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Gert Dixon

Gertrude Dixon's Eulogy

She touches your life
And you're never the same,
A force to be reckoned with
And Gert was her name.

Red lipstick - no frills
But neat as a pin,
Bingo and Windancer
Were games she could win.

She spoke quite freely and said what she felt,
In the card game of life
She played the hand she was dealt.

A beautiful woman
In so many ways,
"Unique and disarming"
Is the memory that stays.

She and John welcomed all
Who came to their door,
A great cook - she could always
Find room for one more.

The students on meal plans
Loved her humor and wit,
A brand new bestseller
Was her reason to sit.

Worldly possessions
Did not measure her life,
Her treasures were family
Friends and being a wife.

Banter and laughter
Were the ways she would cope,
But when John passed away
She lost most of her hope.

Now, she is with him
And they have peace at last,
Just another reminder
That life flies by fast.

-- Denise Keup (Gert's niece)
July 2006

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St. Norbert College mourns the loss of Gert Dixon

For 25 years, rain or shine, Gert Dixon greeted students, faculty, staff and guests of the cafeteria with her own grace and style. Dixon, who worked in Dining Services, died June 19, 2006, at the age of 75.

“Oh, the stories she could tell,” said Ruth Johnson (Auxiliary Services). “She could endear herself to complete strangers with her wit and charm. If Gert missed a shift, people would ask where she was.”

Before she actually knew Dixon, Linda Vandeloo (Dining Services) remembers starting work in the cafeteria. A large number of students came running up to her asking where Gert was. Little did Vandeloo know that Dixon was actually an “item” on the freshman Leadership, Service and Involvement orientation scavenger hunt—the students had to get their pictures taken with her. The only thing is, no one had told students Dixon worked nights, so they would camp out just to get a picture with her.

To many, she was a grandmother at their home away from home. "She was like the Mr. Rogers of St. Norbert," said Emiko Shekem '07.

“The kids loved her because she would break the rules for them just enough to not overstep her bounds as an employee, but really to take care of them—like punching in their ID numbers instead of swiping their ID cards (a big no-no),” said Mary Jo Morris, director of Dining and Conference Services.

Alumni and staff members like John Seckel ’96 (Campus Center) remember how she cared for them individually when she stopped by their desks to tell them when their favorite foods were on the cafeteria menu—Seckel’s favorite was London broil.

Dixon is survived by her four children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, John.

“She touches your life and you’re never the same, a force to be reckoned with, and Gert was her name,” were words Dixon’s niece, Denise Keup, read at her funeral. The full poem is displayed at left.

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