By Blair Glendenning,
This woman has been a part of every committee, volunteers her time anywhere, and has babysat kids for many decades. This loving, unselfish, caring, and dependable woman is Meredith Dredge.
Meredith was born and raised in Mount Ayr and has lived here her whole life. This is also where she met her husband, Duane Dredge, of 46 years. They have four kids together and six grandkids, but her loving heart has captured a lot more “grandchildren” over the years.
Meredith has been a daycare provider for 39 years until she recently retired. She started out at the coop for six years before she began her own daycare. She actually started her own daycare because her youngest child, Morgan at age four, was lonely, because her siblings older were in school. She started taking in kids and it just “bloomed” from there. Over the last four decades she has watched roughly 50 to 75 kids and possibly more.
Meredith’s fondest memory is having snuggle time with the kids. She loved that bonding time with them. She also loved sitting down and reading with the children. Whether it was her reading to the kids, or the kids reading to themselves, she loved it all. The hardest part of the job was always saying goodbye to the kids when they entered school or left. I know from experience she loves everyone who walked through her doors.
There are a ton of committees Meredith has been involved in over the years. She was on the Judge Lewis Park Board for over ten years, and she was actually in charge of rebuilding the east ball field. She has been on the library board for twenty years, and still is. She helped the Aquatic Center to receive a new bathhouse and hopefully the new pool built soon. She has been involved in many church boards such as, Sunday school superintendent, deacon, and helping with the food pantry for her church. She has also been on SOS and Athletic Boosters. She just does stuff without thinking about it, because she knows it will better the community.
For the past two years Meredith and other football grandmas have served the senior football players lunch every Friday during the football season. It didn’t matter if these grandmas had their own grandson as a senior or not; they treated every boy as their own. Both senior year classes have commented how nice and grateful they are for “Grandma Meredith.” She is always thinking about others and making them feel welcome into her home. I do not know many people who would slave away in the kitchen Thursday night and Friday morning for a handful of boys who are not their own grandsons. I think that truly shows how kind hearted Meredith is.
Meredith’s retirement has been very busy, but she has been enjoying every minute of it. She loves how she can be able to help whenever and wherever she can, being able to go to games without having to worry about the kids, going to the nursing home everyday to see her Mom before her passing, and helping Angie Glendenning at Country Blossoms. The best part about retirement is being able to help the family more. Whether it is fixing jeans, bringing her grandkids food to school, or washing the clothes they need last minute. She is a very family oriented person. Her house is always filled with kids of all ages running around; it is never empty.
I asked some of the kids Meredith has watched over the years if they could describe her in a word or two. I got many kind words like a hugger, caring, generous, selfless, and of course, good cook. These words couldn’t be truer. She is such a blessing to everyone’s life that she touches. I am glad I got to attend her daycare many years ago. She has forever shaped numerous kids and will forever be “Grandma Meredith” to many.