Nature 29

Dixie Rae (Hermanson) Klostrich

August 12, 1948 ~ February 4, 2024 (age 75) 75 Years Old

Dixie Klostrich Obituary

Dixie Rae Hermanson Klostrich, 75, passed away on February 4, 2024, at Lincoln Court Memory Care in Idaho Falls, Idaho. 

Dixie was born in Williston, North Dakota, to Herman and Lois (Sundby) Hermanson on August 12, 1948. She lived in Glasgow, Montna, until 1962 when she and her family moved to West Yellowstone, Montnan. She often spoke about riding the school bus 55 miles each way to Ashton, Idaho, where she graduated from since there was not a high school in West Yellowstone at that time. After a short move to California to live with an aunt and uncle, she returned to West Yellowstone. While working at Chet’s Café in West Yellowstone, she met Mike. He was working at the barber shop two doors down and would come in for a cup of coffee and leave her a $1 tip. They were married on June 1, 1968, at Our Lady of The Pines Catholic Church. Kelly came along on June 16, 1970, and was truly their greatest joy in life from the day she was born. Dixie managed the State Liquor Store and had her mom work with her until she and Mike bought the Running Bear Pancake House in 1980. She ran the restaurant by herself, and Mike joined her in 1994 after selling the barber shop. The Running Bear was Dixie’s baby. She took a lot of pride in creating the menu and more than anything, took great pride in the cleanliness of the restaurant. So many customers over the years would comment how clean she kept it. Dixie was not afraid to work! She learned and worked every aspect of the business. Dixie was the oldest of seven and she definitely had the leadership skills. Her family was especially important to her and her favorite holiday to host was Thanksgiving. Being Mike’s wife made her always ready for an adventure, whether it was a hike, a bike ride, a boat ride, or a snowmobile race. They were able to travel a lot and made several great trips with friends both in the US, Europe, and Mexico.  Dixie and Mike owned the Running Bear Pancake House from 1980 until 2012 when Matt and Kelly talked them into retirement, and they took over the business. In 2012, Mike and Dixie decided to trade the snowmobiles in for a golf cart and became snowbirds at River View RV Park in Bullhead City, Arizona. Her new passion became golf, and they thoroughly enjoyed their home on the golf course. They made many friends and enjoyed golfing, dancing, and all the socials. They joined the activities committee, and she was in heaven when she was able to entertain and make food for all the gatherings. Dixie loved music and even more so loved to dance, especially with Mike. They were well known at River View for their dancing. But when Mike was done and ready to go, he would tell her, “Load up, let’s go!” She always gave him a fight and was never ready to leave the party. He would be honking the horn and waiting for her, as he started to do once again on January 29, 2024, when she went into hospice. Dixie battled Alzheimer’s for over 10 years and declined rapidly after Mike passed. She lived with Matt and Kelly until November 2023 and then moved into Lincoln Court. Her stay there was truly short, but wow, did she make an impression on all of her caregivers. We are so thankful for the amazing care and love they gave her. Dixie finally gave up the fight after she knew her grandson, Tristen, was back home safely in Washington with Abby and Willie on February 4, 2024. Mike honked the horn one last time and she is now once again dancing with him and free of all the pain she had. 

Dixie is survived by her one daughter, Kelly (Matthew) Burden of West Yellowstone, MT; grandchildren, Tristen (Abby) Burden, Kyle (Julie) Burden, Tara (Doug) Umnus, Cameron (Ashley) Burden, Rachael (Matt Leighton) Burden; 7 great grandchildren; her sisters, Kathy (John) McLaughlin, Cindy Saul, and Sherry Odle; brothers; Rocky (Ann) Hermanson and Robbie (Debby) Hermanson; brother-in-law, Duane (Judy) Klostrich; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 54 years, Mike; parents, Herman and Lois Hermanson; brother, Wayne Hermanson; brothers-in-law, Kal Saul, Ron Odle, and Vern Klostrich; sister in-law, Judy Hermanson; in-laws, Edwin and Catherine Klostrich; and niece, Roxanne (McLaughlin) White.

A funeral service will be held in West Yellowstone at Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church on February 24, 2024, at 1 p.m. Dixie joined the Catholic Church after she and Mike were married. They attended mass regularly both in West Yellowstone and Bullhead City.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church in memory of Dixie Klostrich (memorial fund).

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