My wife is a deacon at our church. I wonder if that makes me a deaconess? The pastor's husband told her the other day that she was the best deacon they'd ever had. I believe it. She's very responsible, as well as being very giving. I can't imagine another two traits that would combine for good deacon-hood.
What do deacons do? I suppose the role is different from church to church. Our church divides the congregants into "families", so each deacon is responsible for a subset of the church. Our pastor, I think, has a tendency to take too much on herself, so it's important for the deacons to step up and take some of the burden off her shoulders. Cathy is very good at that.