Love. Music. Family. Signs.

February 2018


A tribute to Bob & Sylva Dixon

Most people don't start a decades-long second career in their 60s, but Bob and Sylva Dixon aren't most people. They were high school sweethearts, born and raised in Shelbina, Missouri. And that's where they worked and raised eight children of their own.

In 1966 they moved to Hannibal, Missouri, where you'd often find them huddled around a piano performing for friends. Almost 20 years later they got a call from their daughter and son-in-law, Dianne and Tom Latimer that changed everything.

Tom and Dianne had just started a sign business in Grinnell, Iowa, and they'd landed a couple of big projects. They needed staff quick. Bob had worked for years as a typesetter at a printing company that had just gone out of business, so the call came at an opportune time. With much courage, Bob and Sylva left their hometown area of 60 years and moved to Grinnell as the fifth and sixth employees of Latitude Signage Latimer Group.

Bob's experience in printing and typesetting was a perfect fit for the growing sign business. Sylva had previous factory experience and was invaluable helping out wherever she was needed with assembly and shipping. Over time the business grew and so did Bob's role from laying out type to project management. Even after he was retired you could find Bob on the production floor sharing his wisdom-and wise cracks-with the team.

Bob and Sylva were instrumental in the growth of Latitude from a start up to a sustainable business. Although Bob passed away in April 2011, and Sylva died in September 2017, they left a lasting impression on everyone at Latitude and will be deeply missed. Long-time employees and friends remember how their fun-loving spirits, their songs, their jokes, their laughter, and Sylva's famous homemade mac-n-cheese, made everyone at Latitude feel like family.

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