In May, Tennessee 4-H experienced the unexpected loss of one of the organization’s brightest stars, Rebekah Lemley.
Growing up, Lemley participated in the Robertson Co. club, where her main project was dairy foods. Not only did Lemley win at the state level and serve on the state dairy products judging team, but she also served on the State 4-H Council and attended Congress.
As an adult, Lemley volunteered at the fair, played an instrumental role in the beginning of the Tennessee Performing Arts Troupe and coached several winning judging teams.
“Rebekah always wanted young 4-H members to experience 4-H the way that she did – to love it and gain many valuable skills from their participation,” says Kathy Finely, Lemley’s 4-H agent.
For Lemley, participation in 4-H was a family affair. Rebekah, her sisters, Marissa and Abigail, and their mother, Mary Lee, worked together to create costumes for the Tennessee Performing Arts Troupe and volunteered with the Citizenship Pageant at 4-H Congress.
Perhaps Lemley’s greatest legacy is her impact on 4-H Camp. Each year, the trio attended camp to serve as nurses and keep everyone healthy and happy. When an opportunity to provide leadership for Vanderbilt’s Camp Hope arose, Lemley knew that she wanted to move it to 4-H camp at Camp Ridley in Columbia.
At just 35, Rebekah made an impact on the Tennessee 4-H organization that will impact students for years to come.
“As far as Robertson County is concerned, Rebekah will never be replaced,” says Finley. “We are so thankful for the legacy she left and the many young lives she touched.”
If you would like to make a donation to the Rebekah Lemley Memorial Fund, please visit tn4hfoundation.org/rebekah-lemley-memorial-fund.