Dixie Holder was born March 12, 1939, in Lakeview, Oregon. She was the younger of two children. Dixie was a single mother of three children: two girls, Laura and Cindy, and one boy, Michael. She often had to work two jobs to make ends meet so her children would have the things they needed. She tried to go back to school to further her education so she could obtain a better job, but the bills demanded attention and feeding her family came first. She was never able to finish her training. When her children were old enough, they got married, had children of their own and divorced. The girls wanted to go to school to get an education, but money was in short supply. Dixie insisted they try, and although she had very little money, she helped when she could to get her older-than-average students through college. She would babysit during night classes, pay a light bill, or just listen—whatever she could do.
She encouraged her oldest, Laura, to complete Army ROTC and finish her career as an officer. Dixie later developed lupus vasculitis and rheumatoid arthritis and was confined to a wheelchair. Even though she was often in pain from her medical problems, Dixie spent most of her time helping others get through their troubles. She listened, encouraged and provided hugs as needed.
Dixie’s proudest moments were when her children each graduated from college. She knew that no matter what life threw at them, they could handle it. She was always a champion for the dedicated single parent trying to make a better life for his or her children. It is in her memory and honor we dedicate this scholarship to the older-than-average students, single parents, and ROTC prior service cadets.
The ROTC Endowed Scholarship Fund was established by Major Laura Garren and her sister, Cindy Garren, in honor of their mother, Dixie. Major Garren was commissioned through Army ROTC at Oregon State University after returning to school following active duty service in the military. Her National Guard assignments included a “return trip” to OSU where she served as recruiting officer for the Army ROTC detachment. She served as an inspiration and role model to the young students in the program. Cindy received her degree as a para-opthalmic technician.