Dixie Claire (Shawver) Kanago was born to Cecil and Daisy (Richards) Shawver on June 20, 1922 in Pleasantville, IA. She grew up on the family farm in rural Knoxville, IA with her four older sisters. While Dixie was an active participant in all of family farm life, she especially enjoyed helping her dad raise black angus cattle. She was a member of the local 4-H Club where she showed cattle at the county and state fairs, winning Reserve Grand Champion Baby Beef at the Iowa State Fair in 1940.
Dixie graduated from Knoxville High School in 1939 and then attended college to pursue degrees in Christian Education and Elementary Education. This included 1 year at Cotner College in Lincoln, NE, 1 year at Drake University in Des Moines, IA, and 2 years at the University of Northern Iowa (then known as Iowa State Teachers’ College) in Cedar Falls, IA. She taught Kindergarten in Dinsdale, Lake Park, and Spencer, Iowa.
On December 20, 1952 Dixie married Eldon Kanago in Fremont, NE and the couple made their home in Spencer where they raised their three children (Kristi, Bryce, and Kerwin) and lived for the remainder of their lives.
Dixie was a member of the First Baptist Church in Spencer and was active in Christian education for many years as she practiced and shared her faith with others. Her Christian faith and trust in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior was the foundation of everything she did.
Dixie had many interests and talents including music, writing, art, cooking, gardening, bird-watching, fishing, and all things family. She enjoyed playing violin in a string trio with sisters Jo and Billie. She wrote poetry and regularly had her poems included in the Iowa Lyrical Iowa’s annual poetry contest publication. Her love of birding fit well with her husband’s love of photography so they developed a slide show that Dixie enjoyed presenting in area classrooms and clubs over many years. Her love of fishing included teaching her children and grandchildren, and a couple of trips to Canada with niece and nephew Gwen and Greg Hoekstra. Everything Dixie pursued was done with attention to and inclusion of others, learning from and enjoyment of the experience, and a lot of laughter.
Dixie was thrilled (as was her family) to celebrate her 100th birthday on June 20, 2022 with a weekend of food, music, family, and friends.
Dixie passed quickly and quietly from this life on August 29th in Spencer, Iowa.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Eldon; sisters Maurine Glenn, Jenny Harsin, Billie Hoekstra, and Josephine Black; and infant brother Cecil Leroy Shawver.Left to celebrate her life and carry on her love for and connection to family are children Kristi and Chris Miller of Minneapolis, MN; Bryce and Nona Kanago of Cedar Falls, IA; Kerwin and Terry Kanago of Tucson, AZ; grandchildren Julia and Aaron Ramsey, Meredith and Cory Zwyno, Matthew Frey, David and Allison Frey, Anthony and Katie Kanago, Timo Miller, Samu and Justine Miller, Matti and Katie Miller; great-grandchildren Nolan Ramsey, Elsie Frey, Alexander Zwyno, Finn Miller and (due in February 2023) Emmi Sophia Miller; cherished nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.
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