Kathleen Solveig Flom, 92, who spent much of her life involved with the 4-H program, died of natural causes at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville, Maryland, on December 12, 2005.
Kathleen was an active 4-H member as a young person growing up in Belview, Minnesota, and won two Minnesota grand championships earning two trips to the National 4-H Congress in Chicago in one year.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from the University of Minnesota in 1942. She began her career with the Cooperative Extension Service in Minnesota as a County Home Economist and 4-H agent – being promoted after 18 months to the position of Assistant State 4-H Leader where she served for 11 years.
Kathleen moved to the Washington area in 1954 to join the staff of the National 4-H Foundation (now National 4-H Council) where she served as the Regional Program Leader for Europe and Far East for the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE).
In 1959, she played a major role in the opening of the new National 4-H Center, National 4-H Council's headquarters in Chevy Chase, Maryland. One of the highlights of her life was serving as host to President Eisenhower on the occasion of the Center’s official opening.
She spent 1960-1962 as a home economist with the British government working in Uganda, East Africa. She returned to Washington in 1963 to serve as Consultant for International Programs for Women Leaders, with the Extension Service, US Department of Agriculture.
In 1965 she became Assistant Leader for 4-H International Programs at the then National 4-H Foundation. She was promoted in 1971 to Assistant Manager and Home Economist for the National 4-H Center (now National 4-H Conference Center). She served in this position until her retirement in 1979. In 1973, she coordinated an International Extension 4-H Travel Seminar to Botswana, Kenya and Swaziland. After she “retired” she continued to serve full time at the National 4-H Center until 1999 as a Special Projects Consultant and delighted visitors with her comprehensive knowledge of 4-H and the Center.
Kathleen was a member of the American Home Economics Association, board member of International Home Economics Services (IHES), Inc., the Society for International Development, Phi Upsilon Omicron (National Home Economics Honorary), Epsilon Sigma Phi (National Extension Honorary), Clovia (4-H sorority), the UN Association, and was an honorary life member of the IFYE Association of the USA.
She received a National Recognition Award as a Partner in 4-H in 1990 and had a room at the National 4-H Center, Kathleen’s Corner, dedicated to her in 1997. In 1998, 4-H International exchange alumni honored her during the World IFYE Conference in Washington, D.C. as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of 4-H International Programs. She was named to the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2002.
She conquered two cancers and a stroke and is survived by two sisters-in-law, seven nephews and nieces and twelve grand nephews and nieces and many other devoted family members and friends.