Oldham, Dixie Lay (Mrs. John)


March 16, 1914 - Jan. 3, 2003
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.”
Isaiah 43:1b

Dixie Lay Oldham was born March 16, 1914 in Kilbourne, Louisiana. She was a graduate of Kilbourne High School and attended Northwestern State University. Her husband, Reverend John Robert Oldham, preceded her in death. Two daughters, Pamela Oldham Guagliardo and Constance Oldham Nesbit; a foster daughter, Billie Blouin; two sons, R. Warren Oldham and Henry L. Oldham; two sisters, Verdice Matheny and Norma Russell; 14 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren survive her. Dixie died January 3, 2003 in Baton Rouge as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. She was a member of Retired Minister’s Spouses, Broadmoor New Spirit Sunday School Class, Statewide Youth Ministry, Broadmoor’s Prime O’ Life, and Kairos Prison Ministry.
Dixie and John were charter members of Broadmoor United Methodist Church and were very active until John felt the call to ministry. He was appointed to Grand River in the Baton Rouge District and they served there for 17 years before being appointed to the Bernice/Beech Grove/Summerfield Charge. After three years there, they served the Doyline/Sibley charge until John’s retirement. They lived in Bernice for several years before returning to Baton Rouge and to Broadmoor United Methodist Church.
They were known for years for their work in youth camps at Istrouma as well as at several statewide experiences. Dixie was best known for her creative crafts and craft activities. Someone once said that Ms. Dixie could make anything with a pinecone and a piece of string. Dixie never realized the impact she had on so many lives. She showed such selfless, sacrificial, forgiving love that all God’s children were drawn to her, whether as the “mother” of the Gospel choir or at a Kairos weekend. Her sweet smile, her poise, her youthfulness and her wisdom were all a part of what made Dixie so special.
She loved to sing and was a member of the Broadmoor Gospel Choir and the Broadmoor Saints Alive Choir. At the families’ request, the Gospel choir sang at her funeral, which was a true celebration of her life. Dr. Robert Burgess commented that Dixie’s funeral was the first one he had ever officiated where a set of drums was played and the choir received a standing ovation!
Dixie said that she never had much to leave her children in the way of inheritance. But her children and all who knew her would say that she left them with something far more valuable – an example of how to love by word and deed and how to live as a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

Source: Journal Louisiana Conference 2003 (Memoirs)

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