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Lost, but never forgotten

Dorothy Blanchard

Dorothy was a pillar in the Essex County 4H Foundation and the Essex County Youth Foundation, where she served as an excellent Secretary for many years. Additionally, she served as an outstanding Chair on many of the committies and was involved in numerous other volunteer activities. Dorothy excelled in her occupation as a Jr. High Schoolteacher. She is admiringly thought of by many of her students and those she assisted as the High School Class Advisor at Masconomet. Her skills earned her a "National Teacher of the Year Award. Her support of youth never wavered and she remained very active while bearing the grief of Charles' passing in 2012 until her own passing in 2015. At that time she was almost 90 years of age, still very sharp and witty and was serving as the Essex County Youth Foundation Secretary. 

Doris Cleary

Doris Cleary lived in North Andover with her husband, Harold. Doris taught canning, sewing and many other home economic projects. She was present for the National 4H Club Congress in 1928. She became involved with 4H at 9 years of age and remained involved for over 87 years. She is pictured in a photo, which hangs over the office door, of the ground breaking for the current Essex County Youth Foundation Building. Doris became the treasurer when the Foundation was formed in 1955 and served on it's board of Directors until her passing in December of 2012.

Charles Blanchard

Charles Blanchard lived in Georgetown, MA. Charles was the 4H Extension Agent from 1947 to 1983. Under his leadership, many young people earned 4H awards on the State, Regional and National levels. He was an active Nature Educator at the 4H Camp Leslie in Georgetown, MA. He acquired the title of "Uncle Charlie" at the 4H Camp and he is still Uncle Charlie to many former 4H members. Charles led 4H member exchanges with Counties in Wisconsin and New York State. He was a guide to many Foreign Educators that visited Essex County. His is pictured in the photo, which hangs over the office door, of the ground breaking for the current Essex County Youth Building and he served several terms as President for the Foundation. 

Minetta Scott

Minetta was a very bright woman who skipped grades in school and graduated in 1928, at age 19, from Framingham State College with a Teaching Degree. She married Ormond Scott in 1930 and together they faced the great depression. In 1933, at 25 years of age, Minetta went blind from a problem that could have easily been solved with antibiotics, except antibiotics were not available until 8 years later. Minetta met her new challenge with a very positive attitude. She went to the Perkins Institute For The Blind and learned braille so quickly and well that she became a Braille Teacher. She headed up several volunteer organizations as well as volunteering at the Danvers State Hospital where she taught braille to the blind residents. In fact, she logged more volunteer hours than any other volunteer in Essex County. Minetta became President of the Andover, MA Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind and was the MA Representative to the National Headquarters. During her tenure she set up NFB Chapters in MA. She was also instrumental in getting laws passed to help with such things as the handicapped entrances for wheelchairs. Along with all these other activities she competently ran her own business.  She and Ormond founded Great Scott's 4H Rabbit & Cavy Club in 1964 and it grew to the largest 4H Club in the Nation for several years. The Club is still operatin under the leadership of their granddaughter, Bonnie. The Club  has led thousands of kids in a positive direction over its 52 years in existence.

In 1968, Bonnie who was raised by her grandparents, heard Minetta cry out. Her grandmother had injured her eye on a door latch. Dr. Scott, coincidentally named, performed a cornea transplant at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Institute. As this was one of the first cornea transplants, the New York Times took pictures and wrote an article titled "Grandmother first sees Granddaughter as a Beauty Queen." Not only did Minetta see her beautiful granddaughter as the reigning Miss Essex County, but she also saw the other amazing changes that had occurred during her 35 years of blindness. Minetta enjoyed her sight for 8 or 9 years, then totally lost it again. Nevertheless Minetta continued to be a gracious lady with a very positive attitude and a willingness to help others. 

Mike Attridge

Mike and his wife, Ellen had two children who excelled and won many awards in Great Scott's 4-H and Cavy Club. Their son, Trevor, was appointed Junior Leader and went on to become the Club President and their daughter, Veronica, became a Junior Leader as well. ECYF Members met Mike through a mutual connection with 4-H. He subsequently accepted their invitation to join. Mike is remembered as an outstanding Treasurer, who valiantly persevered through extremely difficult cancer treatments for esophageal cancer. He courageously performed his duties right up until he was taken from us at age 66.

Mike was born in Worcester, MA and raised in Somverville. He attended Saint Joseph's Elementary, Boston College High School and UMASS Amherst where he received a degree in Anthropology. While pursuing a career with Masschusetts Department of Public Health, Mike became interested in computers. He trained at the Control Data Institute becoming a computer programmer and systems architect. That career took him to the San Francisco Bay area, where he worked for several companies. Mike and Ellen decided to return to the East, however before doing so, a one year consulting opportunity came up in Dublin, Ireland. They seized that opportunity which enabled Mike to explore his roots and actually become an Irish citizen. During that year, Mike traveled to several European countries to do contract work.

Mike was an avid sailor. During summers spent at his family's cottage. He sailed his boat in Massachusetts Bay and around Cape Cod. In California he lived aboard a sailboat in Redwood City where he sailed San Francisco Bay up and down the coast. His adventures included a transoceanic passage from Kauai to San Francisco. Mike lived on a sailboat for 7 years, the last 3 1/2 of them with his wife, Ellen. Settled back in Massachusetts, Mike worked for an investment film in Boston and sailed his 23 foot sailboat around Essex Bay. 

Mike was a musician who was skilled at the flute and piano, played in a rock band and sang in a church choir.


Mike was incredibly interested in everybody else's story, keeping the conversation focused on the other's goals and interests. He never sought personal recognition for any of his accomplishments but instead responded to the questions of others by giving a humble yet extremely interesting account. 


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