Bill Dixon, 62, of Baker City died June 19, 2005, after a 15-year battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his loved ones.
His memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Coles Funeral Home. Greg Baxter will conduct the service. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery with Oregon State Police honors. Visitations will be until 7 o’clock tonight at the funeral home.
Bill was the second child of Eldred Dixon and Virginia Ione Miller born at Salt Lake City on Feb. 18, 1943. His only sibling was his sister, Betty Lee Stone.
His childhood years were spent in the Portland, Oregon area where he graduated from Clackamas High School in 1961. After graduation, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. He served on a light ship off the coast of California. He went through flight school in North Carolina and then was stationed in Alaska.
While serving in Alaska, he participated in two historic Arctic expeditions on the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker, Northwind. These expeditions were the United States’ first voyages through the Northeast Passage. He was honorably discharged at Astoria after serving 4 years.
During his time in the Coast Guard, Bill took up photography as a hobby. After his discharge he attended Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Calif.
He joined the Oregon State Police in 1969 and was stationed at Baker City. There he met his loving wife, Joanna Miller. The two were married on Feb. 18, 1970. The couple remained in Baker City while raising two daughters, Marie and Ginger, and a son, Bill.
Bill spent most of his 25 years of service as a state police officer in the Fish and Game Division working throughout Baker County. The place that was closest to his heart was Hells Canyon and the surrounding area.
Due to the nature of his work, it was not uncommon for the family to help take care of the many injured and baby animals that Bill would bring home. He retired from the state police in 1994.
He then was employed with Marvin Wood Products as a safety officer. Bill’s standards for excellence are reflected in the quality of hardworking employees and the safety awards the plant has received.
There were many other activities Bill treasured. He was a strong believer in the Boy Scout program and served in various leadership positions for many years.
Bill is remembered for being honest and direct with people. He was an extremely hard worker and one who paid attention to details. He was firm in what he believed, even to the point of being stubborn at times.
He is also remembered for his eye-to-eye discussions with his children, the many camping trips, plus the way he could intimidate their friends and spouses with his voice and presence. He expected his children and grandchildren to do quality work the first time and every time.
The family would like to publicly thank Marvin Wood Products and FirstBank for the support they have given to both Bill and Joanna over the years while Bill fought valiantly against cancer.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister and a niece, Sallie Jacobson.
Survivors include his wife, Joanna; his daughter and son-in-law, Marie and George Shimer of Nyssa; his daughter, Ginger Soderholm of Baker City; his son, Sgt. 1st Class Bill Dixon of Pinehurst, N.C.; five grandsons, Chris, Jamie, Sean, Gregg and Ray; a granddaughter, Jenna; and two nieces, Pam Stone of Ohio and Laura Long of Montana.
Memorial contributions may be made to Mountain States Tumor Institute, 151 Bannock Road, Boise, Idaho 83712-9988.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, June 27, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor