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Helen "Dixie" Joyce Hess (Dixon)

Monday, July 26th, 1926 - Monday, May 11th, 2020
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Helen “Dixie” Hess

Helen “Dixie” Hess, of Lititz and formerly Akron, died on May 11, 2020 at Moravian Manor. She was the widow of E. Austin Hess who died in 2010. Born in Little Silver, NJ, she was the daughter of the late John B. Dixon and Helen (McKay) Dixon. Due to the early death of her mother, she was raised by her father and grandmother, Mary B. Dixon.

Dixie graduated from Westfield High School in New Jersey and graduated from Gettysburg College with a B.A. in History and Education. She taught school in Scotch Plains, NJ before her marriage. In 1949, she married E. Austin Hess and moved to Akron. Dixie was a homemaker and later a Welcome Wagon representative for twenty-five years. She was a Girl Scout leader, taught Sunday school and volunteered for Meals on Wheels. She enjoyed playing cards, especially bridge, and was a member of several card clubs. Her memberships included the Akron Women’s Civic Club, Ephrata Cloister Associates and Chi Omega sorority.

She traveled frequently with her husband and visited countries in Europe, Africa and the Far East. In 1980, she accompanied Austin on an International Executive Service Corps assignment in Indonesia. They lived there for three months. Dixie taught conversational English while Austin worked with water purification. She was a member of the International Bottled Water Association and president of IBWAX, the association’s women’s auxiliary.

Survivors of Dixie are her son, Richard A. Hess (husband of Jill Brown) of Scottsdale, AZ, daughters Kathryn J. Hess, Pt. Pleasant, NJ, Barbara H. Brubaker (wife of Terry), Lititz and Susan L. Keith (wife of Jeffrey), Akron. Grandchildren are Bradley A. Keith, Jennifer L. Keith and Allyson L. Brubaker Okonski. Also surviving are a sister, Barbara M. Michelsen of Blacksburg, VA, three great-grandchildren, three nieces and two nephews.

Services will be held at the convenience of the family.

The family would like to thank the staff of Moravian Manor for their care over the past several years.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Moravian Manor Benevolent Caring Fund, 300 West Lemon Street, Lititz, PA, 17543.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes, Inc., Ephrata.
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Service Details

  • Service

    private at the convenience of the family
    Address not given
  • Interment

    Wolf Cemetery
    Ephrata Twp., PA
    Lititz, PA 17543
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


Donations are being accepted for: Moravian Manor.


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Suzanne Fisher

Posted at 02:35pm
On behalf of the Ephrata Cloister Associates, we extend our sympathy to the Hess family. Dixie was a dedicated supporter of the Cloister and its programs. Her kindness and generosity impacted us beyond measure, and we were fortunate to be blessed by her and Austin. Where would we be without their vision, dedication, and determination? Their love for the town of Ephrata and its heritage will be a lasting legacy. We are grateful to have known them, and we share your sadness at Dixie's passing.
Suzanne Fisher
Ephrata Cloister Associates Board of Directors

Jeffrey Vinyard

Posted at 12:25pm
To the entire Hess Family my sincere condolences on the passing of Dixie, an elegant and wonderful lady. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.

Shayron Barnes-Selby

Posted at 09:10am
Dixie and Austin are together again. Often I would observe them together at the IBWA meetings and admire the love and admiration they had for each other. To the Hess family --- peace and prayers. Another Angel to watch over you.

Michael S. Showalter

Posted at 11:14am
Dixie was a strong woman who I first got to know through her work with Welcome Wagon. She would come to the Historic Ephrata Cloister where I work for items to share with new residents. I was always under the impression she was a strong partner for Austin. Dixie, like Austin, was always a strong supporter of the Ephrata Cloister. Following Austin's passing, Dixie donated a painting of the Cloister to the historic site which he had commissioned.. She was a faithful attendee at programs such as the Winter History Class, and appeared as a helper at many programs like Christmas at the Cloister and Apple Dumpling sales. I still remember when Dixie and Austin shared with me the story of how they met at Gettysburg College, and I could see the real affection they had for one another.
Dixie always impressed me as one of those people who is polite and polished, and very down to earth and practical. I will miss her kindness, and share in the feeling of loss at her passing. I know she will be missed.
With deepest sympathy, Michael S. Showalter

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