Dixie Carroll Hefley Lovell

Photo 1 - Obituaries in Ardmore, OK | The Daily ArdmoreitePhoto 2 - Obituaries in Ardmore, OK | The Daily Ardmoreite
Photo 1 - Obituaries in Ardmore, OK | The Daily ArdmoreitePhoto 2 - Obituaries in Ardmore, OK | The Daily Ardmoreite

Dixie Carroll Hefley Lovell was born Aug. 15, 1924, to Josephine Rodgers Carroll and James Henry Hefley Jr., the middle of three sisters, delivered at home on Sixth Avenue NW, by the legendary Dr. Walter Hardy. She died Jan. 13, 2022, at age 97, cared for by the human—and canine—angels from Cross Timbers Hospice. She attended Franklin School, took dance from Betty Brown and piano from Mrs. Ringer, watched elephants parade down North Washington to the circus grounds, plotted to run away to Hollywood with Billie Grieder and Patricia Williams, was chased by a cow down 11th Avenue NW and bicycled to the country (immediately north of 12th Avenue NW!) for sunrise breakfasts. On her way to and from Ardmore Junior and Senior High--in fact, all her life--she stopped and made a wish at the sycamore across from the little grocery store on B Street NW. In high school, she briefly earned pocket money installing and servicing peanut machines in local businesses but was relieved when her father took the enterprise off her hands.

During World War II, she was a volunteer Red Cross nurse’s aide and, along with her college housemates, worked as a Rosie the Riveter at Tinker Field—for one day, realizing their help might sink the war effort. While studying at the University of Oklahoma, she worked in the university library. She graduated with a bachelor of letters and began her first full-time job, as a proofreader at the Daily Ardmoreite (yes, back then such a job existed), followed by a job teaching high school English in Yampa, Colo., where she lived in a boardinghouse. She accepted the job sight unseen because of her dream of going to the mountains. She soon landed in Denver, where she lived at the YWCA and worked in the Denver Public Library’s Western History Collection. On weekends, she hiked with a hiking club—and sometimes with a suitor, the naturalist and lexicographer Charles Julien Lovell, who would take the train down from Chicago. They married in Chicago in 1947, built a house they dubbed “The Strawberry Patch” down the block from the Willow Springs Woods and started a family. In Chicago, she worked in the libraries of the American Medical Association, University of Chicago Medical School, Universal Oil Products and Corn Products Refining and as an editorial assistant at Together magazine.

After her husband died, she took classes at Pestalozzi Froebel Teachers College in Chicago, planning to give teaching another try. She returned to Ardmore with her two children in 1961 and took education classes at Southeastern State College and Oklahoma State University. But after one semester teaching high school English in Apache and one semester teaching second grade in Fox, for the rest of her career, except for her final job, as a secretary, she worked as a librarian, doing graduate library science work at Texas Woman’s University.

She was the first bookmobile librarian at the then new Chickasaw Multi-County Library (now Southern Oklahoma Library System). In Dallas, she was the librarian at Pollock Paper Company and later the Talking Books librarian for the Dallas County Library, located in a building connected to the building where Jack Ruby had been jailed. When she returned to Ardmore to help her elderly parents, she returned to the Chickasaw Multi-County Library as a reference librarian. She retired from Mental Health Services of Southern Oklahoma.

She was a dedicated volunteer, her longest stints being at the CONTACT suicide prevention hotline in Dallas and in Ardmore in the First United Methodist Church office and at Mercy Memorial Hospital. She was also a mentor at Franklin School.

A woman of deep faith, she was an active member of the Willow Springs (Ill.) Presbyterian Church and Westminster Presbyterian in Dallas, but for most of her life she was a member of Ardmore’s First United Methodist, which she began attending as a girl (when it was First Methodist Episcopal Church). She was a member of its Cora Carlock Sunday School Class, of Friendly Neighbors, the oldest charter member of the Ravenous Readers at Ardmore Public Library and a loyal Democrat in a red state. She was glad to have lived long enough to vote for the first Black president and the first female presidential candidate.

In her lifetime, she hiked in the U.S. and Canadian Rocky Mountains, saw migrating monarch butterflies swarm trees in a forest outside Chicago and hugged Leo Buscaglia, “Dr. Hug.” She survived the Sixties with teenage children, driving them to countless rock concerts and welcoming their long-haired friends, even writing a letter to the editor of the Dallas Times-Herald defending hippies.

