Don G. Pixley Memorial Scholarship Announced

Rochester Rotary Announces Don G. Pixley Memorial Scholarship in Honor of Family’s Donation to Rotary International Polio Fund

Three seated and four standing, seven representatives pose for a photo.

Representatives from Rochester Rotary and Rotary International present Pixley family with Paul Harris Award in honor of their generous donation to Rotary International’s Polio Fund.

In honor of lifelong Rochester area resident, Don Pixley, Rochester Rotary announces the Rochester Rotary Don G. Pixley Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship will be available to graduating seniors from Rochester area high schools who have overcome significant challenges or disabilities.

The former director of the Pixley Funeral Home, Pixley contributed significantly of his time and resources in support of numerous community organizations throughout the community. Pixley also played an active role in Rotary International, Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Optimist Club, Rochester Community Schools, Greater Rochester Community Foundation, Rainbow Connection, Older Persons Commission, and Rochester Area Prayer Breakfast.

Stricken with Polio in 1931, Pixley was treasurer of the Michigan Polio Survivor Support Group for several years. The disease never stopped him from doing anything that was important to him.

When Pixley was named Grand Marshal of the Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade in 2007, he said “The post polio effect kicked in six years ago. I am now confined to an electric wheelchair but I still go to my office at the funeral home everyday.”

Vern Pixley speaks from behind a podium with a Rotary banner in the background

Vern Pixley, son of Don Pixley, sharing his father’s story at Rochester Rotary in January.

Pixley remained active until his death. The Pixley family is descendant of one of the area’s founding families. Reflecting on his past and family, Pixley explained. “My great-great grandfather was Avon Township farmer, Jonathon Pixley, one of the first members of the Rochester School Board. He settled land at Avon Road and John R in 1831.”

After his death in 2010, Pixley’s family committed to continuing his legacy of giving back to the community and Polio efforts across the globe. In 2019, Pixley’s wife Ernestine and son Vern announced a generous donation to Rotary International’s Polio efforts. Rotary International’s Polio Fund creates matching donations that multiplies the amount to almost three times the original contribution amount making this a sizeable donation from the Rochester community.

Rochester Rotary honored the Pixley family at a January meeting honoring Don Pixley, announcing the Don G. Pixley Memorial Scholarship.

About Rochester Rotary

Celebrating 65 years as a club in 2019, Rochester Rotary is one of 34,000 member clubs of Rotary International, which has more than 1.2 million members and raises and disburses funds for charitable, educational and scientific purposes. Through Rochester Rotary Charities, Rotary is able to advance humanitarian needs of the Rochester community and beyond.

The club welcomes new members who live or work in Rochester, Rochester Hills or Oakland Township. Rochester Rotary meets each Tuesday at noon at the River Crest Banquet Hall at Avon Road and Livernois, in Rochester Hills.

About Rotary International

Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The 1.2 million Rotarians who hail from Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self. Rotary clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organizations.

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