Don G. Pixley Memorial Scholarship
In honor of lifelong Rochester area resident, Don Pixley, the Rochester Rotary Club established 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, the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Optimist Club, Rochester Community Schools, Greater Rochester Community Foundation, Rainbow Connection, Older Persons Commission, and the 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.” 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.