Campus Life

'Godmother' of Utah 4-H Dies

Emily Drake of Salt Lake County, the “Godmother” of Utah 4-H, died Saturday, Aug. 22, at age 97.
“The Utah 4-H Program will greatly miss Emily,” said Kevin Kesler, Utah State University Extension director of 4-H and youth programs. “Many youths who were in her 4-H programs are now finishing careers and contribute their starts to their 4-H leader. Emily was one of those people who was genuinely loved by everyone she met and worked with. She was a friend, mentor, peer and support to youths and adults alike.”
Drake joined 4-H in 1924 at age 12. She began her service as a 4-H volunteer in 1936 with a clothing club in West Jordan, attended National 4-H Club Congress in 1954, and she was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2003 at the 4-H Center near Washington, D.C.
She spent her free time and vacations learning new skills that she could, in turn, bring back to her 4-H clubs. She led clubs in foods, gardening, food preservation, home improvement and wood refinishing, among countless others. If a 4-H volunteer was needed to assist with the program, Emily was there, said Kesler.
Drake worked with her own children and grandchildren and more than 150 4-H members, many of them in foods, food preservation and sewing projects. Her five children and most of her 29 grandchildren have been 4-H members.
“Drake is an outstanding role model, mentor and citizen to all who work with her,” said Deb Jones, USU Extension 4-H volunteer development specialist. “She is the best representative for the 4-H motto of ‘make the best better’ that a program could hope for.”
Drake was such an inspiration that her grandson, David Drake, became a USU Extension agricultural agent in Sevier County.
Drake’s funeral was Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009.
Related links:
Writer: Lisa Woodworth, 435- 797-0810,
Dennis Hinkamp, 435-797-1392,
Contact: Kevin Kesler, 797-0930,
Emily Drake

Emily Drake


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