Dorothy Pearl Unmack was born February 8, 1908 near Magnolia in Harrison County, Iowa. Her parents were farmers and descendants of German and Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants. During most of her childhood, the family moved between Calhoun township and the town of Magnolia. Dorothy Unmack received her education in both towns and graduated from Magnolia High School in 1926. She married a neighboring farmer Ernest Dix, in November of the same year, and together they raised eight children. They farmed on his family's farm until they moved first to Magnolia during the Depression and then to Missouri Valley during World War Two. When Dorothy Unmack Dix's youngest child was in third grade, she enrolled at Omaha University for teacher certification. She taught for eighteen years before retiring. In 1988, when Ernest Dix died, they had sixty-one grand and great-grandchildren. Dorothy Dix died in 1997.