In her later years, she enjoyed living at Ardmore Village, going on tours, attending Ardmore Little Theatre plays and Goddard Center art exhibits, marveling at the Canada geese gadding about Lake Murray and around town, and, before everything shut down, going for Saturday breakfast, rotating between Mac’s Café and McDonald’s, and for Sunday dinner after church with Dorothy Benson. She could still recite lines of poetry memorized as a girl. Until almost the end of her life, she drank a daily Dr Pepper. Most mornings she looked outside and exclaimed, “What a beautiful morning!” She thrilled to the beauty of trees as they changed throughout the year and to the music of chirping birds, always asking, “I wonder what they’re saying.”

She was preceded in death by an infant son, her husband, her parents and her sister Josephine Mainard. She is survived by her sister Jamie Burton, Nashville; her daughter, Bonnie Alice, Ardmore; her son, Charles Muir, and daughter-in-law, Norah, New Orleans; her granddaughter, Jessa Chudleigh, Bristol, England; two great-grandchildren, Lauren and Jack; nieces and nephews; and grand-dogs and grand-cats.

At her request, there will be no service. Her ashes will be sprinkled in locations meaningful to her. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in her memory to one of her favorite charities: Sierra Club Memorials, 2101 Webster St., Ste. 1300, Oakland, CA 94612; Nature Conservancy Memorial Gift, Attn: Treasury, 4245 N. Fairfax Dr., Ste. 100, Arlington, VA 22203; National Audubon Society, Attn.: Donations, 225 Varick St., 7th floor, New York, NY 10014; Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1483, Ardmore, 73402; First United Methodist Church, 501 W. Main, Ardmore, 73401; or Ardmore Animal Care, 321 Carol Brown Blvd., Ardmore, 73401. Or take a nature walk, hug a tree, memorize a poem, adopt a senior animal from the animal shelter, read a story to a child, visit an elder, drink a Dr Pepper or savor some good chocolate.

Cremation-With-Care was provided by Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home and Crematory, where words of comfort for the family may be sent online at www.hdouglasfuneralhome.com.

Posted online on January 14, 2022

Published in Daily Ardmoreite

Photo 1 - Obituaries in Ardmore, OK | The Daily ArdmoreitePhoto 2 - Obituaries in Ardmore, OK | The Daily Ardmoreite
Photo 1 - Obituaries in Ardmore, OK | The Daily ArdmoreitePhoto 2 - Obituaries in Ardmore, OK | The Daily Ardmoreite

Dixie Carroll Hefley Lovell

Dixie Carroll Hefley Lovell was born Aug. 15, 1924, to Josephine Rodgers Carroll and James Henry Hefley Jr., the middle of three sisters, delivered at home on Sixth Avenue NW, by the legendary Dr. Walter Hardy. She died Jan. 13, 2022, at age 97, cared for by the human—and canine—angels from Cross Timbers Hospice. She attended Franklin School, took dance from Betty Brown and piano from Mrs. Ringer, watched elephants parade down North Washington to the circus grounds, plotted to run away to Hollywood with Billie Grieder and Patricia Williams, was chased by a cow down 11th Avenue NW and bicycled to the country (immediately north of 12th Avenue NW!) for sunrise breakfasts. On her way to and from Ardmore Junior and Senior High--in fact, all her life--she stopped and made a wish at the sycamore across from the little grocery store on B Street NW. In high school, she briefly earned pocket money installing and servicing peanut machines in local businesses but was relieved when her father took the enterprise off her hands.

During World War II, she was a volunteer Red Cross nurse’s aide and, along with her college housemates, worked as a Rosie the Riveter at Tinker Field—for one day, realizing their help might sink the war effort. While studying at the University of Oklahoma, she worked in the university library. She graduated with a bachelor of letters and began her first full-time job, as a proofreader at the Daily Ardmoreite (yes, back then such a job existed), followed by a job teaching high school English in Yampa, Colo., where she lived in a boardinghouse. She accepted the job sight unseen because of her dream of going to the mountains. She soon landed in Denver, where she lived at the YWCA and worked in the Denver Public Library’s Western History Collection. On weekends, she hiked with a hiking club—and sometimes with a suitor, the naturalist and lexicographer Charles Julien Lovell, who would take the train down from Chicago. They married in Chicago in 1947, built a house they dubbed “The Strawberry Patch” down the block from the Willow Springs Woods and started a family. In Chicago, she worked in the libraries of the American Medical Association, University of Chicago Medical School, Universal Oil Products and Corn Products Refining and as an editorial assistant at Together magazine.

