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4-H friends celebrate Coleman’s career

By JoEllen Black/Publisher

Kathy Bondy (right), a retired MU extension youth specialist in Lafayette County, hugs her friend and former colleague Nancy Coleman after she spoke words of praise of Coleman at her retirement party Saturday at the Eagleton Center in Richmond. Coleman will retire Dec. 31 after a 36-year career in Ray County. (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

Kathy Bondy (right), a retired MU extension youth specialist in Lafayette County, hugs her friend and former colleague Nancy Coleman after she spoke words of praise of Coleman at her retirement party Saturday at the Eagleton Center in Richmond. Coleman will retire Dec. 31 after a 36-year career in Ray County. (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

The 4-H family marked the milestone of one of its Ray County leaders Saturday.

After devoting her entire career as Ray County’s MU extension youth specialist, Nancy Coleman was given a heartfelt retirement party by fellow extension employees and extension council members at the Eagleton Center.

“She was like family, part of my childhood,” said Stacey Cox, Ray County Health Department director, who is an active member of Ray County 4-H.

Cox’s mother, the late Susie Taylor, was an extension council member in 1980 when the council hired Coleman, a decision Taylor took great pride in, Cox said.  Cox said she accompanied her mother to welcome Coleman on her first day of the job.

“She’s done so much for the kids,” Cox said. “It is a life so devoted.”

During a brief ceremony, those involved in 4-H, both here and at nearby counties, paid tribute to Coleman’s dedication. Three retired youth specialists who worked with Coleman during her 36-year career praised her loyalty to the program and its children. They also know of Coleman’s difficult decision to retire.

“It’s more of a calling, a vocation,” said Sharen Hunt, a retired Platte County youth specialist and friend of Coleman.

Kathy Bondy, a retired Lafayette County youth specialist, elaborated.

“(The job) is so people-intense. You’re vested in their lives and they in yours,” Bondy said. “It’s really, really hard to leave. The people, they’re like family.”

The complete story is in the Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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