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Late 4-H leader enters national Hall of Fame
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A longtime member and leader of Mississippi's 4-H program was honored posthumously with induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in Chevy Chase, Md.
Francis Jefferson Lundy, who served as chair of the 4-H Club Foundation of Mississippi for 11 years and was a Foundation member and adviser for 20 years, was honored recently for his significant contributions to the 4-H youth development movement.
At the time of his death in April 2001, Lundy worked in Jackson as a legislative consultant, providing invaluable support to Mississippi 4-H. But friends say his greatest gift was his love of the state's children.
"The children loved him. His refrigerator was a continuous testament to this, staying covered with the many notes he received from them each year," said Susan Holder, 4-H program leader with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.
"We are fortunate to have several truly outstanding individuals associated with Mississippi 4-H these past 100 years," Holder added. "Perhaps none have helped prepare us more to step into our second century than Mr. Lundy."
During his time as Foundation chairman, Lundy saw Mississippi 4-H grow to more than 128,000 members -- one in four school-age children -- and the Foundation holdings grow by about $1 million.
"Mr. Lundy's leadership style was best identified as sharing," said Morris Houston, MSU Extension 4-H development specialist. "He shared his time, his energy and his retirement years. He shared his experience, contacts and good name. He shared his integrity, devotion and love for our children, organization and state."
Lundy also shared sustained financial support to 4-H and MSU. Through the Francis and Emma Nell Lundy Endowment, he and his wife established a fund in excess of $50,000 devoted to the leadership development of Mississippi 4-H youth.
Growing up in Neshoba County, Lundy participated actively in various 4-H projects. One of his most prized possessions was an ax he received when he won the Mississippi 4-H Wood Chopping Contest in 1935.
Lundy was a retired administrator with BellSouth, leading that company to become one of Mississippi 4-H's most generous and supportive corporate donors.
As a contributing citizen to his community and state, Lundy served as an active member and supporter of Christ United Methodist Church, Jackson Touchdown Club, American Cancer Society Board of Directors, Advisory Board of the Andrew Jackson Council Boy Scouts of America, the Navy V-12 Scholarship Foundation at Millsaps College, and North Jackson Lions Club.
Sponsored by the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, the virtual 4-H Hall of Fame features Web pages for each inductee and includes biographies, photos, 4-H statistics and quotes. Visit the National 4-H Hall of Fame at http://www.nae4ha.org/hof.
For more information about Mississippi's 4-H program, contact Holder at (662) 325-3352.