Dixie Zegers was a lifelong Methodist until she and her husband, Bill, got married in 1992 and decided to find a new church home together.
Two decades later, she is about to serve a second term as deacon at First Presbyterian Church in Newton.
Each term lasts three years, however Zegers will only serve for two years after the incumbent deacon stepped down due to health problems.
This was a responsibility Zegers was more than willing to undertake again.
“Well, you visit shut-ins, which is one of my favorite things,” Zegers said, listing her duties as a deacon. “We send cards out to people, we usher, and we do coffee time. Coffee time at church is always before church service ... we pick up rolls and doughnuts from Hy-Vee, then we open up the church and make coffee and people can come and visit.”
“We send cards to people that are ill or have had surgery,” Zegers continued. “We have a meeting the first Sunday of every month at 8:30 a.m. before church and we’re all assigned things to do. If somebody has donated flowers, we deliver them to a shut-in or somebody in the hospital.”
“It’s kind of a goodwill job. There is a moderator who sets up a schedule,” she added. “You can usually pick a month you want to deliver flowers – there’s 12 months and there’s 12 deacons. We also tape the service and we take that to any shut-in that wants it so they can listen to the church service, and on Easter we set up a Lily Cross.”
The Lily Cross is a giant cross made up of Easter lilies. After Easter service has ended, they take the flowers and deliver them to the homebound and people in nursing homes.
While being a deacon may seem like hard work, Zegers has been a hard worker all of her life. In high school, she was a car-hop at a drive-in burger joint. She described that as the only bad job she has ever had. She also worked for Maytag until she retired at the age 52.
Then, being the kind of person she is, she grew bored with retirement and started working three days a week at Edward Jones. She did that for 10 years before leaving there to work at Park Centre for the next eight years as a receptionist.
Zegers has been a proud member of the Newton community since her family moved here from Marshalltown when she was in kindergarten, and has served her hometown and her church faithfully in a variety of roles
“Well the minister, who was Bill Calhoun at the time, asked me if I would,” Zegers said of how she initially became a deacon. “I said yes and I really enjoyed it. I did my three years, and then this came up and I thought, ‘well it’s about time that I did it again,’ so I did.”
Staff Writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641)792-3121 Ext. 426 or firstname.lastname@example.org