Dixie Smith Hunting was born in October 1929 and raised in Iona during the depression years. Times were really tough! Children worked alongside their parents bringing in every penny they could to help make a living. Dixie learned at a very young age how to work hard and how to serve friends and neighbors. Many in this community have been the recipient of her giving heart.
Dixie married Dean Hunting in 1952, and they made Iona their home in which they would raise their family. She loves Iona. Dixie was always involved in the community in one way or another. She was asked to be a Den Mother for a Cub Scout group of five boys, ages ten and eleven. This bunch of boys had been through four leaders in as many months. She had her work cut out for her. She told them that if they would each memorize the [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints] Articles of Faith she would buy them each a Scout knife. They settled down and got to work, each earning their prized knife. She also took them fishing, and taught them many skills. She had a gift for teaching youth.
Dixie was also involved with her church’s girl’s camp program. She was the ward and stake leader for over ten years in Iona. She has been a huge influence for good for many young women at a crossroads in their lives. She was so fun and always had a joke to make them laugh. She made lifelong friends as she served in this capacity.
Dixie has been a local driving force in equality. One year, Dixie coached a little league team her son was on. People laughed at the idea and reality of a woman coach. The other coaches gave her a hard time. Her team consisted of all of the second-cut boys. She practiced them up, worked with them, and taught them how to play the game. She had played on a championship women’s fast pitch softball team, the Idaho Falls Rockettes, for many years and knew the game well. This little league team went on to beat out all the other teams that year, much to the chagrin of the other coaches!
In more recent years, Dixie asked the Iona Mayor at the time, Brad Andersen, why there wasn’t a Veterans Memorial in Iona. He said that no one would do it. Dixie said she would do it and gladly took on the enormous task. Dixie has a deep love for her country and its military veterans. This was a personal ministry for her. She worked countless hours collecting all of the veteran’s names and information. She was able to get most of the information from the Iona History Book, Volume I. She worked to raise the money for the granite stones along with engraving them and having them placed. Now the community of Iona has a really nice Veterans Memorial of which they can be proud.
At over 93 years old, Dixie is a fine example of one who loves her community and has served it well to make it a great place to live. She embodies the heart in “Iona, the Small City with a Big Heart,” and would make a great Grand Marshall for the Iona Days parade.