Rev. Deb Mechler Board PresidentBio
Rev. Deb Mechler Board President
Rev. Mechler joined the St. Luke Homes & Services board in 2015.
She is a past board president of Spencer Community Theatre, and was a founding board member for Little Mavs Child Care Center. She has also served on the board for Birthright of Spencer. Rev. Mechler was the director of chaplaincy services for the St. Luke Homes & Services campus from 2002-2007 and 2021-2022. She served as parish pastor for twelve years.
As a former staff member, she has great respect for leaders and employees of the St. Luke Campus. Rev. Mechler believes it is a privilege to be of service to an institution that makes such a difference in so many lives.
Rev. Mechler and her husband, Dean, live in Spencer. The couple enjoys spending time with their two children: Karen (John) Corrigan, of Amherst Mass., and Kyle (Janessa) Mechler, of Spencer, and their two grandchildren: Rydia and Link.
Jane Kruse Board Vice PresidentBio
Jane Kruse Board Vice President
Jane has strong ties and a longstanding history with St. Luke Homes & Services. Many family and friends have called the St. Luke Campus “home,” including Jane’s paternal grandmother, who lived to be 105 and was a resident for over 20 years at St. Luke Lutheran Home. Jane previously served as Vice President on the Board of Directors from 1995 through 2000, before rejoining the Board again in 2018. She currently serves as Vice President of the Board.
Professionally, Jane worked as an educator. After earning an advanced degree, she served for 12 years as an administrator at Iowa Lakes Community College. Jane departed the collegiate setting in order to have more time with her growing family. During this time, she also served as a Spencer School Board member. Jane recenly retired from CommStock Investments, the agricultural risk management company she and her husband own in Royal.
Raised in Royal, Jane attended Bethlehem Lutheran Church, where she served in several leadership roles, including congregational president. She currently resides in Spirit Lake, and is an active member and past president of First Lutheran Church in Milford. She and her husband, David, have four children and six grandchildren.
Sandi Schmidt Board SecretaryBio
Sandi Schmidt Board Secretary
Sandi, who joined the board in 2016, was born and raised on a farm north of Everly. When she married her husband, Kirby, the couple claimed Spencer as their home.
Sandi retired from her 45 year career at Northwest Bank in Spencer. She is an active member of Bethany Lutheran Church, where she serves as treasurer, sings in the choir, and plays in the bell choir. Her husband is also retired.
Sandi enjoys gardening, reading, hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, and exploring national parks around the country, and spending time with her two granddauagthers.
Sandi and her husband are well-acquainted with St. Luke Homes & Services. Over the years, they have had many family members reside on the St. Luke Campus.
Jerry, who joined the board in 2015, is a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Spencer. In addition to serving as organist, has served as chairman of the church’s finance committee.
He was the accountant for Cutty’s Okoboji Resort Club in Spirit Lake. Jerry is a member of the Spencer Family YMCA Public Benefit Holding Corporation and a former officer of the Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School board.
He is a retired Certified Public Accountant. Jerry has also served as treasurer of the Clay County Thrivent board.
Jerry’s father was a resident of St. Luke Lutheran Nursing Home and of the former Hillside Terrace Assisted Living residence. He saw how very caring and professional the staff was and, as a St. Luke Homes & Services board member, wants to see that this continues.
Gary and his wife, Kathie, live in Spencer. They are members of Bethany Lutheran Church, where he has served on the church council and volunteered in various other roles.
Gary, who joined the St. Luke Homes & Services board in 2017, grew up in the Sioux Rapids area. Following his graduation from high school and Buena Vista University, in Storm Lake, Gary moved to Spencer in 1972. He worked at Witco for 14 years before serving 29 years at Thrivent Financial.
Gary is involved with the Daybreakers Kiwanis Club. He enjoyed being a Spencer Chamber Ambassador and was a member of Spencer Mainstreet Company.
Together, he and Kathie have four children and seven grandchildren. Gary’s mother resided on the St. Luke campus and, as a St. Luke Homes & Services board member, he wants to see this longstanding tradition continue for other families.
David is a licensed Social Worker with a Masters Degree in Social Work. He served as a school social worker for a number of years. He also attended Lay School of Ministry and serves as a Lay Minister.
He has been a member of Hope Lutheran Church in Everly for 43 years. Many of his church members have been residents on the St. Luke Campus. He enjoys his role on the Board of St. Luke Homes & Services and looks forward to guiding the organization into the future
Doug has been a resident of Spencer and Clay County for over 44 years.
Doug received a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Concordia Teachers College (Concordia University) in Seward, NE. He was a teacher in the Fort Dodge Pubic School system for 9 years. He also was the Director of Christian Education at First English Evangelical Lutheran church for 10 years. He also served as the Executive Director at Camp Okoboji for 30 years.
Doug is enjoying retirement and serving on St. Luke’s Board of Directors alongside great community leaders and administrative personnel. He is dedicated in continuing the quality services of the St. Luke Family.
Mike is a native of northwest Iowa. His roots stem from a 6-generation family farming history in Burt Iowa, established in 1898. He remains an active operator in their family’s row crop production operation.
Locally, Mike serves or has served on in various boards including the Spencer YMCA, FELC Board of Elders, Spencer Ambassador’s, Spencer Schools Community Foundation Board, Spencer Ag Committee, Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School Endowment, St. Luke’s Lutheran Homes, Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Board, Rotary Board and the Haiti non-profit organization Love Takes Root. He is an active volunteer coach for the SYBSA rec league and is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
Dr. Dean PingelBio
Dr. Dean Pingel
Dr. Pingel joined the St. Luke Homes & Services board in 2017. His goal and mission as a board member is to assist the nonprofit organization in maintaining a healthy, safe and pleasant environment for our elders.
The native of Aurelia, Iowa, graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. He received certification of Qualified Chiropractic Orthopedist from Northwestern Chiropractic College in Bloomington, Minnesota. After completing an internship in Tacoma, Washington, he later opened Spencer Chiropractic Clinic in Spencer. He is a life member of the Iowa Chiropractic Society and the American Chiropractic Association. Dean retired in 2010.
Dean has been a member of the Spencer Chamber of Commerce, where he served as chairperson of the Spencer Regional Airport Flight Breakfast for several years and assisted with Fly Iowa! Dean has attended First English Lutheran Church since moving to Spencer, where he has served as president of the congregation and as the building committee chairman for the new church. He and his wife, Linda, enjoy traveling and his hobby is overseeing his farming interests.