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MARY AGNES (BARRY) DIXON

DIXON MARY AGNES (BARRY)
Age 89, passed away peacefully at the Little Sisters of the Poor, on January 21, 2013, where she received the utmost love and respect in her final four years of life. Mary was born and raised in Pittsburgh. She grew up in Greenfield and attended St. Rosalia's grade school and high school, where she was named May Queen, and ranked first in her class academically. She was among a select group of students whose services were enlisted by the United States military to track weather patterns over the coast of France in preparation for the D Day invasion of Normandy. She later attended Mt. Mercy College (now Carlow University) in Pittsburgh where she majored in French. She was planning on accepting a position in Washington, D.C. as a translator when her father passed away in 1945. She decided to stay in Pittsburgh and be closer to her mother and began employment at Duquesne Light. She worked at Duquesne Light as a chemical analyst. She married F. Kenneth Dixon (Ken) in 1951. Mary had eight children in the next 91/2 years from September of 1952 to April of 1962. She and Ken settled into St. Anne's Parish in Castle Shannon in 1951 immediately after marrying and never left the neighborhood. Ken later became the Director of Elections for Allegheny County. Although Mary volunteered for many duties both at St. Anne's church and St. Anne's school, her primary focus was raising her family. Her humor, intellect, wit, reserve and charm were quickly noticed by anyone who met her even if for a short period of time. Mary suffered the loss of her sixth child, FBI Special Agent Martha Anne Dixon, who died a hero's death in a shootout in Washington, D.C. While performing her duties as an FBI agent, she engaged a gunman in the Washington, D.C. metro police station who had been on a rampage. Her actions saved the lives of countless others within the metro police station but she sacrificed her own. Although Mary was very proud of her daughter, she felt the pain of her loss until her death. She is survived by her seven remaining children, Edward (Donna Blythe) of Bethel Park, Paul (Gayle) of Bethel Park, Jan (Terry) Smith of Mt. Lebanon, Kevin of Absecon, New Jersey, Mary Joanne Giarla (the late William) of Mt. Lebanon; Monica (Drew) Dentino of Milwaukee, Mark (Susan) of Mt. Lebanon; and 22 grandchildren, Abby Kovach (Nathaniel), Barry, Erika, Elizabeth, Connor, Kelley, Katie, Julia, Laura, Sean, Jamey, Peter, Brian, Kevin, Sawyer, Shawna, Casey, Kenny, Maggie, James Patrick, Martha, Dominic; and one-great grandchild, Elijah Kovach. She is also survived by her sister, Janice M. Barry, IHM and her brother, Thomas (Marilyn) of Carnegie. Among her many surviving nieces and nephews was her nephew Dennis with whom she enjoyed a special relationship. She is preceded in death by her husband, F. Kenneth (Ken); her daughter, Martha; her son-in-law, Bill Giarla; her sister, Johanne M. Barry, IHM and her brother, The Honorable Francis A. Barry, Judge, Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. Family and friends will be received at LAUGHLIN MEMORIAL CHAPEL, 222 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon, on Wednesday and Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Anne Church, 400 Hoodridge Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15234 on Friday at 10:00 a.m. Memorials may be made to the Martha Fund, 933 Rockwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15234.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Jan. 22 to Jan. 24, 2013
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