Margaret passed away Saturday, November 23, at the Health Center at Cottage Grove Place. Services will be at 11:00 AM on Wednesday at Bethany Lutheran Church. Burial in the Elkton Cemetery in Elkton, South Dakota. There will be a visitation from 4 to 6 PM on Tuesday at the Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home.
She is survived by two sons and two daughters: John and wife Louise, Saugerties, NY; James and wife Dolores, Rockton, IL; Julianna Reams and husband Greg, Asheville, NC; Jane Herbert and husband Daman, Waukee, IA. She is survived by eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and by brother H. E.(Jack) Hegerfeld, Elkton, SD.
Margaret was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Linden Clair Speers, her parents Fred and Anna (Wuennecke) Hegerfeld, brothers Lambert, Frederick, and Marvin, and sisters Anna Agnes and Arlene.
Margaret was born in a farm home near Elkton, South Dakota, on April 2, 1922. She was baptized and confirmed in Peace Evangelical and Reformed Church, Elkton. She attended country school through eighth grade, continuing on to Elkton Public High School. The first in her family to attend college, she graduated from South Dakota State College, Brookings, in 1943 with a BS degree in home economics and minors in journalism and social studies.
Following graduation, Margaret accepted the position of assistant to the managing editor of Successful Farming magazine, Meredith Publishing Co. in Des Moines, IA. In 1945 she became editor and director of the Successful Homemaking Department of the magazine. In 1949 she was made an associate editor of Successful Farming and also continued as director of the Successful Homemaking Department.
On June 30, 1951, Margaret married Linden C. Speers of Des Moines at Elkton, S.D. In 1952 she resigned her position with Meredith Publishing Co. and dedicated herself to rearing her family.
In 1957 the Speerses moved to Phoenix ,Arizona, where Linden was transferred as a partner in the Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co accounting firm. While in Arizona, Margaret became a charter member of the Reading Reform Foundation and was active in forming Arizona Citizens for Strengthening Public School Education, serving as its vice president, president and newsletter/publications editor. In 1963 she was appointed to Arizona Governor Paul Fannin’s State Text Book Committee for the selection of basic readers.
In 1967 the Speers family returned to Iowa when Linden was transferred to the PMM&Co. office in Cedar Rapids. There Margaret’s interest in education continued; she served on a Writing Skills Task Force for the C.R. Community School District and was one of five persons who founded Citizens for Educational Excellence, which eventually became a part of the educational division of Concerned Women for America.
Margaret was a long-time volunteer at Aid to Women (now Bridgehaven) and a 25-year member of No.5 Turner Alley Questers. In 1984 with husband Linden, Margaret founded the Linn Area Lutherans for Life and in 1992, with the assist of this group, she founded Adults Concerned for Teens (ACT). ACT was active for 9 years, sponsoring special events focusing on character/abstinence and sexual health education.
A life-long Christian, Margaret devoted much time to serving her church and para-church organizations. Her special interest was young people. She served for six years as a volunteer youth director at Zion Lutheran, Hiawatha. She was a board member and president of Youth for Christ Ladies’ Fellowship. She served on the Building Committee of Bethany Lutheran church and headed the furnishings committee there. In 1992, Margaret organized the Angel Tree Program, a ministry to families of prison inmates, at Bethany and directed it through 2005. She and husband Linden also donated a number of religious paintings that hang in the church.
In December 2005, in recognition of her work with Angel Tree and Aid to Women, Margaret was one of the recipients of the “9 Who Care Jefferson Awards”, a community project of KCRG TV9 and its Show You Care sponsors.
Margaret enjoyed writing and had occasional guest columns in the C.R. Gazette. She also liked Bible study and teaching, card playing, golf, photography, decorating, and gardening. Most of all she enjoyed her children and grandchildren and extended family. She delighted in entertaining friends in her home.
Memorial gifts may be made to Bethany Lutheran Church and Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center.