(1905 – 1977)
Mary Dalene Jeter didn’t have to go far from home to find her final career destination. Born in Opelika on March 24, 1905, she earned her high school diploma from Opelika High School in 1922.
For three years, Dalene worked as a stenographer and bookkeeper in her hometown. Then she went to Atlanta and was employed for two and a half years by Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company. It was in 1928 that Alabama Extension headquarters gained the services of this Lee County native. She began her career doing general office work. She continued as stenographer and clerk.
Dalene came to Extension as secretary to the late Dr. L. N. Duncan. When Duncan was appointed president of Auburn University, Miss Jeter continued to serve Extension under Directors P.O. Davis, Dr. E.T. York, and Dr. Fred R. Robertson. Her diligence and hard work kept all her superiors pleased with her efforts; their mutual respect lasted for 43 years. Dalene retired as an Administration Assistant, Management Services Office, in 1972.
At her retirement celebration, Director Ralph R. Jones had this to say: “It is rare for two persons to retire on the same day, and indeed more rare for these two persons to be sisters.” He was referring to Dalene’s sister, Rennie Jeter. “Of particular interest is the fact that both have served under five Extension Directors — all except the very first one, Dr. Dugger, who filled this role from 1914 to 1920. Their loyal, efficient, and dedicated service when combined totals over 80 years. We cannot recall this particular set of circumstances having ever occurred before in the Extension Service, and we would strongly doubt that it will occur again.”
In recognition of her life’s work, the name Dalene Jeter is inscribed on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 249