Several years ago I set about writing a condensed biography to use on my blog and on other social media sites. As I’ve changed the bio over the years, I have kept one phrase: “I’m very content to be one of the little people, whose names aren’t recorded in history books and who are remembered only by family and friends after they die.” Perhaps memories of my voice and my face may fade, but it seems that my name will be around for a while. I had a kitchen dedicated to me on September 9, 2016.

Planning for the kitchen was well underway at the time I retired. Since then, my former boss and Executive Director of the agency, Patrick Ames, put together the funding for the project. What made the project possible was a change in funding rules that allowed USDA Rural Development to partner with the agency.

The dedication ceremony was as good an experience as I could have imagined. There were speeches by State elected officials, a County executive, Patrick, the Board President, and me. The other speeches talked about how the kitchen will be used in the future and about the partnerships that made it possible. I talked about the history of the facility and how the kitchen gives this Cooperative Extension agency its heart. There is more about the background of the project in the attached newspaper links.

Best of all for me were the people who came to remember me - friends, former coworkers, and family. My sister Julia took a day off from work during a busy time to bring our 90 year old mother to the dedication. Mom is a retired Cooperative Extension Foods and Nutrition Agent, and it seemed especially fitting to see her standing in the kitchen.

From left: Julia Figueras, Jan Hickman, Anita Figueras, Robert Best
Photo credit: Judy Andrus Toporcer,

Newspaper articles:


  1. Congratulations! You deserve it, and you look great! It's so great that your mom and sister were able to be there.

  2. What a wonderful kitchen and what a fitting dedication! It was such a pleasure to be present, to meet Jan and Julia, and to hear those speeches of well-deserved praise and promise. Congratulations, my friend.


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