Charity’s director thriving in a ‘retirement job’

If you’re not in the mood to volunteer, you probably don’t want to run into the executive director of the Anchor House family assistance center in Seymour.

The 64-year-old Seymour resident is sure to put you to work.

Deb Bedwell also doesn’t have any qualms about doing a quick assessment of how you can assist her in her chosen task of helping the community.

“I’m going to see what you have for me,” she said. “I want to know you if you can help me make life better for those who don’t have as much as

we do.”

Thirteen years ago, Bedwell took on the job of running the homeless shelter for families and community food pantry.

“I was just pulled to doing this,” she said. “This is my retirement job. I worked at Cummins for 30 years in the office. I had lots of training and education over the years. That has helped me and given me the strength to know what I need to do.”

During her time at Cummins, Bedwell was a secretary/administrative assistant.

She was born and raised in Indianapolis but lived in Brown County as a teenager. She moved to California when her father was transferred there for his job, but eventually she relocated to Seymour.

Bedwell said graduating from Leadership Jackson County and learning from former Leadership director Ann Windley played a key role in bringing her to Anchor House.

“Ann gave me the encouragement to do it,” she said.

A chance meeting with Seymour City Hall employee Floyd Amburgey also led her to the job.

“He was doing a Hairless for the Homeless fundraiser and needed a campaign manager, and I did it,” Bedwell said.

She took over as interim manager of Anchor House in October 2001, when then-manager Jennifer Duffy left. In January or February 2002, Bedwell was named director.

“I’ve followed my heart,” she said. “I feel like this is the place God wants me to be or I wouldn’t be here.”

Bedwell said the support of the community — including Cummins, JCB, Home Depot, Jackson County United Way, Skaggs Builders and others — has helped keep the shelter operating.

“I know I can call them, and they will help,” she said.

Deb Bedwell

Who: Deb Bedwell

Age: 64

Residence: Seymour

Hometown: Indianapolis

Author photo
Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7051.