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Charles Dixon

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Charles Dixon Obituary
HICKORY - Charles Dixon died July 5, 2016 at the age of 89 in Apex, NC. Mr. Dixon was a Hickory attorney for more than 60 years and a longtime contributor to the Hickory community. Mr. Dixon was inducted into The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, in 2015, in recognition of his service to the State of North Carolina.

One of six children, Charles grew up on his parents' dairy farm in Belmont, North Carolina. Known as "Den" to those in Belmont and Charlie to those in Hickory, Mr. Dixon was born on December 12, 1926 in York South Carolina and was the son of the late Palmer Mott Dixon and Jessie Wright Dixon. The Dixon family operated a dairy on New Hope Road in Belmont from 1927 to 1945.

A lifelong believer in education, Den started college at North Carolina State University studying electrical engineering for two years before voluntarily enlisting in 1945 to join the U.S. Army, serving as an Army Intelligence Officer and stationed with the Army of Occupation of Japan from 1946-1947. Upon his discharge in 1947, Dixon enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving an undergraduate degree in economics in 1949. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1952. Mr. Dixon practiced law in Hickory for more than 60 years helping to establish Patrick, Harper & Dixon as one of the largest firms in the area with focus on business, corporate, estate and health care law. A firm believer in the legal system, Mr. Dixon was a past president of the Catawba County Bar Association and the 25th Judicial District Bar Association, he was a member of the Catawba County, North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) and American Bar Association. Mr. Dixon worked with and supported Legal Aid of North Carolina with the Charles D. Dixon Justice Fund of the NCBA, established in 2007. Additionally, he was a member of the American Judicature Society and American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. And in 2003, he was inducted into the North Carolina Bar Association General Practice Hall of Fame.

Mr. Dixon was active in civic work. Dixon has been a member of Hickory's First Presbyterian Church since 1953. He was both a deacon and elder, and has participated in multiple missions, including trips to Guatemala and Mexico and work locally on support for and building projects with Habitat for Humanity. "He's just a great man," said the Rev. Whit Malone, senior pastor at the church. "He is humble, determined and passionate about the city and his church. He is tireless in his support of the causes he believes in." Dixon was honorary chairman of Hickory Soup Kitchen's recent "Because Hickory Cares" campaign, a successful drive to raise $1.2 million to purchase, renovate and relocate to a new building. His first wife, Mary Louise Edgerton Dixon, was instrumental in the Soup Kitchen's inception and development. He was a past president of the Hickory Jaycees and recipient of the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award; past president of the Hickory Chamber of Commerce; past president (and current member) of Hickory Kiwanis Club. Mr. Dixon was an active community leader, volunteering as leader and serving as board member in many capacities, including on the Board of Directors for Catawba Valley Medical Center.

During his time in Hickory, Charlie pursued various areas of study at Catawba Valley Community College, Catawba Science Center and Lenoir-Rhyne University. Over the years, he has taken courses in such diverse fields as Spanish, biology, astronomy, computer science and philosophy/ethics. In the field and with guidance of Bruce Beerbower, the lead naturalist at the Catawba Science Center, Mr. Dixon, his second wife Dorothy Lindsay Dixon and grandchildren, traveled on numerous expeditions including to dig for dinosaur bones in Montana and Colorado and to explore the Okefenokee Swamp.

At Lenoir-Rhyne College, Mr. Dixon was instrumental in the rekindling of Lenoir-Rhyne's long-inactive debating team. He was a member of the board of trustees of Lenoir-Rhyne College. He served on the Hickory by Choice Committee, formulating a long-range, comprehensive land use and transportation plan for the area. In 2005, Lenoir-Rhyne awarded him an honorary doctoral degree. In 2002, Dixon was named Business Leader of the Year by the Lenoir-Rhyne Business Council.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Dixon was preceded in death by his beloved first wife of nearly 40 years, Mary Louise (Edgerton) Dixon (1990), and his beloved second wife of more than 15 years, Dorothy (Lindsay) Dixon, (2009), a brother Henry Mott (Martha) Dixon and sisters, Mary Wilma Dixon, Dorothy Wright Dixon, Annie Franklin Dixon and Evelyn Ruth Dixon. Mr. Dixon was also preceded in death by his son-in- law, Dr. L. Lyndon Key, Jr., formerly of Hickory.

Survivors include four children: Dr. Janice Dixon Key, William Palmer "Bill" (Marie) Dixon, Mary Anne Dixon (Brett) Hubbard and Ellen Dixon (Keith) Law; grandchildren Rebecca Key (Matt) Johnson, Emily Key (Chris) Davis, Bryan Charles Dixon, Garrett Dixon, Allison Dixon, Rosemary Hubbard (Justin) Van Kleeck, Richard Hubbard, Hannah Hubbard, Travis Law, Benjamin Law and Kaylee Law; and great-grandchildren Kenneth Johnson, Mary Louise Johnson, Frank Johnson and Charles Davis; and also those of special importance including Ann Boddie and also his many friends and colleagues at Patrick, Harper &; Dixon; First Presbyterian Church and throughout the Hickory Community.

Charlie truly appreciated Hickory and loved being part of the Hickory community. In his own words, "Hickory has been a very good place to live and to raise a family," he said. "I was very happy here, and never sought an opportunity to go elsewhere."

Services will be held on Sunday, July 17 at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 237 2 nd Street, NW, Hickory, NC. The family will receive friends following the service in the fellowship hall at the church. In lieu of flowers, please consider donation to one or more of the following: Catawba Science Center; Habitat for Humanity, rehab fund; Hickory Soup Kitchen; Lenoir-Rhyne University; First Presbyterian Church; or the Justice Fund of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Bass-Smith Funeral Home in Hickory is serving the family of Charles Dennis Dixon and on-line condolences may be sent to www.bass-smithfuneralhome.com.
Published in Gaston Gazette on July 8, 2016
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