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Marlys Christensen

Marlys Christensen

Eminent Homemaker

County: Kingsbury

Marlys Christensen has a rich background of 4-H involvement. She is the daughter of Lillian Larson, who was honored as an Eminent Homemaker in 1957.

She has served as the South Dakota International 4-H Youth Exchange Coordinator and is nationally recognized for her commitment to international experiences. She has served as a national conference speaker and workshop facilitator, sharing her expertise with volunteer coordinators and professional staff involved with 4-H exchange programs.

Marlys was the first volunteer to serve on the National 4-H Japanese Committee, which was comprised of State Cooperative Extension Service leaders and directors. This is a key national role affording her the opportunity to affect nationwide program policy and direction. She was selected to travel to Japan to represent the 4-H Committee in the selection process of delegates applying to attend high school in the United States. Marlys and the State of South Dakota were awarded national honors on a number of occasions for quality work and programs.

Marlys has traveled extensively to other countries to learn about their cultures and enrich the 4-H program. She marketed the program by having fundraisers, organizing a display booth at the South Dakota State Fair, and preparing news items for the State 4-H Office Guidelines.

She is an advocate for the arts and has worked at the state level to train judges for county fairs and achievement days and the State Fair. In addition, she is a State Fair Judge for visual arts exhibits. Marlys has been a volunteer 4-H leader in Kingsbury County for nearly five decades.

At home, she not only drove the tractor and silage truck, but kept the parts stores on their toes and, with her husband, raised four children. She is the secretary and bookkeeper for the farm, and was one of the first farm wives to start keeping farm records on computer. Marlys and her husband also own "Frames Plus More."

She has served as vice president of the Trinity Lutheran Church and as president of the Arlington American Legion Auxiliary, and she volunteers her time regularly for the Arlington Community Club's annual craft show and Christmas promotion.

Marlys and her husband Richard have four children: Brian, Lorinda (Royer), Alan, and Shellie (Brandriet).