Shirley Dixon, 90, of Watford City, N.D., passed away at the Hillsboro Medical Center in Hillsboro, N.D. on Nov. 19, 2015.
Shirley was born to, Clarence and Susan Trapp, on Dec. 19, 1924 in Marion, N.D. While growing up she loved school and was a joy to her teachers, because she always knew her lessons.
Following high school graduation, she went off to Jamestown College to take the two-year standard course for prospective teachers. When the course was completed, Shirley considered her options and finally decided upon Watford City.
She headed west to teach 5th graders. It was there that she met the local Gamble Store dealer, Bill Dixon. When the year ended, Shirley returned back east and began teaching at the Junior High in Oakes. It wasn’t long before Bill discovered all kinds of conventions and various business matters in eastern N.D. that needed immediate attention, but in order to get to his destination he had to take the less traveled road through Oakes!
After teaching in Oakes for two years, Shirley decided she wanted to go on to college to complete a Bachelors Degree, so she chose the University of North Dakota. While there she studied voice, history, and philosophy. Once her degree was completed, Shirley returned to Marion and taught there for one year. In the middle of the year, on Jan. 12, 1949, she married Bill at the Grace Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis.
She finished the school year, as she promised her father she would do, and moved to Watford City in the spring. The first few years of marriage Shirley helped Bill with his business endeavors, before moving to the Badlands Ranch in 1955.
They had four children, Dotti, Patti, Billie, and John. Shortly after John was born in 1964, Shirley received a call to return to teaching. After careful consideration she taught one year at a one-room country school south of the ranch, and then started a long career teaching fourth grade in Watford City.
After she retired from full-time teaching, Shirley continued to teach kindergarten in Grassy Butte each year during the spring quarter of school (1984-94). After she retired from this position, she continued to be a substitute teacher as she loved school and helping students learn.
From 1985-2000 Shirley and Bill wintered at their home in Monte Vista, Mesa, Ariz. from Nov. to March. Shirley was actively involved in water exercise, ceramics, painting, singing in the choir, and enjoying the warm weather with “snow bird” friends. Wherever Shirley resided laughter and fun followed.
In 2009 Shirley moved to the Waterford/Touchmark Retirement Center in Bismarck, where she enjoyed devotions class, musical opportunities, craft activities, and afternoon coffee time with friends.
After six great years in Bismarck, Shirley briefly lived at Maple View in Grand Forks and at the Hillsboro Care Center where she died on Nov. 19th.
Shirley is survived by three children, Dotti (Randy) Dixon Schmeling, Mandan, N.D.; Billie Dixon, Grand Forks, N.D.; and John (Kim) Dixon, Mandan, N.D.; two grandchildren, Brock Schmeling, and Kaitlin Dixon, both of Mandan, N.D. One sister, Betty Henrikson, Marion, N.D.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one daughter, Patti (Rudy) Dixon Syminow; and her husband, William (Bill) Dixon.
Shirley’s funeral service will be at the First Presbyterian Church in Watford City, on Nov. 25th at 2 p.m., where she was a member for more than 50 years. Reverend Dan Paulson will be officiating. Burial will be in the Schafer Cemetery in Watford City.
Visitation will be between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, at First Presbyterian Church in Watford City, N.D.
Fulkerson Funeral Home of Watford City is assisting the family with arrangements. Friends may share memories and condolences with the family at www.fulkersons.com