Obituary of Dixie Carroll Hefley Lovell

Harvey Douglas Funeral Home

Dixie Carroll Hefley Lovell was born on August 15, 1924 to Josephine Rodgers Carroll and James Henry Hefley Jr., the middle of three sisters, gave birth at home on Sixth Avenue NW, to the legendary Dr. Walter Hardy. She died on January 13, 2022, at the age of 97, being cared for by the human and dog angels of Cross Timbers Hospice. She attended Franklin School, took dance from Betty Brown and piano from Mrs. Ringer, watched elephants parade through Northern Washington to the circus grounds, planned to flee to Hollywood with Billie Grieder and Patricia Williams, was chased by a cow along 11th Avenue NW and cycled into the countryside (directly north of 12th Avenue NW!) for a sunrise breakfast. On her way to and from Ardmore Junior and Senior High—in fact, all her life—she stopped and made a wish by the plane tree opposite the small grocery store on B Street NW. In high school, she earned a short pocket money installing and maintaining peanut machines in local businesses, but was relieved when her father took over the business.

During World War II, she was a volunteer Red Cross auxiliary nurse and, along with her college roommates, worked for a day as Rosie the Riveter at Tinker Field – realizing that their help could sink the war effort. While studying at the University of Oklahoma, she worked in the university library. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in letters and started her first full-time job, as a proofreader at the Daily Ardmoreite (yes, there was such a job back then), followed by a job as a high school English teacher in Yampa, Colorado, where she lived in a guest house. She accepted the job unseen because of her dream of going to the mountains. She soon landed in Denver, where she lived with the YWCA and worked in the Denver Public Library’s Western History Collection. On weekends, she walked with a walking club—and sometimes with a lover, the naturalist and lexicographer Charles Julien Lovell, who would catch the train to Chicago. They married in Chicago in 1947, built a house they called “The Strawberry Patch” one block from the Willow Springs Woods, and raised 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 the Pestalozzi Froebel Teachers College in Chicago, intending to give teaching another try. She returned to Ardmore in 1961 with her two children and attended Southeastern State College and Oklahoma State University. But after a semester teaching English in high school at Apache and a semester teaching second grade at Fox, for the rest of her career, except for her last job, as a secretary, she worked as a librarian and did 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 a librarian for the Pollock Paper Company and later a Talking Books librarian for the Dallas County Library, located in a building connected to the one where Jack Ruby had been imprisoned. When she returned to Ardmore to help her elderly parents, she returned to the Chickasaw Multi-County Library as a reference librarian. She withdrew from mental health care in South Oklahoma.

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

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

During her life, she hiked in the American and Canadian Rocky Mountains, saw migrating monarch butterflies swarming trees in a forest outside Chicago, and hugged Leo Buscaglia, “Dr. Hug.” She survived the 1960s 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 life in Ardmore Village, touring, attending plays at the Ardmore Little Theater and art shows at the Goddard Center, marveling at the Canada Geese roaming Lake Murray and in the city , and before everything fell silent, she went for Saturday breakfast, alternating between Mac’s Café and McDonald’s, and for Sunday dinner after church with Dorothy Benson. She could still recite lines of poetry she had memorized as a girl. Until almost the end of her life, she drank Dr. pepper. Most mornings she looked out and exclaimed, “What a beautiful morning!” She was awed by the beauty of trees that change throughout the year and the music of chirping birds, always asking, “I wonder what they’re saying.”

She was preceded in death by a young 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 are scattered in places that are meaningful to her. In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation 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, PO Box 1483, Ardmore, 73402; First United Methodist Church, 501 W. Main, Ardmore, 73401; of 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 enjoy good chocolate.

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

Posted online on January 14, 2022

Published in Daily Ardmoreite

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