It was standing room only on Nov. 15, when friends, family, colleagues, and community leaders crowded into Pritts Funeral Home to pay their last respects to Jeff Dixon, a distinguished member of one of Carroll County’s most prominent families, the Dixons.
Billed as a “gathering of friends and family,” the memorial service with military honors was more like a family reunion, roast, and celebration of life all rolled into one.
Jeff Dixon, 44, passed away Nov. 4. According to a tribute to his life published on the Pritts’ website, he “attended Westminster High School. He went on to graduate from the United States Naval Academy with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1996.
“He then served [on] a multiyear deployment to the Middle East, aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Stout, included in the USS Enterprise Battle Group. … Jeff then left the Navy, with the rank of Lieutenant and went to work for the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. During that time, he also obtained his master’s degree from John Hopkins University in Systems Engineering in 2008.”
Jeff Dixon’s uncle was the late Richard Dixon, the Maryland State Treasurer from 1996 until 2002. In a tribute published in the Sun on June 10, 2012, by Dan Rodricks and Michael Dresser; they explained that Richard Dixon was “a Carroll County custodian's son who combined financial expertise as a stockbroker with political savvy as a state delegate to become Maryland's first African-American treasurer. …
“Mr. Dixon, a conservative Democrat in an overwhelmingly white and increasingly Republican Carroll County, served in the Maryland House of Delegates for 14 years. Carroll voters have sent no Democratic legislator to Annapolis since Mr. Dixon's fourth and last election, in 1994,” reported Rodricks and Dresser.
On March 5, 2010, Richard Dixon’s son Tim Dixon, an attorney with Carroll County government, explained at an author’s book talk at the 13th annual Random House Book Fair that Richard Dixon “went from raising chickens and hogs in his backyard to investing billions of dollars for the state of Maryland …”
Richard Dixon was a Vietnam combat veteran who served on the Carroll County school board from 1970 to 1978. He was then elected Maryland state delegate from Carroll County to the Maryland General Assembly from 1982 to 1996 and then state treasurer until 2002 when he retired for health reasons. Richard Dixon passed away on June 7, 2012.
Jeff Dixon was the son of the late William (Bill) Frazier Dixon and Martha Gould Grande. It was also standing room only 8 years ago on April 6, 2010 when our community filled Pritts Funeral Home Chapel to pay their last respects to Jeff Dixon’s dad.
Bill Dixon, 69, died March 31, 2010. He was born August 31, 1940 in Westminster and was the son of the late Thomas Sr. and Maymie Dixon of Westminster.
“Hump” Dixon, as he was known to many folks, was many things to many people, and touched many lives. He was an accomplished scientist, musician, philosopher, community leader, and a wonderful man whom this writer always referred to as the mayor of Charles Street — a position that he inherited from his mom, Maymie Dixon.
Bill Dixon graduated from Robert Moton with honors and then went on to graduate from Morgan State University in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology.
Dixon retired in 2002 from the State of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where he worked for 39 years as Program Director for the Division of Virology and Immunology.
According to an article in the Carroll County Times by Sara Bott on February 18, 2007, Jeff Dixon’s grandmother, Maymie Dixon, “a longtime resident of Westminster, grew up on Charles Street” when it was a dirt road, without street lights, water or sewer service. Maymie Dixon, known by many as the mayor of Charles Street, “helped organize the drive to shed light on the road in the late 1950s and early '60s …
“As an activist, according to Bott, “Maymie, along with other black women in the 1950s, fought for equal rights in Westminster… [Maymie Dixon] was a pioneer in the civil rights movement and a member of the Service and Pleasure Club. The club consisted of women who fought for schools, indoor restroom facilities, and lights along the roads. …”
Carroll County has been fortunate to have many native sons and daughters, like generations of the Dixon family, who have made a great difference and contribution to our community, Maryland and our great nation. Their accomplishments are the stuff of folklore and legend, but their day-to-day struggle to make a difference is the stuff of great sacrifice and all too frequent heartbreak.