that she has—including time, talent, and money—for the 4-H youth of Stevens County.


Lee and Helen McNinchLee and Helen McNinch have made extensive contributions to 4-H, FFA, and other youth in rural Stevens County and Northeast Washington. From 1968-1985, they served as Club Leaders and Project Leaders in the Smackout 4-H Club. Project areas included Family Living, Beef, Sheep, Rabbits, Poultry, and Forestry. Helen was very active in Fashion Revue.

Lee and Helen have been extremely active in the Northeast Washington Fair in Colville, serving as Beef Superintendents since 1978. They have served on the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association Board of Directors, and have been liaisons to the fair. They have been recognized as Cattlemen of the Year. They served on the 4-H Leaders’ Council for over 10 years, and on the Extension Advisory Committee. .

The McNinch’s live about three miles from the Canadian border, making the two-hour drive to Colville on rural roads about three times a month for various meetings—not including other trips for 4-H meetings, activities, and support for area youth. Lee and Helen raised five children on their cattle ranch, with support from logging work. Their life has been service to their community and the youth in our rural area.


Navona Ouimette participated in 4-H as a child growing up in New York State, where her mother was a 4-H leader. Even though Navona had no children of her own, she was involved in the Stevens County 4-H program both as a Main Club Leader and Project Leader for 22 years, before her death in 2004.

Navona served many years as the Stevens County 4-H Leaders’ Council Treasurer, and she worked as the county 4-H Dog and Cat Program Leader for over 10 years. She single handedly build the county 4-H Cat Program, and served as the Northeast Washington Fair Cat Barn Superintendent for over 15 years. Navona was responsible for the development of 4-H cat publications used in Stevens County, and much of her own time and money went into building cat crates, cages, and display areas used at area fairs.

Navona was an avid dog breeder of show Dalmatians and Corgis. She won many awards with her dogs at local, state, and national shows. In 1985 she was selected as Stevens County Outstanding 4-H Leader.

Navona donated funds to the Northeast Washington Fair to beautify the entrance to the fairgrounds, as a memorial to her late husband, Leonard. She also gave money to repair the roof of the Commercial Building on the fairgrounds, and buy numerous office supplies and equipment. After health issues forced her retirement from active volunteering, Navona continued to support the 4-H program through support of the Fat Animal Sale, and other monetary donations.

Walla Walla
Freda Cummins started her 4-H career as the Touchet-Gardena Gals and Guys Club Leader in 1949. In 1951, she (along with her 10 month old baby) accompanied a 4-H member to summer camp, sleeping in cleaned out stalls of an old barn.

Freda served as a 4-H Sewing Leader for 41 years, serving many of those years as a fair superintendent. She volunteered at summer camp for nearly 30 years, served as open class judge for sewing, knitting and crocheting, and judged record books for several years. She attended State 4-H Conference in Pullman, but cannot recall which years.

Freda has touched so many lives in the community that she has former members from out of the area still stay in touch with her. She frequently donates supplies to 4-H members who are in need. Freda believes that 4-H work is next to church and family, because it builds strength and character.

Freda has been heavily involved in the Extension Homemakers, where she volunteered to feed migrant workers at the farm labor camp. She has taught sewing classes to migrant workers, and volunteered to teach knitting at local schools. She has served her church as a Sunday School Teacher for several years.

Freida Cummins passed away February 6, 2008, at the age of 87.


Elsie Patterson has dedicated over 40 years of service to the Walla Walla County 4-H program, starting in 1947 as the Stateline Girls 4-H Club Leader. In 1952, she became Project Leader for the Gardena Gals and Guys Club in which she lead cooking, table décor, floral arrangement, and horticulture.

Elsie has served as a Club Leader, Project Leader, Fair Superintendent of Horticulture, Demonstration Judge, and Summer Camp Volunteer for numerous years. She had the privilege of judging a meal preparation that was presented to Governor Gardner and his wife.

Elsie has helped shape the lives of more youth in Walla Walla County than can be counted. She keeps in touch with former 4-H members, to this day. She made a suggestion to improve our local fair pavilion, which contributed to a better style review stage, and more room for displays. In 1981, she led her group, Krafty Kreators, in adopting an elderly person as a grandparent.

Some of Elsie’s accomplishments outside of 4-H include Walla Walla County Homemaker of the Year (1972); recognized as Mother of the Year twice; received Golden Deeds Award from Walla Walla Exchange Club; earned the Degree of Chivalry from the Sunshine Rebekah’s for unselfish charity, helpful service, and loving care for those around her. After Elsie’s children were grown, she became a foster mother for 15 years. She has taught knitting classes in local schools, taught migrant workers home economic classes, and has been a Sunday school teacher for several years.

Washington State University Extension