Barbara Dixon lived most of her life in Rockville Centre, and during that time, she made sure to embrace many aspects of the village. From working as a crossing guard to serving as trustee of the Phillips House Museum, Dixon was an active part of the community until she moved to North Carolina upon retirement in 1993. She died on Dec. 28, 2020, in Burlington, NC, at the age of 92.
For 15 years, Dixon was committed to the safety of Rockville Centre children, serving as a crossing guard for students at Wilson Elementary School from 1978 until 1993. She stood at the corner of Buckingham and DeMott Avenue, a busy corner that required guidance, according to her son, David Dixon.
“My mom was dedicated to that job and protecting the children,” David Dixon said. “She was so well liked and respected that Wilson School graduates would come back years later to show them their own families and newborn children.”
She made such an impact that on her last day on the job, the entire student body, teachers and the principal marched from Wilson School to the corner to wish her well, and gave her a round of applause and a bouquet of flowers. The act of appreciation was covered in The News & Owl (now incorporated by the Rockville Centre Herald), which reported that 376 children from the school marched out to say good-bye and thank her for “a job well done.”
Barbara Dixon was born on Aug. 6, 1928 in Brooklyn and lived in Baldwin and Rockville Centre as a child. She attended Riverside Elementary School and graduated from South Side High School in 1946, where she also participated in the Red and Blue events. She attended Westbrook College in Maine, graduating in 1948, and worked as a medical secretary for Dr. Jonas Salk.
She and her husband of 67 years, James Dixon, were married in October of 1953 at the Church of the Ascension in Rockville Centre. She was a member of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church for 34 years, served as president of the United Methodist Women, and was involved in the handbell choir and the church bazaar. Barbara was also a 4-H Leader and marched in all the RVC Memorial Day parades representing 4-H, which both of her children were also involved in. According to her son, his mother exposed him and his sister, Suzanne, to the arts locally and in New York City, and will be remembered by them for her cooking and baking skills – especially her meatloaf, Easter Bunny salad, carrot cake and holiday cookies.
When Barbara and James moved to Fearrington Village, NC, in 1993, she continued to stay active. She volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and sung soprano with the “Harmony Grits” choir. She spent 50 family summers at Silver Bay YMCA in Lake George.
Barbara is predeceased by her parents, Alfred and Mabel Fox, and her brother Alfred. In addition to her husband and children, she is survived by her grandchildren Patrick and Jessica; and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and cousins.
The family expressed its sincere thanks to the staff at Twin Lakes for their years of care. A memorial service/celebration of life will be planned at a future date.
Donations in Barbara’s memory can be sent to:
Silver Bay YMCA, 87 Silver Bay Rd., Silver Bay NY 12874 or University UMC, PO Box 728 Chapel Hill, NC 27514.