Lillie Ruth (Chambers) Dixon


(Feb. 26, 2009)

Lillie Ruth Dixon died Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Powell Valley Care Center. She was 99 years old.

Lillie Ruth Chambers was born Nov. 18, 1909, in Magnum, Okla., to Robert and Rose Etta (Stringfellow) Chambers. She was the eldest of 8 children and was raised in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. She began school in Herring, Okla., at the age of 8. As a child, her family would often travel by horsedrawn wagon to visit her paternal grandparents in Wewoka, Okla. Lillie survived typhoid fever as a young child, but lost her younger brother to the illness on Christmas Day in 1916.

Lillie’s family worked in farming and in the developing oil and gas industry, eventually homesteading outside of Roswell, N.M. Upon her family’s return to the Texas Panhandle, Lillie graduated from high school in Borger, Texas, in 1929. She graduated from Draughn’s Business College in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1932. Her first employment was with a wholesale grocery company in Sayre, Okla., that paid $10 per week. Lillie returned to Skellytown, Texas, where her family lived, to open a beauty parlor.

It was in Skellytown that Lillie met Berry Lee Barnes. They were married Nov. 14, 1934. They had three children: Joetta, Berry L. Jr., and Dorothy Jean. The family moved to Elk Basin in 1944 where Lillie served as postmaster at the Elk Basin Post Office until 1955. Upon the closing of Elk Basin in 1955 the Barnes family relocated to Powell. Lillie was widowed in 1956.

Lillie married Robert Barber on Aug. 13, 1959. He died in 1962. Lillie began working in Yellowstone National Park as a bookkeeper for Hamilton Stores and the Haynes Photo Shop, working 19 summers at Canyon Village.

She married Woodrow Dixon on April 26, 1978. Mr. Dixon died in 2002.

Lillie was a member of the the Order of Eastern Star for over 60 years; she was Past Worthy Matron of Bethany Chapter of Deaver and was recently a member of Alcyone Chapter #27 of Powell. She lived in the home built by her first husband, Berry, on Wood Street until moving to the Heartland and, finally, the Powell Valley Care Center. She was a member of Union Presbyterian Church of Powell since 1946.

Lillie is survived by her daughter Dorothy Lenehan (Brent) of Oakland, Calif.; son-in-law Buzz Larsen (Patricia) of Powell; a granddaughter and grandson; numerous great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson. She is also survived by her brother Thomas Lee Chambers (Marguerite), and sisters Nina Craig, Charlotte Allen, and Maryanne Gilmore (Bill) of Lebanon, Okla.

Lillie was preceded in death by her grandparents and parents; her three husbands; her brothers, Cecil and Glen; her sister, Roberta; her daughter, Joetta Larsen and her son, Berry L Barnes, Jr.

Memorial services are pending. Cremation has taken place. Memorials in Lillie’s name can be sent to Powell Valley Hospice, 777 Ave H, Powell, WY 82435.