For Florida 4-H Hall of Fame honoree Doris Base, 4-H was a very important part of her identity. “It was more than just a hobby for her,” said her daughter Darcy. “It was a calling that she answered with years of dedicated service and endless enthusiasm.”
Base became involved with 4-H in 1961 when her children joined the 4-H program. She worked as a 4-H club leader for 20 years, and spent many summers chaperoning 4-H members at summer camp, state and national competitions, and conferences. She judged record books, dress revues and county event days, and helped teach summer sewing classes.
“Doris Base contributed to 4-H in ways that few others have,” said Jay Hebert, Orange County 4-H. “For 40 years she dedicated herself to the youth of Orange County 4-H as a leader, mentor, instructor, chaperone and friend.”
Base’s daughter adds, “She believed in the program and in her members. I know that she had more than just a good impact on the kids. She changed lives.”
In addition to her work with youth, Base also worked in various administrative positions including serving on both the Orange County 4-H Advisory Board and the Orange County 4-H Budget Committee.
Before passing away in 2002 after a battle with cancer, Base was asked by her daughter about the impact 4-H had on her. “She struggled vainly to find the right words and then said, ‘I hope I had a good impact on the kids.’”
In addition to her involvement with 4-H, Base was a homemaker who devoted herself to her husband, four children and grandchildren, providing a stable home with strong family values. She was well respected by her church for her service there and was very active in her children’s schools when they were young.
“Her direct, personal involvement provided guidance, values and encouragement to many,” said Hebert. “In our fast paced society, devotion such as hers is rapidly vanishing. She will be remembered for many years by many people as an extraordinary person.”