Dixie L. (Barker) Barksdale passed away Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 in Payson, Utah. Barksdale had raised a family in Moab, owned and operated a radio station, developed as a professional economic specialist and served many civic, church, government and political roles for local and statewide benefit.
Barksdale was born May 25, 1930 in Elsinore, Utah to Fawn Lenore (Braithwaite) and Aaron Glen Whitney. She was widowed. She married Dwain C. Barker In Provo in June 1950, and had four children (divorced 1979). She married Bruce Warren Barksdale in Richfield in October 1980. They lived in Provo, Price and Moab. Her second husband died in May 1998. Both her husbands had served in World War II.
In December 2007, Barksdale moved to Payson for advanced medical care and enjoyed being in Utah Valley, where she had grown up, attended Provo High School where she was the national award-winning editor-in-chief of the yearbook and graduated in 1948. She received early training in arts and teaching. After marrying, she lived in Tropic and then in Monticello where she had her first child. The family moved to Moab and both parents were employed teaching. As the Uranium Boom escalated in Moab, Barksdale gave birth to twin daughters, and in 1960 had a son.
The family purchased AM radio station KURA, and all the family earned licenses to participate on-air and worked at the station. The station sold in 1987.
Barksdale was active. She was in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, loved outdoor recreation and was passionate about ornamental gardening. Among the many key roles she played to benefit southern Utah was close involvement in development of girls recreation, and she prepared the grant that established the multi-cultural arts center in Blanding. She served as a Moab City Councilwoman, was president of the Moab Chamber of Commerce and was a development leader with the Grand County Travel Council, the Southeastern Utah Association of Governments, and Mountainland Association of Governments in Provo. She helped organize the first few years of the Jeep Safari and Friendship Cruise. She served for years by appointment of the governor to the State Industrial Board.
Dixie also worked for many years as a member of the Grand County Hospital Special Service District and the Moab Area Partnership for Seniors to help bring a new hospital facility to Moab.
Barksdale received many awards for her professional and public-service achievements, including the Rural Utah Lifetime Achievement Award from the Utah Center for Rural Life, SUU.
She was preceded in death by her parents, first and second husbands, her oldest daughter Cheryl Denise Barker, a brother who had died soon after birth, and another brother Burke Whitney who passed in 1999. She is survived by daughters Vicki Joan Barker and ViviAnn (Barker) Rose, of Moab; and a son, Whitney Dwain Barker of Los Angeles, Calif. She is also survived by her sister Francis Marie (Whitney) Oertle of Provo, Utah; and her youngest brother, Ronald Whitney, of Payson, Utah.
A private viewing in Utah Valley and arrangements for a memorial in Moab are pending. Please address questions to email: [email protected]