Nancy & Gene Strub

Eagle Grove

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Nancy Strub, right, sits with her husband, Gene Strub, inside their home in Eagle Grove, recently.

EAGLE GROVE — When Nancy Strub and her husband, Gene Strub, moved to Eagle Grove about 40 years ago, they weren’t accustomed to having neighbors.

“We moved here from South Dakota,” Gene Strub said. “The nearest neighbor was a quarter-mile way.”

But when the two got out of their moving truck at their new home, they were greeted by a group of kids.

“There was about a dozen bicycles in our front yard, and I thought, I wanted to hollar get off the lawn,” Gene Strub said. “But I thought those kids need to get to know my kids and let them be.”

“It turned out pretty good, I guess,” he said.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Nancy Strub, of Eagle Grove, reads scripture at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Eagle Grove recently.

The Strubs ended up raising seven children of their own in Eagle Grove.

“I am thrilled to be part of the community,” Nancy Strub said. “When we moved here and we had a house full of little kids and they could get on their bike and ride to the pool or the library. They could be more independent. I felt safe with my kids. I appreciated that.”

Nancy Strub said because of her kids, she met more people.

“It’s easier when you come into a town with kids because your kids involve you with a lot of people and activities,” she said. “When you are retired you have to make more of an effort to get to know people because you aren’t thrown in there like you are with kids. You have to make the effort to go out and get involved.”

Through the years, Gene Strub worked in livestock nutrition and Nancy Strub worked as a nurse.

She was also on the city’s ambulance crew about 30 years ago, which was made up of all volunteers.

“We have been able to maintain an ambulance and fire department here for a lot of years,” she said. “They are well trained and willing to give enormous amounts of time for serving and training. That speaks volumes for our community.”

Nancy Strub said she has worked at different clinics and hospitals in Wright County.

She worked as a home care nurse for Wright County Public Health.

After she retired from that role, she began offering her services as a pastoral assistant at the three churches in the county that make up the Holy Family Cluster.

She visits those who are homebound.

“I love visiting people and getting to know people and hearing their stories,” she said. “We tend to pigeonhole people. The man next door to me is a 91 years old. He has a tremendous story to tell. To be privileged enough to hear those stories and that lifetime experience. Its’ a privilege to get to know other people.”

Nancy Strub said she’s proud of the work the church is doing in town.

“Our church has had a food stand for many many years at the county fair,” she said. “Many people do small parts of it to make that a reality.”

Sacred Heart Catholic Church plans to serve school lunches for students at Robert Blue Middle next school year while the school undergoes renovations to its lunchroom.

“I am very proud that our church people will step up and make the building available and help serve the food,” she said.

She believes in helping those less fortunate.

“Someone said to me the other day, he said, ‘I believe the rich have a responsibility to take care of the poor,'” she said. “It surprised me coming from him, but I think that’s true. I think our country has a great responsibility to take care of the poor. I have a big issue with the attacks on immigrants, legal and illegal. I think our country has so much, we have an obligation to share that. I don’t necessarily mean we should give people everything, because that’s not good either, but we do need to watch out for people who don’t have as much as we do.”

Those who attend Eagle Grove City Council meetings might see Nancy Strub offering the opening prayer, which became part of the agenda a few years ago under Mike Boyd, the city administrator at that time.

“A lot of times I offer the opening prayer and sometimes I am just there, listening,” she said.

Nancy Strub is also a member of the Eagle Grove Lions.

“When we had that storm a couple of years ago, the churches and Lions stepped up and served meals for people from the prison that came over and helped and others who helped clean up the town,” she said. “I thought it was amazing. The neatest thing. It wasn’t pulling teeth to get people to volunteer, people just did it.”

That storm swept through Eagle Grove in July of 2016. Straight line winds knocked hundreds of trees down, causing extensive property damage and leaving many without power for days.

She said it’s important to have a resilient community.

“For our community to progress, I think we need to come together and see the good in one another and use the gifts in one another,” she said. “We don’t all have the same gifts. There’s a lot of things I can’t do. I can’t move tree limbs. I’m not good in a classroom, but I can support that teacher in other ways by making cookies or something else.”