Karnehms spend over 6 decades serving fair


Staff report

TROY — When it comes to volunteerism, the Karnehms might have a record.

Bob and Norma Karnehm of Conover has been 4-H advisors for 62 years, serving in many different capacities over the years. The couple said they have served as advisors for much of the livestock, and for a welding a club, as Bob was employed with Hobart Brothers for 41 years.

“We helped with about all of it, all farm projects,” Bob said.

“Pretty much,” said Norma, who was a bus driver for Miami East for 40 years.

He said they just continued to help over the years for the love of the children involved and have helped with their own six children — all boys — and 12 grandchildren, and now have 26 great-grandchildren that will be involved in 4-H soon.

“I guess we just got used to doing it. Once you get hooked, you just keep rotating through, helping where you are needed,” he said.

The duo also chaired the annual 4-H barbecue event for 20 years and have been on the Junior Fair Livestock Committee for most of the 62 years.

While both are partial to beef clubs, Bob said he remembers a time when talent shows were popular at the fair, and they were a lot of fun for the children and adults alike.

“We had a big club with like 80 members. Some of the girls got a play together, and they won, and we had to take them to the state fair in the ’60s,” said Bob, was also farmed. “They ended up with second in state.”

Bob also prides himself in only missing one fair in 48 years, in 2020, when both had health challenges and COVID-19 was prevalent.

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