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Dixie Lee (Howland) Givan of Lee’s Summit, MO passed away on March 30, 2019 with her family by her side. Born June 23, 1940 in Norborne, MO, Dixie later graduated Van Horn High School in 1958 after relocating with her family to Independence, MO.
An incredible beauty, she was immediately noticed by a judge at the “Miss Raytown” contest…that judge was Kenneth R. Givan. Their fairy tale love story lasted decades. Dixie had been planning a career in nursing, but joined Ken supporting his career at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. She and Ken were active in the Independence Jaycees, where he was President as well as many other philanthropic organizations.
Her three children were her main focus. Outside of the home, Dixie was an Executive Secretary for Farm & Home Savings, Lakewood Oaks Golf Course in Lee’s Summit & The Atriums in Overland Park, KS. When family illness took it’s toll, she then devoted her life as full time caregiver to her parents, in laws Vernon and Reva Givan & then Ken during his MS battle. She poured love, passion & fun in all that she did. Her loyalty to family was unending, we were all grateful recipients of her love and generosity.
Her passions were fashion (sending her entire family out the door ready for a professional Vogue photo shoot at all times), decorating, championship shopping, baking & culinary artistry to rival Martha Stewart leaving us all enthralled. Dixie didn’t just throw a birthday party for her children, “normal” parties weren’t her style. Her events were so spectacular that reporters in Springfield, MO showed up to write stories about Laura’s birthday! The Raggedy Ann themed party was complete with Dixie’s homemade Raggedy Ann tablecloth. Somehow she also found Raggedy Ann compacts & brushes for each guest? We marvel that she could accomplish such tasks and feats before the advent of Google. She was a gifted artist leaving many of her clever pieces as paintings as gifts to family and friends.
Steve, Jeff, & Laura had friends that continued to call Dixie long after the nest was empty for her legendary relationship advice and much more. Any call with Dixie would brighten your day. She wasn’t just funny, she was that out of this world hysterical, blowing beverages through your nose while snorting kind of funny.
If only we had written down all of the hysterical things she said, we’d laugh for the rest of our lives. Please share any fun stories with family and friends in the comments section. She would want us laughing. She loved all things sparkly and Leopard was “the new black” for Dixie long before the rest of the fashion industry caught on. She spent time traveling to visit friends and family all over the US. Endless hours of fun were spent with family & friends at Lakewood Lake and Clubhouse where her laughter can surely still be heard. She was passionate about music and traveled to see Johnny Mathis & Josh Groban.
A faithful Christian woman her entire life and member of Raytown First Baptist Church, we are at peace knowing she is reunited with Kenny & her parents Glendon & Hellen Howland, brother Gary & sister-in-law Maxine Howland. We are grateful that she’s joined with her baby sister Glenda Sue Howland & daughter-in-law Stacey Givan, all proceeding her in death. Like all things Dixie, she took her last breath after the reading of Psalm 23. It was like the perfect finale to a life devoted to Christ.
Dixie was one of those souls who LIVED every minute of her life on this earth. She didn’t wait for things to come to her, she made things happen. Her love of family and tradition made every one of her holiday celebrations completely over the top. Unmatched creativity and work ethic, an epic hostess she began the planning of events months in advance. No detail was left undone. Her tabletops looked as if House Beautiful or Better Homes & Gardens had sent a professional team for the tablescapes. Never a detail was missed.
Dixie is survived by Steve (Shelly) Givan of Lee’s Summit, MO, Laura (Bruce) Hack of Kannapolis, NC, & Jeff Givan of Belton, MO. Brother Fred (Dena) Howland of Norborne, MO are also grieving her loss. The jewels around her neck, her precious grandchildren…Taylor & Blake Givan of Grain Valley, MO, Olivia Koch of Kannapolis, NC & Carly Koch of Denver, CO will never forget the love of their incredible, giving, joyous Grandmother. No one did “Mimi” better in their eyes.
Nieces and Nephews as well as legions of life-long friends repeat “there will never again be another Dixie, we will feel her loss forever”.
Private graveside service will be followed by a celebration of life on 6/22/19 the day before what would have been Dixie’s 79th Birthday. Location to be announced.
In Lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Dixie’s name to the National MS Society, PO Box 4527, New York, NY, 10163. Or, if you would like participate in a special memorial gift being organized by friends, please email DixieGivanMemorial@gmail.com or contact Molly Hansen 816-401-8185 for more information. Just like Dixie would have done, her extraordinary friends are planning an special gift for their forever friend. As a family, we cannot thank you all enough.