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Dixie Lee Dent

Sunday, January 2, 2022
Dixie Lee Dent

Dixie Lee Dent, the widow of Fred Duane Dent, Executive of the family owned Ennis Transportation Company, peacefully passed away on November 23, 2021.

Dixie Lee, the youngest of six children, was born Dixie Lee Crable on November 25,1935 in Memphis, Tennessee to parents William Everett Crable (1893- 1973) born in Omaha, Douglas county, Nebraska, and Anna Latzy Crable (1901-1977) born in West Homestead, Allegheny Pennsylvania.

Dixie Lee graduated from Humes High School in 1954. That same year, she was introduced to Army Private, Kjell Ove Nelson Jr of Chicago on a blind date when the then 20 year old private in the Korean War was on leave from his post in Germany.

In 1955, Dixie Lee Crable and Kjell Ove Nelson Jr were married and made their home together in Los Angeles. Kjell attended Pasadena City College at night while working during the day and Dixie pursued modeling at the renowned John Robert Powers Academy. They had seven children together and divorced in 1967.

In 1979, after raising her family, Dixie Lee and her youngest daughter Dawn Lee Nelson relocated to Ennis, Texas. On March 23, 1980, Dixie married Fred Duane Dent (also known as Uncle Fred by the Ennis Daily News for his infamous editorials), and for the next 18 years made their home together in Alma TX, in a house they built.

Though Dixie Lee always sought out a simpler lifestyle, as a young mother in the 1960’s raising her five children, she was light years ahead of other moms in the. neighborhood on her stances on nutrition, inequality and racism. In a statement given on behalf of the family, Ella Ann Nelson Dyer, the eldest daughter of Dixie Lee shared the following memories of her mother: “As children growing up with a single parent, one of the most important ideals she passed on to her children was that love has no room for prejudice adding that we were all God’s children, all created equal in His eyes. I often reflect on this and the indelible value this instilled in me and my siblings. It has served as our moral compass throughout our lives and I believe this was the single most important thing she taught us. Sixty plus years later I can’t help but smile and thank her for her wisdom, especially faced with today’s current environment, her words could not be more poignant or relevant.”

Dixie Lee was preceded in death by her husband, Fred Duane Dent, of Ennis TX (d. April 20, 1998); sister, Charlotte Ann Crable Wilder of Memphis TN (d. 2008); brother, William Everett Crable Jr, of Dallas TX (d. 2009); sister, Betty Jean Crable Judd of Jupiter FL (d. 1978); sister, Patsy Ann Crable Behne of Ennis TX (d. 2016); brother inlaw, Dr Eugene Behne of Ennis TX (2012); sister, Gloria Mae Crable of Houston TX (d. 2020); daughters, twin baby girls Los Angeles CA (d. April 15, 1959); eldest son, Kjell Ove Nelson lll of Rancho Palos Verdes CA (d. July 15, 2017).

Dixie Lee is survived by her eldest daughter, Ella Ann Nelson Dyer of Atlanta GA and Nice, France (Joseph Townsend Dyer); son, Louis Edwin Nelson of Los Angeles CA ( Carol Irving Nelson); daughter, Caroline Nelson of Los Angeles CA; daughter, Dawn Lee Nelson Morrow of Celina TX (Thomas Joseph Spaniel) (Christopher Todd Morrow). Granddaughters, Tricia Nelson of Atlanta GA; Sarah Jo Spaniel Hoegger of Scotland TX (Jeffrey Blake Hoegger); grandson, Nelson Todd Morrow of Austin TX; granddaughter, Grace Ann Morrow of Celina TX; grandson, Nathan Todd Morrow of Lubbock TX and great grandchildren, Aubree Kate Hoegger; Addilyn Grace Hoegger and baby twins Abbigail Jo Hoegger and Granger Pete Hoegger of Scotland TX.

Dixie Lee will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at Myrtle Cemetery in Ennis Texas next to her late husband, Fred Duane Dent.