Local 4-H founder, WWII vet dies at 92
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 02:04
Samuel Gwinn, the university’s former director of the Delaware Cooperative Extension and state director of Delaware’s 4-H program, died April 10. He was 92.
Gwinn, a World War II veteran who moved to Newark with his wife in 1948, was involved in the state’s agricultural community. When he was 10 years old he joined a 4-H program, a national youth organization sponsored by the government that seeks to develop leadership and life skills, while growing up in West Virginia, according to Mark Manno, the current director of Delaware 4-H.
Gwinn founded the 4-H overnight camp at Camp Barnes in Assawoman Bay, Md. and improved the extension by increasing funding, Manno said. Gwinn’s efforts expanded the breadth of the historically agriculture-focused 4-H program to include a youth development program, which focuses on science, technology, citizenship and community.
“He provided leadership for the Delaware 4-H, and structure for it […] it’s a big undertaking but it’s definitely worth it,” Manno said. “He provided what is really missing in today’s society. Not enough kids have a caring, compassionate adult that steers them in the right direction.”
Manno said Gwinn had a passion for his work and a “heart of gold.” He was the first Delawarean to be inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2003, which honors participants nominated by their states.
“He was very well-respected in the university and the community,” Manno said. “He was very respected. When Sam Gwinn called, people listened.”