After her husband died, she took classes at Pestalozzi Froebel Teachers College in Chicago, planning to give teaching another try. She returned to Ardmore with her two children in 1961 and took education classes at Southeastern State College and Oklahoma State University. But after one semester teaching high school English in Apache and one semester teaching second grade in Fox, for the rest of her career, except for her final job, as a secretary, she worked as a librarian, doing graduate library science work at Texas Woman’s University.

She was the first bookmobile librarian at the then new Chickasaw Multi-County Library (now Southern Oklahoma Library System). In Dallas, she was the librarian at Pollock Paper Company and later the Talking Books librarian for the Dallas County Library, located in a building connected to the building where Jack Ruby had been jailed. When she returned to Ardmore to help her elderly parents, she returned to the Chickasaw Multi-County Library as a reference librarian. She retired from Mental Health Services of Southern Oklahoma.

She was a dedicated volunteer, her longest stints being at the CONTACT suicide prevention hotline in Dallas and in Ardmore in the First United Methodist Church office and at Mercy Memorial Hospital. She was also a mentor at Franklin School.

A woman of deep faith, she was an active member of the Willow Springs (Ill.) Presbyterian Church and Westminster Presbyterian in Dallas, but for most of her life she was a member of Ardmore’s First United Methodist, which she began attending as a girl (when it was First Methodist Episcopal Church). She was a member of its Cora Carlock Sunday School Class, of Friendly Neighbors, the oldest charter member of the Ravenous Readers at Ardmore Public Library and a loyal Democrat in a red state. She was glad to have lived long enough to vote for the first Black president and the first female presidential candidate.

In her lifetime, she hiked in the U.S. and Canadian Rocky Mountains, saw migrating monarch butterflies swarm trees in a forest outside Chicago and hugged Leo Buscaglia, “Dr. Hug.” She survived the Sixties with teenage children, driving them to countless rock concerts and welcoming their long-haired friends, even writing a letter to the editor of the Dallas Times-Herald defending hippies.

In her later years, she enjoyed living at Ardmore Village, going on tours, attending Ardmore Little Theatre plays and Goddard Center art exhibits, marveling at the Canada geese gadding about Lake Murray and around town, and, before everything shut down, going for Saturday breakfast, rotating between Mac’s Café and McDonald’s, and for Sunday dinner after church with Dorothy Benson. She could still recite lines of poetry memorized as a girl. Until almost the end of her life, she drank a daily Dr Pepper. Most mornings she looked outside and exclaimed, “What a beautiful morning!” She thrilled to the beauty of trees as they changed throughout the year and to the music of chirping birds, always asking, “I wonder what they’re saying.”

She was preceded in death by an infant son, her husband, her parents and her sister Josephine Mainard. She is survived by her sister Jamie Burton, Nashville; her daughter, Bonnie Alice, Ardmore; her son, Charles Muir, and daughter-in-law, Norah, New Orleans; her granddaughter, Jessa Chudleigh, Bristol, England; two great-grandchildren, Lauren and Jack; nieces and nephews; and grand-dogs and grand-cats.

At her request, there will be no service. Her ashes will be sprinkled in locations meaningful to her. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in her memory to one of her favorite charities: Sierra Club Memorials, 2101 Webster St., Ste. 1300, Oakland, CA 94612; Nature Conservancy Memorial Gift, Attn: Treasury, 4245 N. Fairfax Dr., Ste. 100, Arlington, VA 22203; National Audubon Society, Attn.: Donations, 225 Varick St., 7th floor, New York, NY 10014; Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1483, Ardmore, 73402; First United Methodist Church, 501 W. Main, Ardmore, 73401; or Ardmore Animal Care, 321 Carol Brown Blvd., Ardmore, 73401. Or take a nature walk, hug a tree, memorize a poem, adopt a senior animal from the animal shelter, read a story to a child, visit an elder, drink a Dr Pepper or savor some good chocolate.

Cremation-With-Care was provided by Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home and Crematory, where words of comfort for the family may be sent online at www.hdouglasfuneralhome.com.

Posted online on January 14, 2022

Published in Daily Ardmoreite