Dr. Rion Dixon Sr.
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Dr. Woodward Rion Dixon, Sr. went to be with his Lord and Saviour on Monday, November 14th. Born in Winnsboro, SC on October 12, 1923, he was the son of the late Addie Rion Dixon and Osmund Woodward Dixon.
The Dixon family moved to Greenville, SC and Dr. Dixon's education at Furman University was interrupted by World War II. He joined the US Coast Guard and was stationed at Gallups Island, Maryland as a radio operator. He served 4 years in various theaters in more than 50 countries. He considered his years of military service a definitive portion of his life and he had great pride in and affection for his fellow servicemen. After completing his military service he continued his education at MIT, VPI, and completed his degree at Furman University.
He began a career with International Shoe Company in sales, building shoe stores and training salesmen in the southeastern region. In 1961 he was transferred to the west coast as VP of the western region located in San Francisco.
Dr. Dixon always lived life large and each day to the fullest. He retired from International Shoe Company when he felt a call to become a missionary. He had a passion for people and prepared for missions at Columbia Theological Seminary where he received a Masters of Divinity. He also attended Agnes Scott and Emory University. He was commissioned as a Presbyterian Missionary at Montreat, NC and sent to Central America, Mexico, Haiti, and Zambia. In Mexico he completed his medical studies at the University Michoacan and completed his medical boards at the Medical University of South Carolina.
In 1975, Dr. Dixon returned to Darlington County to practice medicine. He served as Chief of Staff, Chief of Surgery, and President of the County Medical Society. He loved his profession and respected highly his colleagues. His patients remember him for his kindness. He retired from his medical practice in Hartsville, SC in 2002.
Dr. Dixon is survived by Ann Stevenson Dixon, his wife of 59 years; his five special children, Locke Dixon Barkley; Woodward Rion Dixon, Jr., M.D. and his wife, Mary Evans Dixon; Heath Phillips Dixon and his wife, Caroline Altmann Dixon; Osmund Bailey Dixon and his wife, Kim Hicks Dixon; and Julia Dixon Boatwright and her husband, Stephen Boatwright, M.D. Also surviving him are grandchildren, Karen Montgomery, Tate Taylor, Helen Stearnes, Rion Dixon III, Preston Dixon, Phillip Dixon Jr., Julia Dixon, Lauren Dixon, James Bailey Dixon, Stephen Boatwright, Jr. and Austin Boatwright and four great-grandchildren. Dr. Dixon is survived by a brother, Osmund Woodward Dixon. He was predeceased by a brother, Bailey Dixon and a sister, Julia Dixon Crews.
The family would like to thank his physician and close friend Dr. Jimmy Bell who was faithful and dedicated in his care. The family also expresses their heartfelt gratitude to his nurses, co-workers, Agape Hospice, and others who faithfully provided care to Dr. and Mrs. Dixon at their home.
A family graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM Thursday, November 17th at Lebanon Presbyterian Church cemetery in Fairfield County followed by a Celebration of Life service at 5:00 PM at Hartsville First Presbyterian Church.
Honoring Dr. Dixon as pallbearers will be his sons and grandsons.
Visitation will be held at Brown - Pennington - Atkins Funeral Home on Wednesday, November 16th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.
Memorials may be made to Hartsville First Presbyterian Church, Lebanon Presbyterian Church Cemetery Association, or a charity of choice.
Published in The Greenville News on Nov. 16, 2011