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Dixie Lee Higgins Killen

Dixie Lee Higgins Killen, age 82, of Erwin, TN passed from this life, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 after a brief illness. Dixie was born in Erwin, the youngest of ten children of the late Bessie Elizabeth Harris Higgins and Claude Higgins. She grew up on Carolina Avenue and stayed there to care for her mother and family until marrying the love of her life, Howard Paul Killen of North Alabama. Together, their journey through life and their Christian values lead them on many adventures and wonderful places.

Dixie was a member of the First Families of Tennessee, an active church member and volunteer in every community she lived in. She is one of the founding members of the Alabama Songwriters Association and Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Dixie wrote and published several songs including Tennessee Times Together and Heal our Homeland. An avid runner, she and her husband created the Shoals Striders Running Association (now Florence Track Association), the first of its kind in the late seventies. Both of which continue to thrive with membership in the thousands more than thirty years later. Dixie enjoyed writing lyrics, poetry, and sketching. For many years she owned her own Greeting Card company known as Twin Images, for which she and her twin sister, Dorris Dean Jones, created all-occasion cards for twins.

Dixie’s faith in God’s plan for her brought joy in all she did. She was many wonderful things in her lifetime; mother, daughter, sister, wife, friend, and entrepreneur. Of all this, her quiet confidence as a woman and her independent nature truly defined the essence of her.

Dixie was very much a Lady. She will continue to be a blessing to all who knew her.

In addition to her parents, Dixie was preceded in death by her husband Howard Paul Killen; infant son Duncan Killen; sisters Dorris Dean Jones, Bette Ruth Bailey, Virginia Lanter, Dorothy Russo, Norma Randolph and infant sister Nancy Higgins; brothers R. B. Higgins, Woodrow Higgins, Reverend George “Pud” Higgins and Smith Higgins.

Dixie leaves behind to cherish her memory a beloved daughter, Elizabeth Killen West; son-in-law Daryl Floyd West; grandson Holland Aiche Killen West; brother-in-law Dr. Duncan Arnold Killen; Nieces Pat Peterson and Gina Jones Powell; nephews Kyle Powell, Michael Powell as well as a multitude of other beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, family, and friends.

Services will be held at Valley Funeral Home in Erwin, Saturday, February 22nd with Visitation beginning at noon. The funeral service will begin at 1pm with Dr. Bob Gray officiating. Burial will follow immediately after at Evergreen Cemetery.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at  HYPERLINK “” or on Facebook at These arrangements are made especially for the family and friends of Dixie Lee Higgins Killen through Valley Funeral Home, 1085 N. Main Ave., Erwin, 423-743-9187.