Skip to Main Content

2023 Friend of Extension posthumously awarded to 4-H volunteer in Johnson County

Max Fitzpatrick was an integral member of Johnson County’s 4-H program, and he served the county for 70 years until he passed away last summer. As this year’s Friend of Extension award winner, Fitzpatrick and his work were recognized at the annual Purdue Extension Professional Development Conference on December 14.

Throughout his life, Fitzpatrick, along with his wife Lois, was involved in many efforts to support 4-H and Extension. Fitzpatrick’s work ranged from being a Johnson County 4-H Volunteer to co-founding and co-leading the 4-H Honor Group in Johnson County to being a source of knowledge and positivity for others.

“Max had a heart for youth,” said Heather Dougherty, 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator in Johnson County. “He took to kids and helped them along the way. He was an encouraging person for all youth, no matter where they came from or what background they had.”

Fitzpatrick also worked with various Purdue Extension Johnson County program areas, helped to lead the Johnson County 4-H Agricultural Fair Association, and served on the Indiana Fairs and Festivals Committee, among numerous other volunteer positions.

“Max was supportive of all aspects of 4-H and Extension,” said Amy Kelsay, owner of Kelsay Farm Tours LLC, Johnson County 4-H Volunteer, and friend of Fitzpatrick. “Max lived in Florida for the winter months and was involved with the DeSoto County Fair and 4-H program down there. He was all around a 4-H, fairs and festivals kind of person.”

Fitzpatrick also supported Johnson County 4-H financially. The long-time volunteer built two buildings on the Johnson County fairgrounds for 4-H: Fitzpatrick Hall (where 4-H houses poultry, rabbit, crops projects in addition to open class crops during the fair) and Heritage Hall (where 4-H can host their meetings).

Max was Johnson County 4-H. There will never be another Max. But the legacy that he left will always carry on, the programs he got started and the people that he touched.”

- Amy Kelsay

To Top