HUBBARD, Neb. (KCAU) – She’s an integral part of Dakota County‘s government operations, as well as a key figure in the Hubbard community. Joan Spencer holds many positions and responsibilities at the Dakota County Courthouse. Her main title is County Clerk.

“As clerk, I would say the two biggest jobs are the accounts payable claims. We process about seven hundred fifty thousand dollars worth of claims each month from all the departments. And the budget, probably the other main thing I do is the budget. One of the things that takes up most of my time is being the secretary to the board of commissioners,” Spencer said.

That, to go along with overseeing marriage licenses, grants, military discharges, levies, the county payroll, just to name a few.

“I keep a calendar I love to make lists and check things off my list and get them done. It really helps to keep that calendar organized,” Spencer said.

And her work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“I received the National Lifetime Achievement Award for 30 years in County Government from the Nebraska Association of county officials. My board members nominated me for that, so it was a great offer to be honored, to be recognized,” Spencer said.

Spencer is known by her peers as “the heartbeat of Dakota County”.

“Joan works 24/7. I’ve never seen her just relax and do nothing. If she’s home for an evening, she’s either canning tomatoes or she’s out working in the yard, or she’s working on church bulletins. And she does it happily. She doesn’t grumble about it. They say Joan, can you help with this? Sure! And she just steps in and helps with it,” Jean Grove said.

On weekends, she dedicates time to her church.

“My week usually starts on a Saturday morning, getting up and preparing the church bulletin. That takes two to three hours of my Saturday morning. Then I prepare my Sunday school lesson. The kids love to paint, they love to do modeling clay. They love the crafts and to hear the bible story,” Spencer said.

And during Sunday service…

“I play the piano for them. I’m not a piano player, but I volunteered to play the piano and sing, I love to sing,” Spencer said.

Spencer’s service to her community can even be found in her hobby.

“I love gardening, it’s my getaway. It’s something totally different. I’m not sitting in front of a computer. I pick up a couple extra packets of seeds and grow a bed or grow an extra row. And then there’s always excess food, and rather than throw it away, there are people who need it and people who don’t have access to fresh food,” Spencer said.

That makes Joan Spencer one of KCAU’s “Remarkable Women”.

Spencer also uses her garden to grow food for her church’s soup and pie supper. Her homemade jellies are also used for the church’s breakfasts.