Life Story Celebration
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
11:00 AM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
A reception will follow where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
1:30 PM EDT
Marcellus, MI 49067
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Shriners Hospitals for Children
PO Box 947765
Atlanta, GA 30394
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A resourceful, creative, and intelligent man, Forrest Dixon lived a life rich in family and friends. A man who never met a stranger, Forrest would talk to anybody; if he had somebody to talk to, he was happy. Forrest loved to learn, whether by book or from others. He confidently met life’s challenges and was willing to try new things, sure of his abilities to learn and adapt as needed. Whether fishing, farming, flying, or woodworking, Forrest embraced every moment as a gift. A devoted husband, father, and friend, Forrest will long be remembered and so very missed.
One of seven children, Forrest was born on February 11, 1931 in Grand Ledge, Michigan. He grew up in an active family. The family was poor during the Depression, which led to Forrest developing an appreciation for the simple pleasures in life and a resourcefulness that served him well over his life. He often brought rabbits, turtles, and frog legs home for food, was in the Boy Scouts, and had a paper route. He loved to swim and even swam all the way across Jordan Lake as a teenager. Forrest’s dad owned an excavating company where Forrest worked for a short time.
At the age of 17, Forrest voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Korea, where he learned just how cold it can get. Though he earned five Bronze Stars for his service, Forrest was saddened throughout his life by the friends he lost in the war, and the events he experienced.
After returning home, Forrest worked several different jobs, including as a machinist, truck driver, and farmer. He worked for Fuller Manufacturing as a machinist making truck transmissions, but he preferred using his creative talent to make things at home. He was an amazing woodworker and crafted many tables, lamps, a gun cabinet, and gifts for family and friends. Many hours were spent honing this skill in his workshop which was outfitted with all the tools and machines needed to turn a blank piece of wood into a beautiful work of art.
Life forever changed for Forrest when one of his fellow workers introduced him to his sister, Ellen Martini. The couple dated for a time and married on July 2, 1955. The newlyweds took a fishing trip in Canada for their honeymoon. Ellen wasn’t too thrilled when she got sunburned to a crisp, but their love and excitement quickly overcame that.
Forrest grew up in the city but decided to move his family to a farm when his sons, Ron and Tim, were young. With a “can-do” attitude, he did everything he could to be successful. He often spoke with other farmers in the community and studied books on farming. He could fix and do anything he set his mind to; his son Tim has the same skills. For many years, Forrest successfully farmed his property, raising crops, pigs, and cattle. One year, he planted wheat in a field that was all thistles before he and Ron plowed it. Unfortunately, the wheat all got flattened and ruined by strong winds. This was when he told his son Ron to go to school instead of becoming a farmer. Once, his son Tim helped him plow a field, plowing it all in the wrong direction without anyone noticing until he was almost done. His sons learned a lot from their dad, and clearly understood why he encouraged them to get their education.
Encouraging his love of flight, Ellen bought Forrest a single-engine airplane. He went to flight school, earned his pilot’s license, and began soaring to new adventures. He stored the plane at the farm and used the field as his runway. He often flew to Grand Ledge to visit his mom and made short flights with Ellen for a fun dinner date. Forrest also enjoyed riding his motorcycle and made the trip to Sturgis, South Dakota, for the motorcycle rally a couple of times.
When not working, Forrest enjoyed hunting, fishing, and reading. He was very proud when he was lucky enough to shoot a buck and enjoyed taking his kids fishing in Canada. He and Tim made the trip every spring. He also went to Lake of the Woods in Minnesota. Forrest always had a book nearby in his later years; he especially enjoyed reading Westerns. His family would buy him books on Amazon, and within days, he would have them read and need more material. His son Ron shared his dad’s love for reading.
Though the world feels less certain in the absence of Forrest’s steadfast companionship, may we find comfort in our many treasured memories of the fine man we were so blessed to know. May we also find comfort in the honor of carrying Forrest’s legacy of integrity, creativity, and kindness forward. Whenever we welcome opportunities to learn, greet a stranger as a friend, meet the day with confidence and gratitude, and share an adventure with our sweetheart, we celebrate all the ways Forrest made the world a better place. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he inspired us.
Forrest Dixon, of Marcellus, age 92, passed peacefully at Select Specialty Hospitals in Battle Creek, MI, on September 30, 2023, of Pneumonia. Forrest is survived by two sons, Ronald B. Dixon (Kandy) and Timothy A. Dixon (Gail), and one surviving brother, Larry Dixon. Forrest was preceded in death by his loving wife, Ellen R. (Martini) Dixon, on July 11, 2000; his parents, Forrest and Erma Dixon; three sisters and two brothers.
A Life Story Celebration will be held Wednesday, October 4 at 11 AM at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Homes, 60900 M40, Paw Paw 269-657-3870. A reception with food and beverages will follow. Burial at Howardsville Cemetery. Visit Forrest’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories and photos and sign his guestbook. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children.