Cheryl Manucy, left, and Nettie Ruth Brown listen as friends and relatives roasted and toasted Brown Feb. 11. Mancuy worked for a number of years as Brown’s secretary
Nettie Ruth Brown, a community leader who has molded countless young lives since her arrival in the Ancient City in 1960 was toasted and roasted Feb. 11 – on the date which also happened to be her birthday. But as it was pointed out on several occasions during the dinner at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center, a lady never reveals her age.
Some 120 members of her family and friends paid tribute to the woman who has dedicated her life to the IFAS extension service.
“Miss Brown is driven to make the best better,” master of ceremonies Jeb Smith told the gathering. Smith, who is a current member of the St. Johns County Commission, is part of a family which includes three generations of 4-H’ers. Smith described the honoree as a woman who “embodies the very definition of a lady.”
A variety of former 4-H’ers, including Judge Clyde Wolfe and county businessman Jim Browning paid tribute to Brown. Speaking on behalf of the family was one of Brown’s sisters, Betty Madden.
Brown, at the program’s conclusion, noted that what she’s accomplished in St. Johns County would not have been possible “without the help of a lot of people in this room.
“I always got help,” she emphasized. “All you have to do is have a plan, follow through and ask for help and you get it.”
St. Johns County 4-H hosted the dinner, and current members of the organization provided entertainment and helped serve the dinner which was catered by Carrabba’s, with a major portion of the dinner donation going to a scholarship fund which carries Brown’s name.