Cover photo for Dixie Lee (Grossnickle)  Ihnken's Obituary
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Dixie Lee (Grossnickle) Ihnken

February 23, 1936 — April 30, 2024

Elkhart, IN

Dixie Ihnken, 88, of Elkhart, IN passed away on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at Greenleaf Health Campus. Dixie was born on February 23,1936 to Morris G. and Cassie Grossnickle at home in North Manchester, IN. She married Richard “Dean” Ihnken on April 7, 1956, at the Lutheran Church in South Bend, IN, who preceded her in death on December 16, 2022.

Dixie graduated from South Bend Central High School. She earned her master’s in education from Indiana University South Bend. She loved kids and taught fourth grade for many years, before retiring from Pinewood Elementary School in Elkhart, IN.  Dixie and Dean enjoyed traveling, especially with their children. Dixie had a green thumb and liked growing flowers and tomatoes in her back yard.  She was creative and enjoyed drawing, doing needlework, and knitting for her favorite people and pets.

Dixie was outgoing and loved meeting people; she made a habit of making lifelong friends, and her favorite times were spent laughing with those she loved. Dixie and Dean were members of Grace Lutheran Church in Elkhart for over 60 years.  Dixie was looking forward to reuniting with Dean and her family, friends, and pets who are waiting for her in heaven.

Dixie is survived by her children Michelle (Jeff) Russell of Ohio and Michael Ihnken of Illinois, her brother-in-law Gene Ihnken, and sister-in-law Sally Grossnickle and several nieces and nephews and cousins. Dixie was preceded in death by her brother William “Bill” Grossnickle.

The family wishes to thank the staff of Greenleaf Health Campus who loved and cared for her over the past 8 years,  They would also like to thank Heartland Hospice for their compassionate care for the past 2 years.

Visitation will be from 10 AM-12 PM on Saturday, May 11, 2024, at Grace Lutheran Church, 831 West Marion Street, Elkhart, IN 46516 where Sister Nora Frost will officiate. Funeral services will be held at noon at the church. Burial will follow at Olive Cemetery in Elkhart. Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home, 1531 Cobblestone Blvd., Elkhart, IN 46514 is assisting Dixie’s family. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Grace Lutheran Church, PO Box 851, Elkhart, IN 46515 or Faith Mission of Elkhart, 801 Benham Ave., Elkhart, IN 46516 or Humane Society of Elkhart County, 54687 CR 19, Bristol, IN 46507 Online condolences may be made at


Grace Lutheran Church
PO Box 851, Elkhart IN 46515

Faith Mission of Elkhart
801 Benham Avenue, Elkhart IN 46516

Humane Society of Elkhart County
54687 County Road 19, Bristol IN 46507
Tel: 1-574-848-4225

To send flowers to the family in memory of Dixie Lee (Grossnickle) Ihnken, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Saturday, May 11, 2024

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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