Jean entered this world on April 28, 1930 in a barn near Fallon, Montana and she took her leave in the loving care of her youngest daughter, Cecelia, in Astoria, Oregon on January 5, 2014 surrounded by four of her six children.
Born the 3rd of 8 children to George Eli “Slim” Dixson and Donalda Nichols Dixson, Jean grew up in and around Terry, Montana where the family ranched and her father owned and operated the Yellowstone Bar for many years. She learned the lessons of hard work by caring for her younger siblings at an early age. She was graduated from Terry High School in 1948. During her high school years she worked at the hospital in Terry where her love of nursing began. She intended to go to Bozeman for her nursing degree but her life changed when she married Allen (Shorty) Cole the summer after graduation.
That union brought forth two children, Cynthia and Patrick. They divorced and Jean worked for her Dad at the Yellowstone Bar. In 1951 she married Paul Still who became father to Cynthia and Patrick as well as to Tom, Rebecca, Scott and Cecelia who arrived in that order. They lived in Terry and Eastern Montana where Paul worked in the oilfields for several years. The oilfields took them to numerous states and even to South America for a time. They moved to Oregon in the mid 1960’s and Paul became a commercial fisherman for many years. Jean worked in the plywood mill in Port Orford, Ore., before they moved to Astoria. In Astoria Jean continued nursing working mainly in the emergency room. She also was well respected in the fish canneries. She was pretty darned quick at shaking crab and she loved fishing for sturgeon.
After her youngest daughter was graduated from high school in Astoria, Jean achieved a degree in nursing and a lifelong dream was fulfilled when she graduated in nursing from Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington in 1980. After her retirement from nursing and Paul’s retirement from fishing, they settled in Shady Cove, Ore., to be near their daughter, Rebecca. It was here that Jean came to be family to a group of quilters and friends that we can only wish we all had.
Jean had friends wherever she lived. She was a loving and compassionate mother, grandmother, sister, wife and friend to many. She adopted many ‘daughters’ and ‘sons’ in her life bringing love and warmth to all those around her. She quietly helped in hundreds of ways whenever she could. She loved her family and nursed them through life’s ups and downs. She was a teacher in the true sense of the word. She had many sayings she used but one that comes back often is — if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all. She lived that motto. She loved quilting, especially charity quilts, gardening, fishing, rafting, playing softball, visiting her children and their families, reading, working crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, doing soduko, and playing dice and cards with friends and family! She loved spending time in Maui, Hawaii when she could. Her laugh was often enjoyed by all of us. She was a great storyteller and could entertain her children and friends with many adventures of her life such as riding to country school on a horse shared by siblings and stories about her beloved Mom and Pop Nichols (her grandparents). In the last several years she went to Montana for an annual quilt retreat driving with some of her adopted daughters each January telling them stories the whole way to and from.
Jean is survived by her siblings Don Dixson (Carol), Stanford, MT; Nick Dixson (Sheila), Roundup, MT; Lorin Dixson, Charleston, OR; Margaret Ann (Mike) Cunningham, New London, Texas; her daughters Cynthia (Duane) Spethman, Potomac, MT; Rebecca (David) Peterson, Gold Hill, OR; Cecelia (Bruce) Johnson, Astoria, OR; and her sons Patrick (Tammy) Cole, Salmon, ID; Tom (Linda) Still, Payette, ID; Scott (Georgia) Still, Astoria, OR and her grandchildren Amy, Kynan, Kelly, Neil, Michelle, Scott, Tommy, Paul, Destiny, Trevor, Christopher, Abbie, Daniel, and her many great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her father George and her mother Donalda; her husband, Paul; her brothers, Steve (Tiemie) and Dale, and by her sister, Vera (Lady).
The family wishes to extend sincere thanks to her many friends, to Hospice, to the staff at Astoria Infusion Center and to both Dr. Aaron & Dr. Truman Sasaki and their staff.
In honor of a much loved lady, a Pot Luck Oyster Feed to celebrate her life will be held April 26th from 2 – 4 pm in Shady Cove, Oregon at the home of Doug and Jan Johnson. Another Pot Luck Oyster Feed will be held in Astoria, Oregon on May 31st at the Astoria Moose Lodge following the dedication of plaques honoring Mom and Dad at the Maritime Memorial Park (3:00 pm).
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to our mother’s quilt guild, The Material Girls (a 501 C-3 organization) for batting to make hospital donation quilts, Mom’s favorite charity project. Donations in her name may be mailed to Material Girls – PO BOX 164 – Trail, OR 97541.
Published March 5, 2014