Dixie Lee Panza
July 25, 1953 – November 17, 2010
Dixie Lee Thomas was born in Pineville, Kentucky on July 25, 1953. She was one of six children born from the union of the late Charles Edward Thomas and the late America (Hoskins) Thomas. At a young age the family moved to Michigan and she attended Annapolis Schools. In 1987 she met the love of her life Gino Panza, whom she married on October 3, 1988 in Toledo, Ohio.
Dixie worked for several different employers including the Cunningham Photo Lab, as a machine operator for FCI Interlock for ten years, and as a driver with her husband at Budget Car Rental. At Budget they traveled the country transferring vehicles from store to store. Working with Gino could be a challenge, but she had a great sense of humor, and she cherished the extra time she had to pick on him. At the end of the day they always made up and said “I Love You”.
She loved spending time with her family and loved children. She was passionate about flowers and purple was her favorite color. She had a green thumb and enjoyed working in the yard. She liked to share her knowledge about plants with others.
Dixie Lee Panza, age 57, of Newport passed away at 12:05am, Tuesday; November 17, 2010 under the care of Arbor Hospice and surrounded by her loving family. In addition to her parents her passing was preceded by a sister: Robin D. Garcia-Auguirre on December 26, 2009, her mother-in-law: Doris Panza; and two sisters-in-law: Becky Lucille Panza-Franco and Debbie Thomas.
She leaves to cherish her memory her spouse of twenty-two years: Gino; two sons: Mark Anthony and David Brandon Thomas both of the Downriver area; two brothers: Alan Paul and David Charles Thomas both of Taylor; two sisters: Charlene Winfield and her companion (Joseph Bellok) of Dearborn Heights and Vicky Lynn (Joseph) Shork of Georgia; eight nieces and nephews; and many friends including: Anita Gray and Marian Zane.
Friends may gather from 4:00-7:00pm, Friday, November 19 at Merkle Funeral Service, 2442 North Monroe Street (734) 384-5185. A Celebration of Her Life will be held at 7:00pm with Rev. Danny Johnson of Living Water Free Will Baptist Church officiating. Cremation will follow and burial of her cremains will take place at Roselawn Memorial Park at a later date.
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