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Dixie Lee (Hellenga) Ackley

July 10, 1948 ~ August 1, 2018 (age 70)
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Dixie Lee Ackley passed away in the early morning hours of August 1, 2018. She was born in Centralia, Washington in July 1948 to Dean and Bette (Hardcastle) Hellenga.  As a child, her father pastored Nazarene churches in central California, so she attended school in many different places in the Marysville and Stockton areas.  In 1964, just after the Alaska earthquake, Dixie’s family, including her sister Linda (McConnel) and brother, Bruce (Hellenga) moved to Ketchikan, Alaska for her father to pastor the church there. While in Ketchikan another brother, Art (Hellenga) was added to their family.   In 1966, Dixie graduated from Ketchikan, High School (‘KayHi’) and enrolled as a student in Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho. 

In the summer of 1967, Dixie married Richard Ackley, and the first of their two daughters, Melody, was born in 1969.  Heidi followed three years later in 1972, with the family moving from Ketchikan to Anchorage, Alaska shortly after.  After working for a number of medical offices, Dixie graduated from the University of Alaska, Anchorage with a degree in Elementary Education. She went on to teach grades Kindergarten, first, second, and third grades in the Anchorage School District for the next eight years.

When both of her daughters were enrolled in NNC/NNU, Dixie moved out of Alaska to Nampa, Idaho where she statred volunteering on the campus of NNU first in the office of student development.  Later, she actually started working part-time in the Admissions office where she retired in February of 2015.

The love of Dixie’s life were her daughters and son’s in law, Melody and Anton Lotter and Ron and Heidi Curtis and her four grandchildren Abbey and Noah Lotter and Bradley and Maddie Curtis.  There was not a bigger cheerleader at baseball games, tennis matches, swim meets, and choir and band concerts than Grammie.  Anyone who met her would have heard either about one of the kids or grandkids, probably more than once. 

The family would like to say a special thanks to friends and extended family for helping us care for Mom throughout the years.  Also, to her beloved doctors Dr. Loveless, Dr. Dee, Dr. Poole, and Dr. Stritzke, thank you for keeping her moving through years of Rheumatoid Arthritis.  A special thank you to the doctors, nurses, and staff at St. Luke’s Nampa for their tender care over the past few weeks. 

Services will be held on Friday, August 3, at 2:00 PM at College Church of the Nazarene in Nampa.  In lieu of flowers, friends can donate to youth missions at College Church of the Nazarene or to Northwest Nazarene University. Arrangements are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel where an online guest book is available at

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