April 27, 1928-

February 8, 2014

Margaret Adkins, 85, of Dexter, Iowa passed away Saturday, February 8, 2014 at her home. Visitation will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at the Johnson Family Funeral Home – Dexter Chapel. Funeral services will be held 10:00 A.M. Wednesday February 12 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Dexter with burial following in Dexter Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Margaret Adkins Memorial Fund and may be sent in care of Johnson Family Funeral Home, 814 Washington Street, Dexter, Iowa 50070. Online condolences may be left at

This soul’s journey began on April 27, 1928 in Dexter, IA. Margaret was born at home, the third child of Rev. Kurt Bjorn and Ida Emma Bergmann Daib. She joined her family; sister Kathryn, brother Len, with little sister Christine yet to come.

Hers was a childhood framed by the Great Depression, historic drought and the Dust Bowl. However, the stories Mom related to us were not darkly shaded by these tribulations, but instead colored by the faith and love of her parents, the kinship of sisters and brother and the camaraderie of many youthful friends growing up in Dexter.

Margaret was a Dexter Owl, graduating in the class of 1945. She often shared stories of her classmates, teammates, teachers and friends, which shared the halls of the Dexter school house and gave form to young Margaret.

Upon graduation, she spent a year as a student at the Iowa State University, biding time until she could enter nursing school. Margaret graduated from the Lutheran School of Nursing in Des Moines and carried the mantel of this profession proudly throughout her adult life, including working at the Dexter Hospital.

Christmas Day, 1949, marked the completion of a long pursuit by her beloved soul mate, James Franklin Adkins. Jimmy’s unrelenting romancing of the girl of his dreams was rewarded with a lifetime of love. How they ever talked Rev. Daib into a Christmas Day wedding remains a mystery to this date.

Their union’s first four years took them to Rapid City, South Dakota, for Jimmy’s service in the Air Force. Here they were blessed with two sons, Kurt James, 1952 and Michael Richard, 1955. Following the completion of Jimmy’s service they returned to Dexter to make their home for life. A third son, Christopher George, 1956, added to the family, with the perfect completion by little sister, Antoinette Marie, 1959.

Margaret and Jimmy joined his parents, James Casper and Antoinette, and brother Dick at Adkins Cash Food grocery store which served the community for more than 50 years. Most every family in the Dexter area was nourished by the goods and friendship brokered by this business. Margaret’s children learned the value of an honest day’s work, the value of a customer’s trust and the joy of serving the community while stocking shelves and sacking groceries with their elders.

Margaret prematurely lost her father in 1952. His absence was sorely felt, but found a way to express itself as a blessing by placing Grandma Ida in the middle of Margaret’s growing family. Margaret’s children grew up in a universe filled with the love of their parents. Margaret’s love and care of her mother provided a standard that has guided the actions of her children as they tended to her in recent years.

Margaret was one of the matriarchal figures for a generation of neighborhood children in Dexter. She served as Cub Scout den mother, chauffer to ballgames, a willing get- away -driver to Happy Acres Lake on a hot summer afternoon, short order cook, neighborhood RN, Sunday school and catechism teacher. She reveled in the events of her children’s lives and was a constant at Dexfield contests, providing sideline support for a generation of Blue Devils. She and Jimmy cheered on the dreams of Dexfield athletes/musicians/actors – many of which were home grown in their backyard. Margaret had a sense of adventure and would join in a road trip at the drop of a hat. She enjoyed family vacations, shopping excursions, visits to the growing and dispersing families of her children, runs to St. Louis, Grimes and Shenandoah to visit sisters’ and brother’s families.

As her children’s families grew out into the larger world, leaving an empty nest, Margaret redirected her energies serving on the Dexter Roundhouse board, numerous Lutheran church groups and working at the Dexfield schools as an associate in special education.

Margaret’s focus turned to caring for Jimmy as multiple sclerosis began to erode his health. Her dedication and love, until Jimmy’s passing in 2002, served as an inspiration to her children.

The last path of Mom’s journey will be cherished by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as they recall the love of this exceptional woman.

Margaret is preceded in death by her parents, Rev. Kurt and Ida Daib, her beloved husband, Jim on November 24, 2002, son Kurt Adkins, sisters, Christine Arnold, Kathryn Cross and mother and father-in-law, James and Antoinette Adkins.

Margaret leaves behind to cherish her memory, her children, Michael R. Adkins of Dexter, Christopher "Chris" (Jerri) Adkins of Bear Creek, and Antoinette "Anne" (Chuck) of Dexter; brother, Len (Shirley) Daib of Grimes and brothers-in-law, Dick Adkins of Dexter and Larry Arnold of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; daughter-in-law, Donna Adkins of Golden, Colorado; grandchildren Amber, Alyssa, Ashley, Jason, Eric, Alex, Grant, Drew, Katlynn, Kalysta; 8 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and friends all of whom will miss her greatly. (Professional Arrangements: Johnson Family Funeral Home – Dexter Chapel).