Idella was the youngest of five children, with three sisters and one brother. She grew up in a Lutheran church in Hewitt, Minnesota, and then lived in St Cloud during her teen years. Her mother and older sisters were great role models to her in getting involved.
We always went to church, never missed unless there was a blizzard! Pastor Eschenbacher in Hewitt was an outstanding teacher. In St Cloud my sisters and I were “The 3 Tall Girls” in the choir.
Her favorite Bible verse is John 3:16.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
When Idella Ziegler was in the second grade, she missed so much school because of frequent ear aches, that she told her mother “I better learn to sew because I’ll never get through school.” Idella did make it through school of course, but enjoyed the sewing. She taught elementary school in Pine City, Robbinsdale, and St Louis Park, and one of the things she bought with one of her first pay checks was her sewing machine.
She married Dave, and they raised four children. They attended Peace Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Center when the family was young, and Idella served as a Sunday school teacher.
The family moved to Buffalo in the early 1970s. They soon joined Zion and Idella became involved with Harvest of Hands.
It was an era when fewer women were in the workforce, and a large group met one morning a week to make quilts and craft items for the fall sale. It was a time for members to meet and many lasting friendships developed. At exactly 10am Gladys Gilbert would shout, “Time for coffee!”
Idella enjoyed the challenge of finishing up uncompleted projects that are donated to Harvest of Hands. She also felt privileged to speak in worship on behalf of the Harvest of Hands group, motivating others to get involved with preparations and attend the fall event.
It was easy to speak about something that is so meaningful. Harvest of Hands is the most rewarding project I have been involved with at Zion. It is an act of stewardship because we are sharing our gifts to feed the hungry locally and around the world.
Idella’s family enjoys coming to the Harvest of Hands event each year to see what she has been working on. She misses Flora Mohring’s lemon meringue pies and Ruth Cornell’s knitted Norwegian mittens, but was involved with newer additions like recycled sweaters and jewelry, and hopes that the tradition continues.
I remember seeing someone wearing one of the sweaters and thinking “She got a good buy!”
Idella also loved singing in the choir, organizing events for women’s and senior ministry, and served two terms on the church council. It is important to her that new people feel welcome and involved at Zion.
It’s important to be involved in your church, more than just Sunday morning. Zion will flourish as long as we have long time members and the very new faces in our midst join together to work with our pastors to find a path to truly endorse every aspect of our mission statement. God will lead us!
Beyond Zion, Idella continued teaching as a substitute in Buffalo for many years. She served on the Buffalo School Board for 16 years, as president of the Minnesota State School Board Association, and on the National School Board. She was also a Girl Scout leader.
I’m just a person who gets involved.