Dixie Mengel, 1932 – 2020

Dixie Mengel, the daughter of Earl and Leone (Koebrich) Witcraft, was born February 8, 1932, in Fraser,  and passed from this life April 25, 2020, at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines. She lived her life to the age of 88 years, 2 months and 17 days.

Dixie grew up in Fraser and graduated from Pilot Mound High School in 1950. She graduated from Drake University (Alpha Xi Delta) in Des Moines in 1953 and started her teaching career.

On December 1, 1956, Dixie Witcraft was united in marriage to Dean Mengel at the Methodist Church in Paton. Seven children were born to this union. The couple made their home in Paton. Dean worked for the Greene County road maintenance department and Dixie continued her elementary teaching career. Dixie taught at Paton Consolidated, Prairie of Gowrie and Paton-Churdan schools. She enjoyed being a teacher and many of her friends were from the teaching community. She took a few years off of fulltime teaching to focus on her family. When she returned to teaching, she taught part-time where she enjoyed working with small group and individual reading instruction with her students until her retirement in 1995.

After both Dixie and Dean retired, they moved to Boone where they lived for seven years before moving to Jefferson, where they were active members of the Augustana and Christ Lutheran Church communities. Dean passed away in March of 2004 and Dixie later moved back to Paton and enjoyed volunteering at the library, going for walks with friends and gardening. Baking was a passion for Dixie and she always kept her freezer full of breads, cookies and other treats to share with family and friends. In August of 2019, Dixie moved to Des Moines to be close to her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed the independent living at Wesley Acres where she participated in church, exercise classes, the library, outdoor walking trail, ballroom dancing and an occasional happy hour that included her first margarita.

Left to mourn her passing are her children and their spouses: Deb (Marty) Nugent of Nevada, Danie Roper of Paton, Joe (Cate) Mengel of West Des Moines, Jeff (Becky) Mengel of Elgin, IL, Diane (Jim) Allison of Clive, Jed (Deb) Mengel of Des Moines and Jim (Bethany) Mengel of Des Moines; 16 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. Those who preceded her in death were her parents and her husband of 47 years, Dean.

Graveside services were held Friday, May 1, at the Paton Township Cemetery in Paton with the Rev. David Arulnathan officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be directed to the Paton Library.

The family was assisted by Brown Funeral Home of Jefferson.

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