Board of Directors










Thumbnail Image 1

Board President

Rev. Deb Mechler

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 until 2007.

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, of Indianapolis, and Kyle (Janessa) Mechler, of Spencer, and their two grandchildren: Rydia and Link.


Thumbnail Image 1

Board Vice President

Roger Morris

Roger joined the St. Luke Homes & Services board in 2016. He serves as the Electric and Operations Manager for Spencer Municipal Utilities. Roger enjoys farming and carpentry work in his spare time and treasures family vacations. His wife, Lois, works for the accounting firm of Winther Stave & Co. The couple attends Christ the King Lutheran Church in Spencer.

As a St. Luke Homes & Services board member, Roger hopes to offer a fresh set of eyes and ears, as well as new thoughts and suggestions. He wants to ensure the transition to The Highlands, Riverview Terrace Assisted Living, and/or St. Luke Lutheran Home is as pleasant as possible, and that the best possible care is provided on Campus.



Thumbnail Image 1

Board Secretary

Sandi Schmidt

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 is Vice President of Deposit Operations 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 serves as the Planning and Zoning officer for Spencer.

Sandi enjoys gardening, reading, hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, and exploring national parks around the country.

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.





Thumbnail Image 1

Board Member

Jerry Clausen

Jerry, who joined the board in 2015, is a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Spencer. In addition to serving as organist, he serves as chairman of the church’s finance committee.

He works as an accountant for Cutty’s Okoboji Resort Club in Spirit Lake.  Jerry is an officeholder for the Spencer Family YMCA Public Benefit Holding Corporation and 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.



Board Member

Frank Halverson

Frank and his wife, Brenda, live in Linn Grove. He has farmed near Linn Grove since 1978 and has been a Pioneer Sales Representative since 1966.

Frank is a graduate of Iowa State University, with Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Agricultural Education. He has been an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Linn Grove since 1978. His hobbies include hunting, fishing and playing golf.

Frank has been a member of the Buena Vista County Pork Producer board, a member of Farmers Cooperative Board, and is a current member of the Clay Mutual Insurance board. He feels that he can contribute to the future of St. Luke Homes & Services and strive to make the St. Luke Campus a great place to live for all.

Thumbnail Image 1

Board Member

Gary Halverson

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 resides 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.

Thumbnail Image 1

Board Member

Rev. Paul Kaldahl

Rev. Kaldahl earned a business degree, with majors in accounting and management, from St. John’s College in Winfield, Kansas. But after marrying, he felt the Lord directing him toward ministry, which prompted him to take additional classes in Greek, Hebrew and the Bible. He attended Concordia Theological Seminary, moved to Royal Oak, Michigan, where he served one year of vicarage, and graduated in the spring of 1988 from seminary.

Rev. Kaldahl’s first call was to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Oberlin, Kansas. In March of 1998, he accepted the call to First English Lutheran Church, where he serves as senior pastor.

Outside of church activities, he enjoys bowling, golfing, tennis and watching University of Oklahoma football games. Rev. Kaldahl and his wife, Kristin, live in Spencer. They have five sons: Paul III, Kyle (Angela), Joel (Sarah), Luke and Alex, and four grandchildren.

Rev. Kaldahl served as a St. Luke Homes & Services board member in 1999 and 2000, before being re-elected as a board member in 2019. His goal as a board member is to ensure that the community’s caring nature and professionalism continue.

Thumbnail Image 1

Board Member

Jane Kruse

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.

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 currently works at 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 four grandchildren.

Thumbnail Image 1

Board Member

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.