Dixie Ann Walter August 16, 1940 - October 9, 2021
Dixie Ann Walter of Eatonville, age 81, devoted wife, mother and grandmother, passed on from this life on Saturday, October 9, 2021. Dixie was born August 16, 1940 in Eatonville at the home of her grandparents, Otto and Anne Christensen Haynes, daughter of Ruby Haynes and Richard Welch. Dixie was born in her grandfather Otto’s smoking room.
Ruby soon re-married, to Donovan Rulien, an officer in the Army Air Corps. Dixie’s first 19 years were spent living in cities, towns and on military bases throughout the U.S. Her gregarious nature made it easy for her to adjust to each new school, becoming fast friends with new classmates and neighbors after each move. By the time Dixie graduated from high school, she had attended some 22 schools. Her favorite location during those early years was Puerto Rico, where she loved exploring the warm, tropical beaches and communing with the wildlife.
She graduated from Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Nebraska in 1958, soon making her last major move with her new husband, Les, and their infant daughter, Leslie, back to Eatonville, where she would live for the next 62 years.
Dixie became a chronicler of all aspects of life in Eatonville as a newspaper columnist, reporter and editor, and fought fiercely to protect Eatonville from trouble wherever it loomed. Though she never attended journalism school, Dixie was a natural writer and instinctive news reporter with an insatiable curiosity, who covered stories ranging from white supremacy, to local crime, to community events and politics. An anthology of Dixie’s columns from The South Pierce County Dispatch and later EatonvilleNews.net will be available in 2022 in book form.
She met her second husband, Bob, in 1975 at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. They were married August 15, 1981. Dixie is survived by her husband of 40 years, Bob Walter, her daughter Leslie Anne Shore Ph.D, son-in-law Stan Shore, her grandson Teal B. Shore, her granddaughter Anne Shore, and brother Don Rulien. She was preceded in death by her mother Ruby Rulien, her step-father, Col. Donovan Rulien, USAF, Ret., and her sister Dona Rulien Jones. There will be a small graveside ceremony by invitation only. A celebration of Dixie’s life will be held at the Eatonville Eagles Hall, Halloween Sunday, Oct. 31st, 2021 starting at 3 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the South Pierce County Historical Society, PO Box 1966, Eatonville, WA 98328.
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