Cover photo for Dixie Smith's Obituary
Dixie Smith Profile Photo

Dixie Smith

February 5, 1940 — June 26, 2024

Dixie Smith

Surrounded by her family, Dixie Lee Bridgers Smith went to be with the Lord on June 26, 2024. She was born in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico on February 5, 1940. Her parents Emil Carl and Janice Bridgers moved to Kingsville when she was five years old and Dixie attended school at Flato Elementary, Memorial Middle School, H.M. King High School and then Texas A&I University.

After marrying her high school sweetheart, Rollin Smith, she started her teaching career in Lyford, Texas when Rollin, an Ag teacher at Lyford ISD, mentioned the school district needed a 2nd grade teacher. Hesitant at first, she accepted the position and began a long and fulfilling career in educating young children. Her path in education then led her to Ricardo School where she began to teach Kindergarten and dedicated herself to her profession. Her passion for teaching and innate skill with children led her to be deemed a leader in the field of early childhood education where she mentored countless student teachers who went on to lead their own classrooms. She had a gift for connecting with all children and they immediately responded to her love and devotion- “Dixie Smith was my all-time favorite teacher” - is a comment echoed by countless students that had the privilege to be in her classroom. In recognition of her talent, she received the Regional Teacher of the Year for ESC Region 2 and retired from teaching while at Driscoll ISD in 2001.

While in Lyford she had her first daughter Shelly. After moving to Ricardo, the Smith family added three more members: Jessica, Rollin Jr. (Buddy), and Abby. Dixie and Rollin were later blessed with a son-in-law, Joe Morales, and soon after the addition of granddaughters Jannah and Leah Morales. For all her professional success and achievement, her greatest pride and joy was always her beloved family. Dixie’s ease in connecting with people and loving others fueled her volunteer work with numerous groups including Friends of the Library, Teacher organizations, HM King high school reunion committees, Sunday School, Children’s Choir, Vacation Bible School, and Ladies Visitation Group for her church, First Baptist Church in Kingsville. There were no borders to Dixie’s love for children as she served on many mission trips with her church. She loved traveling and frequently made camping trips with her family and friends and had a “traveling group“of friends that journeyed all over Texas and the world. She also made annual trips to Fort Davis with her mother, sister, and brother that were highlights of her retired life. Closer to home, trips to the grocery store became long affairs of catching up with old friends and new throughout every aisle as she shopped for her family and provided a home cooked meal every night, all while being a full-time teacher. Her enchiladas and chicken fried steak were family favorites and adored by all. Her generous heart had her keep small gifts in her purse and car to hand out to people young and old that she thought needed a smile. She delighted in baking treats and goodies for any one or any group be they friend or stranger that had a special need for recognition - a birthday, a gathering and even acknowledging the Border Patrol units working on Christmas Day; all delivered with a smile. Her daily mission was to offer a kind word, small gift, or best of all a “Dixie hug” to encourage and brighten other people’s day. 

She is preceded in death by her father and mother Emil Carl and Janice Bridgers, her sister Arleene Bridgers Brady, her daughter Shelly Smith Morales, brother-in-law Crawford Smith, and great niece Briley Kaye Beaudoin. 

She is survived by her husband, Rollin Smith, three children, Rollin Jr. (Buddy), Jessica and Abby, son in law Joe Morales, granddaughters Jannah Morales and Leah Morales, her sister Emily Bridgers Wenzel, brother-in-law Casper Wenzel, her brother Richard Bridgers, sister-in-law Nancy Bridgers, brother-in-law Sammy Smith, and numerous cherished nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews. She is also survived by an extraordinary abundance of loving, lifelong friends who will never forget her. 

A celebration of life will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, at First Baptist Church, Kingsville, Texas. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider continuing Dixie’s legacy of love for children by contributing to South Texas Children’s Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dixie Smith, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

First Baptist Church Kingsville

312 W King Ave, Kingsville, TX 78363

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