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the villages iowa club

The Villages Iowa Club History

The Villages Iowa Club was the brainchild of Karen Tilton, a former resident of Maquoketa, Iowa. At the time Karen and her husband, Dean moved to The Villages in 2005, there was a “Minnesota-Iowa” club. Per the Tiltons, the "Minnesota-Iowa" Club had a membership that were mostly Minnesotans! 

Karen (a former school teacher) and Dean were very active in a wide variety of Maquoketa community events. So it was only natural that Karen set out to start that Iowa club, working informally for nearly three years. Karen went through The Village phone book page by page looking for everyone who listed Iowa as their home state and made a master list.

From this master list, Karen called or wrote to the Iowa Villagers. Some of those Iowa Villagers provided Karen more Iowa Villagers.

The Tiltons, along with the assistance of Bob and Phyllis Drobny, worked together to send out a mailer and emails inviting the Iowa Villagers to an informal meeting, at Lake Miona Regional Recreation Center, to see if there was interest in forming a club. 103 Iowa Villagers came to the meeting. Dean moderated this fun-filled meeting that include attendees introducing themselves and their Iowa connection. The decision at the meeting was to move forward to form a club.

Those in attendance agreed that the Tiltons should proceed with the process of complying with The Villages Recreation Department's procedures to form the club and be allowed to hold meetings in The Villages' Recreation Centers.

The first official meeting for the Iowa Hawkeye State Club was held on October 8, 2008 at the Lake Miona Regional Recreation Center. 225 people attended this meeting!!

The club decided early on that the name of Iowa Hawkeye State Club was not inclusive enough for some members. This led to the name changing to the Iowa Club.

The club's name changed to The Villages Iowa Club in 2022.

At the October 2008 meeting, those present elected the club's first officers and formed a steering committee:

    • President:  Dean Tilton
    • Vice President:  Steve Rhoten
    • Secretary:  Marsha Rhoten
    • Treasurer:  Phyllis Drobney
    • Steering Committee:  Karen Tilton, Jim and Kathy Dolan, Mike and Michelle Pluck, Kent and Sarah Hamdorf, and Larry and Diane Hartwig

Some of the documented events for that first year were:

    • February - Valentine's Potluck
    • March - Bingo and barbecue bash
    • July - Annual picnic (catered fried chicken and potato salad with members providing the rest of the food)
    • October - Beer, Brats and Polka music
    • November - Thanksgiving dinner (club provided turkey and dressing with members providing the rest of the food)
    • December - Holiday Banquet and Dance

Karen Tilton passed away in February 2022. Dean Tilton passed away April 2024. Thanks to Karen and Dean's dedication and efforts starting in 2005, which culminated in the first official Club meeting in 2008, The Villages Iowa Club continues to exist today.

History of Past Presidents

 Year President
 2008 Dean Tilton
 2009 Dean Tilton
 2010 Steve Rhoten
 2011 Roger Baldwin
 2012 Denny Glick
 2013 Rick Scofield
 2014 Rick Scofield
 2015 Paul Ressler
 2016 Jim Bascom
 2017 Jim Dieleman
 2018 Cindy Zabel
 2019 Jim Bascom
 2020 DJ Johnson
 2021 Lou Wiegand 
 2022 Lou Wiegand
 2023 Leslie McAreavy
 2024  Janet Cruchelow

Use of the Club's COPYRIGHTED LOGO requires written permission from The Villages Iowa Club. IF you wish to use the Club's logo, send a written request with the WHAT, HOW and WHY you want to use the logo to this address. NOTE:  DO NOT use this address to send cash or checks to pay renewal dues and/or event registrations.

     The Villages Iowa Club Secretary

     P.O. Box 682

     Wildwood, FL 34785

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