Patricia Ann Dixon
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WAVERLY: After a long and well-lived life, and with her two sons at her side, Patricia Ann Dixon died at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday August 2, 2014 at Bristol Village in Waverly, Ohio.
She was born Patricia Ann Tross in Johnstown, PA., on March 4, 1923, the daughter of Margaret Ramsey (Rose) and Ludwig Conrad Tross. She grew up in Johnstown, which had been home to her family for several generations. She remembered President Roosevelt closing the banks on her 10th birthday, which was also the day Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 32nd President of the United States, but said that she still had a marvelous childhood despite the challenging economic conditions.
In her younger years, her friends and family knew her as "Patsy." She loved to dance and took lessons from Gene Kelley for 10 years at his studio in Johnstown. Her love of dance continued throughout her lifetime.
After graduating from Johnstown High School, she took a cross-country train trip to attend the University of Southern California. While in California she was thrilled to be cast as an extra making $10 a day in Hollywood musicals, including "Orchestra Wives" and "I Married a Witch."
With the start of World War II, she came back East to work at Bendix Radio's Baltimore factory where she met her future husband, Louis Henry Dixon. She said that he made her laugh so much she knew her life would always be fun. She married Louis at the Presbyterian Church in Towson, MD., on October 17, 1943. Not long after their marriage, she became a war bride when Louis joined the U.S. Navy and shipped out to the Pacific theater.
In January of 1946 Louis returned home from the war, and the couple began building their lives in Johnstown where their twin sons, Steven Tross and Christopher Tross Dixon were born in October of 1951. The young family moved to Waverly, Ohio in 1954 when Louis became an instrument technician with the new Goodyear Atomic Plant in Pike County, Ohio. Patricia spent the rest of her life living in Waverly and at Lake White and dedicated her career to giving back to her community. She and her husband were married for nearly 65 years until his death on June 18, 2008.
Patricia enjoyed many years of service to others, starting her career as a council leader for the Girl Scouts of Southern Ohio. She then worked for 18 years with the Aid to the Aging Program until taking a break, spending the summer with her granddaughters. Next, she continued her career, as a social worker, at the Pike County Welfare Department. Later, endeavoring to improve conditions for the residents, she inspected nursing homes for the State of Ohio. She touched many lives in her career, and loved helping people solve problems and find the resources they required for a better life. She said working in social services changed her from a spoiled child into a loving, concerned person. After a break to run for Pike County Recorder and a later primary run for County Commissioner, she finished her career serving as the Social Service Director for the Pike County Community Action Agency. Her work and good will were valued greatly there, even though she refused to learn how to use a computer! She was a Life Member of the Sigma Phi Gamma International Sorority and belonged to many organizations including, the 5-county 648 Mental Health Board, the Pike County Health Planning Council, the Pike County Hospital Guild, the Pike County Community Service Council, the 15-county Mid-Ohio Board of Trustees, the 10-county Area Agency on Aging Council, the Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center Board and the Pike County Senior Services Center Board, among others.
Following in the footsteps of her mother's family, she became a member of the Presbyterian Church, first in Johnstown and later in Waverly where she taught Sunday school and became an elder and deacon. Her great grandfather, John Espy Bell, also a Presbyterian, was a member of the Abolitionist Society of Washington County, PA., and Patricia was a staunch advocate for racial equality throughout her life.
Her sons and grandchildren were the light of her life. In addition to her sons, Steven Tross Dixon (Maureen Theberge) and Christopher Tross Dixon, she will be deeply missed and is survived by many grandchildren who all lovingly called her "Birdie": Amy Tross Dixon (Gregg LoCascio), of Wash. D.C., Emily Allison Dixon, of Mill Valley, CA., David Charles Dixon (Padmini) of Columbus, OH, Ethan Louis Tross Dixon and Matthew Steven Dixon of San Francisco, CA., Lari Marie Schlie Patton (Eric) of Waverly, OH, Stephanie Malone Schlie of Columbus, OH, and Amanda Beth Schlie Koenig (Russell) of Columbus, OH; great grandchildren, Margaret Rose and Vivian Ann LoCascio, Eric Daniel and Kristina Marie Patton, and Rose Ellen Koenig; her niece, Dr. Kathy Tross Greene of Medina, OH.; and nephews, Greg and Mark Novak of Mt. Kisco, N.Y. and Chicago, IL. Patricia enjoyed many years of friendship and support from her daughters-in-law, Ruth List Jones and Julia Fishback Dixon.
She adored animals throughout her life and was predeceased by many treasured pets including, Ready (her pony), Scampi, Stormy, Toby and Tiger Boy (her dogs) and Kathy, Miz and Susi (her cats) and is survived by her last beloved cat, Missy. She played a role in founding the Pike Humane Society.
In addition to her parents and husband, her brother, Ludwig Conrad Tross, Jr.; sister, Joan Tross Novak; sister-in-law, Edith Davis Tross; niece, Connie Lynne Tross Smith; and daughter-in-law, Peggy O'Reilly Dixon, predeceased her.
A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Waverly on Sunday, August 17, at 3:00. Her ashes will be scattered in a family service in Grandview Cemetery in her hometown of Johnstown, Pa.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Pike Pet Pals, Box 1239, Waverly, OH, 45690.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Botkin Hornback Funeral Home in Waverly.
Botkin Funeral Home
314 East North Street Waverly, OH 45690
Published in the Chillicothe Gazette on Aug. 14, 2014