Howard D. Dixon

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Howard Duane Dixon, 97, of Taneytown, died Thursday, April 17, 2014, at Carroll Hospice's Dove House in Westminster.

Born Aug. 16, 1916, in Whiteside, Kan., near Hutchinson, he was the son of the late Walter L. and Ruth Graves Dixon. He was the husband of Maxine Hess Dixon, his wife of more than 71 years, whom he married in 1942.

He graduated from Hutchinson High School and attended Hutchinson Junior College. After graduation from the Bliss Electrical School in Takoma Park, in 1938 he worked for the Air Track Manufacturing Corporation, developing the first aircraft "Blind Landing System." He assisted in the airport installation of this system at the Allegheny County Airport in Pittsburgh, Pa.

He was a veteran of the Navy, serving during World War II. He worked 20 years for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel before retiring in 1980. He participated in many tests while with the JHU/APL, installing and securing various test and recording equipment aboard military aircraft, aircraft carriers, cruisers and submarines.

He rode ship during the involvement of the Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin during participation in the war in Southeast Asia, using helicopters to do the early testing of the cruise missile and working with the Army in West Germany during Pershing tests. He assembled the first portable test package for the Talos missile and participated in many U.S. shipboard radar tests with that package. He assembled the platform and electronic enclosures for the submarine floating wire tests in Hawaii involving ship, aircraft and submarine.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are sons and  daughters-in-law Robert D. and Diana Dixon, of New Windsor, and Steve B. and Suzanne Dixon, of Laurel; daughter Lynn and son-in-law Abraham Orbach, of Hilton Head, S.C.; grandsons Ryan Dixon, of Frederick, and Randy Dixon and wife Christina, of Westminster; granddaughters Denelle Dixon, of Gaithersburg, Helena and Nati Orbach, of Chicago, Ill., and Sharon and husband Andrew Wietstock, of San Francisco, Calif.; and sisters-in-law Louise Grier, of Forest Hill, Estelle Null and husband George, of Oxford, Pa.

He was predeceased by sisters and brothers-in-law Ruth and George Head, Hannah and Ross Varnum, and Aliene and Robert McDaniel.

The family will receive friends from 3 p.m. until the time of service, 4 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 38 W. Baltimore St., Taneytown, with the Rev. Stacy Marsh conducting the service.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Carroll Hospice's Dove House, 292 Stoner Ave., Westminster, MD 21157; or Trinity Lutheran Church, 38 W. Baltimore St., Taneytown, MD 21787.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Myers-Durboraw Funeral Home in Taneytown.

Online condolences may be offered at

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Funeral Home
Myers-Durboraw Funeral Home - Taneytown
136 E Baltimore Street
Taneytown, MD 21787
Published in Carroll County Times on Apr. 19, 2014
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