Sterling Gray Dixon

STERLING GRAY DIXON "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalm 1 Gray Dixon passed away on September 7, 2013, surrounded by his family. Gray was a loving husband, a devoted father, and a faithful son and brother. He was born in Morehead City on October 12, 1932, the son of Sterling and Bernice Dixon of Davis, North Carolina. He graduated from Smyrna High School in 1951 and went on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where in 1955 he received a B.S. in chemistry. He served in the U.S. Navy in photographic interpretation with VAP-62 from 1955 to 1959. On June 1, 1957, he married Marion Testa at the Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, D.C. They were married for fifty-six years. After leaving the Navy, Gray was employed as a chemist for Swift and Company in Chicago before returning to the University of North Carolina where he received a B.S. in pharmacy. He was employed as a pharmacist at Brewers' Drug Store in Durham and then at Bell's Drug Store in Beaufort. In 1964 Gray was hired as a pharmaceutical representative for the Upjohn Company, and the family moved to Goldsboro. The family moved to Raleigh in 1971 where he continued his career, retiring from Upjohn in 1993 after moving to Wilmington in 1986. Gray was proud of the many and varied accomplishments of his children. He enjoyed flying and surf fishing on Core Banks with his son and cheering Tar Heel basketball with his daughter. He loved family football weekends, returning to the campus at Chapel Hill and revisiting sites from his student days. Gray was an avid reader, particularly of histories, and counted himself fortunate to have traveled to many of the places from his reading. In 2007 he and Marion traveled to China in celebration of their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Throughout his life, Gray faithfully and lovingly served the Lord in many ways, particularly through mission outreach to young people. He and Marion welcomed into their home and lives N.C. State University students in Raleigh and then in Wilmington, the Chinese students at UNC-W. Many of these students remain lifelong members of Gray and Marion's extended family. Life for Gray was always a celebration of life in Jesus. Gray is survived by his wife Marion, his daughter Jo Ann, and his son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Cori, all of Wilmington, and by his beloved sister Marilyn Dixon of Raleigh. A graveside service will be conducted on September 15 at 2:00 in Davis followed by a memorial service at Myrtle Grove Presbyterian Church in Wilmington at 4:00 o'clock on September 22. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bernice Davis Dixon Endowment Scholarship at Mount Olive College, Lower Cape Fear Hospice, and the Special Olympics of North Carolina. Gray's family wishes to thank all of his caregivers at Home Instead, especially Kenny Perry, as well as the staff at Trinity Grove and his Hospice nurses for the loving care he received during his final days. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Published in the Wilmington Star-News from Sept. 9 to Sept. 15, 2013