Joseph Lewis Dixon

DIXON Joseph Lewis Dixon passed away on Wednesday, February 17, 2010. He was 89 years old. Joe's was a life enriched with a love of music, an illustrious military career and a gift for sharing his talents as an educator. Joe Dixon was born in Londonderry, Ohio, the fourth child of Harry Jones Dixon and Blanche Heath Dixon. As a talented pianist, Joe won a full scholarship to Otterbein College, where he graduated with a degree in music education and was a member of the R.O.T.C. In 1944, he became a member of the United States Air Force. In 1945, he married Margaret Elizabeth Pickering Dixon, who remained his wife and partner for sixty-two years. Joe's music education continued as he briefly left the military to earn a master's degree in piano and organ at the University of Michigan. He taught vocal and instrumental music at Ohio's Gibsonburg High School. In 1949, Joe returned to the Air Force where his military career continued as a pilot and flight instructor. As a member of the Strategic Air Command, Joe and his growing family lived in many places throughout the United States, including Alaska. Joe also served in England, Japan, Greenland and the Azores. While stationed at Fort Slocum, New York, Joe was employed as Adjunct Professor of Air Science at Manhattan College. As a command pilot, Joe logged over 10,000 hours. He flew various aircraft to include the B-17 flying fortress and KC-97 refueler. He also flew rescue missions in Japan. In 1962, Joe retired from the Air Force at his last assignment, Rickenbacker Air Force base. He held the rank of Major. In 1962, Joe pursued a second career with the Internal Revenue Service from which he retired in 1982. Continuing his commitment to life and service, Joe was a twenty year member of the Tri-County Kiwanis where he served as president. Throughout his life, Joe remained passionately involved with music. He lent his resonant bass voice to numerous vocal ensembles. He performed as a pianist with dance bands. Joe was accompanist for his friend, famed violinist David Rubinoff, with whom he performed publicly. Joe continuously shared his gift, teaching piano to others. For forty-one years, Joe served as organist for several churches, including the Rickenbacker Air Force Base Chapel, United Methodist Church in Canal Winchester, David United Church of Christ in Canal Winchester and Emanuel Lutheran Church in Lancaster. Joe was predeceased by his wife Margaret, sister May Schear, and brother Thomas Dixon. He is survived by his sister, Marjorie English of Perrysburg, Ohio; four children, Professor Laurinda Dixon of Syracuse, New York, Janice Fry of Lancaster, Deborah Dixon of Cincinnati, and Kevin Dixon of Lancaster; eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Services will be held Saturday, February 27 at the DWAYNE R. SPENCE HOME, 650 W. Waterloo Street, Canal Winchester. Visitation 12 noon, service 1 p.m. Entombment with military honors will follow at Lithopolis Cemetery Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Joe's name can be made to the organ bell and choir fund Emanuel Lutheran Church, 231 East Mulberry St., Lancaster, Ohio 43130. Online condolences at

Funeral Home

Dwayne R. Spence Funeral Home
650 West Waterloo Street Canal Winchester, OH 43110