Local leader remembered for supporting Kent State

Photo courtesy of the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier.

Photo courtesy of the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier.

Alicia Balog

A strong supporter of Kent State and of Portage County, Helen Westcott Dix, 96, died Wednesday at Robinson Memorial Hospital after years of declining health.

Helen Dix, described as having “boundless energy” and being “goal oriented” by her son, David Dix, publisher of the Record-Courier, helped found and lead several local organizations in Portage County, including the Kent State Journalism Alumni Association, the Kent League of Women Voters and the Blossom Music Center Women’s Committee. She

also supported other groups and institutions such as Kent State, Hiram College and Robinson Memorial Hospital with her time and money.

Born April 18, 1917, in Pittsburgh to John and Nellie (Salton) Westcott, Helen Dix was the oldest of three children in a family that moved around a lot.

After graduating from high school, she attended Kent State. David Dix said she graduated from Kent State with a master’s of business but loved newspapers. Though the university did not have a program at the time, it offered journalism classes, and she became one of the first female editors for the Daily Kent Stater.

After she graduated, she had an interview for the general-interest magazine, Look Magazine, in New York City, but Robert C. Dix, a pilot and her future husband, contacted her to meet him at the airport. He proposed, and she returned with him to Kent.

David Dix said sometime after she returned, she helped found the Kent State Journalism Alumni Association with guidance from William Taylor, the founder of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

During the 1990s, she served as Grand Marshal of the Kent State Homecoming parade and received several awards for her support of the university, including a Distinguished Alumni Award. In 1957, she received the William Taylor Award for helping found the Kent State Journalism Alumni Association. In 2004, she received the KSU Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2007, Kent State celebrated the then-90-year-old Helen Dix’s birthday and awarded her the University Medallion.

She was “loving but unforgiving of sloth, of laziness” and always motivated her five children to do their best, said David Dix. She was a hard worker and a great role model for her children.

David Dix said he will miss her, but she had a lot of wonderful memories and was in pretty good shape for most of her life.

“Her life will be in our memory as long as we live,” David Dix said.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert C. Dix, publisher of the Record-Courier, in 1996.

She is survived by her five children, seven grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and seven step-great-grandchildren.

A memorial service for Helen Dix will be Saturday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. at the United Methodist Church of Kent and will be followed by a reception for friends.

Contact Alicia Balog at [email protected].