Dixie Irene Temple passed away Friday, November 13, 2015, at the age of 75. She was born July 20, 1940, in Easton, Washington, to Fenton (Buck) and Bertha Wllkerson. The family settled in the Kennewick area in her early years. At 12, her family moved to Pendleton where she attended Hawthorne Grade School, Pendleton Jr. High and Pendleton High School. She was an exceptional swimmer, competing on the Pendleton Swim Team, in the Junior Olympics and working as a swimming instructor at the Pendleton Natatorium.
Dixie spent two summers working as a truck driver on her friend’s wheat ranch near Rudyard, Montana. During her school years Dixie formed a number of lifelong friends, most importantly her loving husband, Mack Temple.
Dixie and Mack lived in La Grande and Eugene while Mack attended college. They moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where they lived for six years before returning to operate the Temple family farm west of Pendleton in 1965.
Dixie had four sons and loved the high energy and fun of a large family. Dixie was a Cub Scout den mother for her boys, and an ardent supporter of her sons’ athletic endeavors (football, wrestling, track and field). She loved the outdoors, fishing with her family, and enjoying the end of each day on her sunset bench.
Dixie always had a heart for those in need. She had a quiet way of helping others, and she continued to do so until her final days. Her faith in God guided and sustained her throughout her life.
She was a talented artist and taught her children and grandchildren to draw, paint and sculpt. Dixie was a fabulous cook, and she loved to entertain her family and friends. Dixie could do anything she set her heart to — except sing. Dixie was a homemaker, a crop surveyor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a member of the Pendleton Art Center and the Umatilla County Historical Society. Over the years Dixie was sustained by the laughter and camaraderie of a very special group of friends. The Coffee Group, as known within the Temple family, was in so many ways an extension of family.
After 42 years of farming, Dixie and Mack retired and built a home in Pendleton.
Dixie is survived by her loving husband. Mack; her four sons and daughters-in-law, Greg and Lisa from Rapid City, South Dakota, Kelly and Joanne from Boise, Idaho, Mark and Stephanie from Pendleton, and Patrick and Eva from Hermiston; her grandchildren Angela, Nathan, Kevin, Riley, Harrison and Kylie; brother Bobby Wilkerson from Honolulu, Hawaii, and sister Ardath Flomer from Wilsonville, Oregon; and her nieces and nephews. Brother Edwin preceded her in death.
A memorial celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 21, 2015, at the Free Methodist Church, 1711 S.W. 44th St., Pendleton.
In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Dixie with remembrances to the Portland Shriners Children’s Hospital, Umatilla County Historical Society or the Pendleton Center for the Arts.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.pioneerchapel.com