MOUNT VERNON — A retired Centerburg post master, who has given much of herself to the community, was named the 2009 Mount Vernon Exchange Club Golden Deeds Award winner. Jeanette Updike, a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Post Office with 20 years as post master, was cited for tutoring elementary school students, sewing high school drama club play costumes, serving as coordinator for athletic events among many other contributions to the community.
By tradition, the past year’s winner introduces the current winner. George Blocker, of Mount Vernon, explained other community activities Updike has contributed to. She has donated financial support to the Wellness Center and scholarship funds, served as a member of the Centerburg Alumni Association nominating committee and Red Cross blood drive. She is also very involved with her church where she serves as chairperson of the Easter sunrise service breakfasts, gone on mission trips as well as a major contributor to a building fund to make their new church a reality.
By coincidence Blocker, who is a United Parcel Service delivery man in the Centerburg area, has known Updike for a long time. He commented he delivered packages to her home early in the morning when he got whiffs of her well-known pie baking coming from the kitchen.
Beyond her church and family, Updike is involved in community service where she volunteers at Knox Community Hospital, is a member of the scholarship committee and assists the Centerburg Young at Heart senior citizens group with activities. She sends cookies to shut-ins and is always ready to eat out when friends are lonely.
A lifelong member of the Centerburg community, Updike is a graduate of Centerburg High School.
Now a widow, Updike she is the mother of four girls and a son, and has nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Blocker ended his award presentation by saying she is always ready to rescue her grandchildren from their parents with a loaf of homemade bread, rolls or fresh baked cookies as well as pies and cakes.
Obviously humbled by the honor Updike had little to say about her award but thanked the Exchange Club for the recognition. Entertainment for the evening was provided by a southern gospel quartet, Bound for Glory, from Newark.
The 52nd annual Golden Deeds Awards dinner was held Thursday evening at the Alcove.