Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Elsie G. "Goldie" Dixon
(November 30, 1918 - August 18, 2010)

KNOWLES – Elsie G. “Goldie” Dixon, age 91, died early Wednesday morning, August 18, 2010, at the Lone Tree Retirement Center, Meade, Kansas.

She was born November 30, 1918, at Zelma, Oklahoma, the daughter of Charlie Lewis and Lena Alice (Hochstetler) Smothermon. As a young girl she attended grade school in Eddy and Knowles, Oklahoma, graduating from Knowles High School in 1937. After her graduation, she furthered her education by graduating from nurses training at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kansas, in 1940.

On June 2, 1942, she married Ralph Leroy “Buster” Dixon at Wichita, Kansas. After their marriage the couple lived in several areas where she worked at various hospitals, including Wesley Medical Center in Wichita and the Beaver County Hospital in Beaver, Oklahoma. She retired after fifty years of nursing and made her home in Knowles.

She was an eighteen year member of the Knowles Church of the Nazarene, having served on various committees throughout the years. She enjoyed reading, gardening, caring for her cats, and spending time with family and friends.

She is survived by:

  • Her daughter, Lois Dotson of Knowles, Oklahoma
  • Four grandchildren, Ryan Dotson, Brett Dotson, Trish Brooks, & Shelly Dixon
  • Three great-grandchildren, Jonah Kelmon, Emilia & Finley Dotson,
  • Many nieces and nephews whom she cherished deeply.

She is preceded in death by her husband on September 17, 1987; a son Ralph Leroy “Buster” Dixon, in October, 1994; a brother, Eugene Smothermon; a half-brother, Bob Moore; and a sister, Dolores Maphet.

Goldie was a woman of great strength and character, leaving us all with a role model to challenge us to be better people. The world will be a sadder place without her mischievousness and her quiet but feisty sense of humor.

Friends may call from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Monday at Fidler-Orme-Bachman Mortuary, Meade with cremation following the visitation. Celebration of Life services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 27, 2010, at the Knowles Church of the Nazarene, Knowles, Oklahoma, with Reverend Tom Webb presiding. Private family inurment will take place at a later date.

The family would welcome memorials to Heifer International in care of the funeral home.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Yesterday I signed Mom into hospice. She started to downslide seriously late last week, and hasn’t showed signs of grabbing at branches. The goal of hospice is to make her comfortable, and who knows? Being comfortable may make her better, but so far it only allows her to sleep without outward signs of pain.

The doctor came to the nursing home yesterday because she was in such pain and so weak that moving her didn’t make sense, and he made a comment that I love. He said “She was born in an era when they built things to last, and she is going to last until she can’t fight anymore.” We have said goodbye to her several times over the last year and she has come back each time. I don’t know if she will this time, but I continue to pray for healing or release.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Two weeks ago, Mom had another stroke. I am convinced she has had a few small ones in the last year, but this one was not small. She cleverly managed to do it in the doctor’s office where we had come for a follow-up appointment so was treated immediately, but when they did all the tests, nothing showed up. A comparison of the brain scan from last year with the new one showed no further damage, X-rays showed no embolism, blood tests showed she was in good health, yet she had clearly had an event of some import. One of my favorite aides, who cried when we airlifted Mom to Wichita last summer, came to me and said she was going to be gone for a week and gave me a big goodbye hug because she knew we wouldn’t be here when she came back. And I started making plans for a future without a mother. Again.

For a woman who swore she would never go to a nursing home and prayed to not live long enough to be impaired, that woman has the strength of an ox. She came back again. I don’t know how impaired she will be. She is now rational when she talks, speaking in sentences instead of nods and monosyllabic responses like the last few months. But she groans terribly while she sleeps or dozes. And she clearly hurts when she is moved. Last week she was sitting in a rocking recliner, rocking … of course … and she told me she wanted to get up. I told her she was up and she yelled, “No, I’m not. Don’t argue with me. I want to get out of bed.” Sometimes she is not the Goldie we all know and love. But at the same time, she knows Ryan is on the road, and will ask if I have heard from him, and where is he?

Everyone keeps asking me what my plans are and I can only say I don’t know. As school time closes in, I am beginning to fear that I won’t make it back this year, and it breaks my heart. I miss my job, my friends, my house and animals, and my grandkids. I have spent the summer polishing my curriculum as I was to have only eleventh graders this year and I could really focus on them. And I need to be back in Cali very soon. But at the same time, how do I leave my mother. I can’t take her with me, I would be miserable if I left her here. And I don’t even know if she would know if I were gone. But I can’t really leave her, so I guess that really answers my question, doesn’t it?

I have requested a second leave of absence. I am applying for an emergency sub license. (That is harder than applying to be a teacher!) I am waiting. And Mom continues to deteriorate.