Richard N. Dixon

Obituary
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  • "Lots and lots of great memories of the Delegate,..."
    - Gary Alexander
  • "This man was indeed one of Carroll County's greatest!"
    - James Southworth
  • "Mr. Dixon was a very kind man..I only knew him through my..."
  • "Richard was a great friend to all, especially the Maryland..."
    - Colonel David Mitchell
  • "Grayson and Family So sorry to hear about Richard.He was a..."
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Richard N. Dixon, 74, of New Windsor, died Thursday, June 7, 2012, at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore after suffering a stroke on June 5, 2012.

He was born on April 17, 1938, in Westminster to Thomas A. Dixon and Mamie Dixon and was the fifth of seven children.

He attended the all black Robert Moton segregated public school in Carroll County from the first grade in 1944 through graduation in 1956. He attended college at the historically black college Morgan State College, now Morgan State University, in Baltimore.

Upon graduating from college in 1960, he entered the Army, graduating as a commissioned officer with the rank of second lieutenant and retiring with the rank of captain after eight years of service. His Army service included a tour of duty in Vietnam followed by an honorable discharge receiving a Bronze Star Medal. While in the Army, he married his childhood sweetheart, Grayson Dorsey, his wife of 53 years, and had two sons.

Returning from the war, he was the first black person to work as a stockbroker in the Baltimore office of Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, a Fortune 500 company. He was the first black person to serve on the appointed Carroll County school board in 1970, and was later elected by school board members to be the first black person to serve as the president of the school board, from 1975 to 1977. In 1975, he also obtained a Master's of Business Administration from Morgan State University and served on the Morgan faculty.

He founded the organization Former Students of Robert Moton, which honored Moton teachers, provided yearly class reunions and provided college scholarships to black Carroll County high school students. He served as the president of the organization for more than 30 years.

After eight years of serving on the school board, he ran for elected office in Carroll County. Although he lost his first election against two incumbents in the race for a state delegate seat in 1978, he did become the first black person to win a primary in the county as a Democrat. In 1982, he succeeded in being elected the first black delegate in Carroll County history, serving as a delegate for the county from 1982 to 1996 by winning four consecutive elections.

As a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1983 to 1996, he served on the House Appropriations Committee, the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee and the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Joint Budget and Audit Committee from 1987 to 1994, the Joint Committee on Pensions from 1986 to 1994 and the Capital Budget Subcommittee in 1995. During his 13 years as a State Delegate, he sponsored numerous bills to benefit Carroll County projects, including a new emergency room and expansion of Carroll County General Hospital, now Carroll Hospital Center, a new YMCA building and numerous facilities at McDaniel College, formerly Western Maryland College, including the Hoover Library, Lewis Hall and Hill Hall.

In his time as state treasurer from 1996 to 2002, he held positions of leadership on a number of key financial planning committees, including the chairperson of the Capital Debt Affordability Committee and the Commission on State Debt. He also served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Maryland State Retirement and Pensions System. Most notably, he sat with the governor and the comptroller of the state on the Board of Public Works, assisting in the supervision of substantial portions of the fiscal affairs of the state, from wetlands licenses to other construction projects. He often spoke on those topics in national forums on pensions, investments and retirement systems.

He had honorary degrees from Western Maryland College, Morgan State University, Carroll Community College and Stevenson University, formerly Villa Julie College. He had two buildings named for him; Carroll Hospital Center dedicated the Richard N. Dixon building in 1997 and Morgan State University opened the Richard N. Dixon Science Research Center in 2003.

He was a member of various organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He was a former trustee of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and a former member of its Commission on Secondary Schools.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are sons Timothy Dixon and Richard Dixon, Jr.; sisters Edith Davenport, Trudy Green and Twila Mitchell; grandchildren Marilyn Dixon, Richard Dixon III and Robert Dixon; aunts Julia Gibson and Adina Ashburn; daughter-in-law Sandra Dixon; sisters-in-law Vivian Dorsey, Mae Beard, Hazel Collins, Thelma Smith and Bernice Young; and brothers-in-law Ivory Green and Carl Dorsey. He is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.

He is predeceased by brothers, Thomas Dixon Jr. and William Dixon; sister Dorothy; sisters-in-law Rosa Lee Dixon and Sedonia Dorsey; and brothers-in-law George Collins, Calvin Dorsey, James Dorsey, Delmar Dorsey, Louis Beard, Gerald Davenport and George Young.

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. until the start of services at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Gilliam Concert Hall in the Murphy Fine Arts Center at Morgan State University, 2201 Argonne Road, Baltimore. Officiating will be the Rev. Christopher Serufusa. Interment will follow in St. Luke's United Methodist Church Cemetery in Sykesville.

The family requests that contributions be made to the Mamie Dixon Scholarship at Morgan State University, 2201 Argonne Dr., Baltimore, MD 21251, or to St. Lukes United Methodist Church, 350 River Road, Sykesville, MD 21784, or to the Former Students and Friends of Robert Moton, 300 South Center St., Westminster, MD 21157.

Online condolences may be sent to www.prittsfuneralhome.com.

Sign this guest book online at www.carrollcountytimes.com.
Published in Carroll County Times on June 9, 2012
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