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Nora Ann Dixon

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Nora Ann Dixon Obituary
Nora Ann Dixon, one of the world's true angels, has gone home. On January 11, 2013, after a long illness, Nora passed away at her residence in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Nora served others for 42 years by working as a licensed and board certified occupational therapist ("OT") in Chicago. Nora was widely recognized as one of the very best OTs in Illinois. Her genuinely caring and uplifting spirit touched the hearts of everyone she met, and brought courage and joy to the patients she treated and helped.
When she was only 14 years old, Nora decided that being an OT was what she wanted to do. During her career, Nora specialized in treating stroke patients and patients with brain and spinal cord injuries. In 2006, Nora traveled to China, where she gave presentations on "Right Side Brain Dysfunction" to Chinese medical professionals.
Nora fully enjoyed everyone she met, and quickly made friends with everyone. Nora's pure, good, and fun spirit quickly captured everyone's heart. For Nora, there were no strangers, only friends she had not met yet.
Nora loved people, and her beautiful spirit would always be immediately energized and uplifted by a visit or telephone conversation with a friend. Just being with Nora would lighten your heart and make you smile.
Nora was the very best friend anyone could have, and Nora had many best friends. Many times, Nora would give her unwavering and steadfast support to a friend in need, or bring a dear friend up and out of a difficult situation. You could count on Nora. Nora saved, guided and encouraged people. Nora was always there for her friends.
Nora was born Nora Ann Flanagan to Richard and Margaret McCorry Flanagan on June 26, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois. Until the age of 12, Nora lived with her family in a lovely third-floor apartment near Garfield Park on Chicago's west side. While there, Nora attended church and grade school at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, which was nearby. When Nora was 12, her family moved to Arlington Heights, Illinois, a beautiful suburb northwest of Chicago. Growing up in Arlington Heights, she attended high school, and graduated from St. Patrick's Academy in 1960.
After high school, Nora attended Mount Mary College, located outside Milwaukee, on full scholarship. She graduated from Mount Mary College in 1964 with a Bachelor's Degree in Occupational Therapy.
Nora furthered her education by attending Rush University College of Health Sciences in Chicago, where, in 1989, she earned her Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy. Her work for her Master of Science Degree included detailed studies in neuroscience and sensory integration.
At the graduation ceremony, the presenter said he wished he could give Nora a doctorate degree, because the quality of her research and thesis was at the doctoral level. For her exemplary academic work at Rush University, Nora received the Dean's Award for Outstanding Graduate Student. She also received a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Student Research from Rush University Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, in 1990.
During the first twenty years of her OT career, Nora worked in several hospital settings in Chicago, which included Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, Oak Forest Hospital, University of Illinois Medical Center, and Michael Reese Hospital. Nora also worked for three years at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.
During the last twenty years of her career, Nora worked in home health care in Chicago for Ravenswood Hospital and for Advocate Home Health Care East. Nora greatly enjoyed treating and helping patients, and their families, in their homes.
Nora served others in various ways as a volunteer. She applied her OT expertise as a member of the Chicago Heart Association's Cerebral Vascular Disease Committee, and coordinated and moderated a workshop on "Left vs. Right Stroke". She also taught various classes in OT at Mercy Hospital and Rush University in Chicago.
Nora was a long-standing member of the American Occupational Therapy Society and of the Illinois Occupational Therapy Society, where she served as Practice Chair for Continuing Education.
In February 2007, Nora retired as an OT. In June 2007, she relocated with her husband, John, to live in Fort Collins, Colorado.
While living in Fort Collins, Nora pursued many interests, and met many, many new and wonderful friends. She was active in the League of Women Voters, Master Gardeners, the Democratic Party of Larimer County, and water aerobics class and coffee club. As Events Chair of Coloradoans Against Resource Destruction, Nora helped protect Fort Collins from uranium mining in nearby Weld County by helping to lead the opposition to the mining.
In retirement, Nora was also able to take watercolor painting classes, and develop her artistic talents. Nora produced many lovely and masterful watercolor paintings.
Nora is survived by her husband of 30 years, John, her sister and brother-in-law,, Catherine and Harold Frantz, her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, David Franck and Elaine Flick, two nephews, James Johnston and Timothy Johnston, and two nieces, Madison Franck and Meaghan Johnston.
Yes, one of the world's true angels has gone home. We will miss her ever-present, bright and beautiful "Christmas morning" smile, her unwavering and constant friendship, her fun and playful spirit, her total enjoyment of people and life, and her pure, good heart.
We know Nora will always be with us in our hearts and by our sides. We know she will always care and look out for us, because that is what angels do.
Visitation for Nora will be held by her family at Bohlender Funeral Home at 121 West Olive Street, Fort Collins, Colorado, on Tuesday, January 15, from 6p.m. to 8 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at Bohlender Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 16, at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be may sent to the Poudre Valley Hospital Foundation at 2315 E. Harmony Road, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80528 for the new Cancer Center. Please visit bohlenderfuneralchapel.com to send the family online condolences.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Jan. 15, 2013
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