Margaret Ann Miller Dixon was born January 16, 1926 during a heavy snowstorm in the family farmhouse outside of Delavan, Kansas. She was the third child and only daughter born to Oliver Lowell Miller and Margaret Ann Tischauser Miller. Her brother Harry was 14 at the time and Lowell was 7.
Her elementary school years were spent in the local one room schoolhouse. To save the family farm during The Great Depression and Dust Bowl, she and her parents temporarily relocated to El Paso, TX where they picked fruit in the citrus orchards to earn money which was sent to the brothers still on the farm. On the farm, she learned to drive the big farm truck in the hay field while her dad & brothers picked up hay bails. She was a petite nine year old requiring a block of wood under her foot and a box to sit on so she could see over the steering wheel.
While still attending Herington High School, she met the love of her life, James V Dixon. He was 2 yrs older, and freshly signed up with the Navy to serve his country during WWII. While her young sailor was away at war in exotic places like Salerno, Sicily, North Africa, etc, Margaret was doing her part for the war effort as a secretary at the Herington Army Air Base. She wrote Jim countless letters, one containing the scripture, Psalms 121:1-8, that Jim focused on as he faced the enemy, making multiple trips delivering troops onto Juno Beach on D Day.
She received a full scholarship to The University of Kansas, where she was attending school, when Jim returned safely from the war and joined her. The two were married May 18, 1945, and attended KU, until moving to Ft Riley, Ks. Their first two children, Pat and Mike, were born during this time.
From 1954-1959, the young family of four lived in the Territory of Alaska, settling in Fairbanks, where Margaret worked at the University of Alaska Dept of Agriculture and attended classes. She absolutely loved the thrill of living in Alaska: The Northern Lights; The Midnight Sun; The breathtaking landscape; The wildlife; The fascinating people; and yes, even the massive amounts of snow. She would pick wild mushrooms in the shadow of Mt McKinley, and can the sockeye salmon that Jim caught. They went camping in the wilderness and picked wild blueberries. They befriended old settlers and attended Eskimo celebrations. She made the family fur-lined parkas for the bitter cold winters.
In 1959, they moved to Idaho, where Michelle and Scott, the last two children were born. They returned to Lawrence in 1965, where they remained .
Margaret loved to cook, bake, can homegrown fruits & veggies, garden, play cards, and hear & tell off-color jokes. She loved meeting new people and cherished family & friends. She was a 4H leader, and involved in women’s groups & church. She had a passion for learning, and was an avid reader, but her biggest passion was traveling. She traveled extensively in the US, Europe, and New Zealand. She never knew a stranger, and was often invited into the homes of locals in the countries she & Jim visited. Likewise, their children were welcome into her home when they visited the US. She often had a smile on her lips and a sparkle in her eyes. She will be missed by many.
Margaret is survived by her children, Patricia Dixon of Lawrence; Micheal Dixon of Stockton Ca.; Michelle Sale of Branson Mo, and J Scott Dixon of Lawrence; 5 grandchildren- Danelle, Micah, Kelly, Adam, and Emma, and 3 great grandchildren.
Donations in the name of Margaret can be made to Cottonwood Inc. 2801 W 31st St, Lawrence, KS 66047 or may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.