Donald F. Dixon, 87, a longtime resident of Central Square passed away on March 24, 2021. Donald was a native of Oswego, the youngest son of Dorothy Babcock Dixon and Charles P. Dixon, Sr. He was the grandson of Mary A. Babcock and Arthur E. Babcock, who raised him after his mother's early death. He attended the City of Oswego School System and graduated from Oswego High School in 1951.
Donald retired from General Electric in January 1991 as the manager of the Consolidation Project Machine Shop after 37 years of service. He worked for GE at their facilities in St. Petersburg, FL, Fort Wayne, IN and Syracuse, NY. He was a member of the General Electric Foreman's Association, Quarter Century Club and Elfun's Society.
Donald was an avid collector of militaria and a World War II historian. He was recognized as a renowned authority on the Battle of the Bulge. He and his wife, Ellen made numerous trips to Europe to visit WWII battlefields and visit American and German cemeteries. He was dedicated to decorating the graves of American soldiers for their families and wartime buddies who were not able to travel to do so. They also visited Pearl Harbor, Scofield Barracks, and Wheeler Field in Hawaii in order to expand their knowledge about the war in the Pacific. Donald and his World War II Airborne veteran friends provided living history programs to civic groups, historical societies, and school systems across Central New York. He was also a published author, penning Freedom Is Not Free about “Lassie Come Home”, a B-17 bomber and its final mission.
Donald was very active in military history organizations. Throughout his lifetime he was a member of the World War II Memorial Society, the 101st Airborne Division Association at the regional and national levels, the 17th Airborne Division (Operation Varsity), the United States Air Force Museum Foundation, the Eighth Air Force Historical Society, the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, the NY-PA Military Vehicle Collector's Club, the Continental Arms Collector's Association, the New York State Military Collector's Association, the Rakkasans (187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team), the Friends of Fort Ontario Association, the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge National Association and Central New York Chapter, the American Airborne Association, the 1st Allied Airborne Association, the New York State Gun Collectors Association and the Ohio Gun Collectors Society.
Donald was active in local civic groups and organizations, as well. He was a member of the Village Board of Central Square and served as mayor of Central Square from 1975-1976. He was a Master of Central Square Lodge #622 F.& A.M.; Past Patron of Oneida Lake Chapter #141, Order of the Eastern Star; a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hillside Cemetery Association and served on various community advisory councils. While serving as mayor, Donald was directly responsible for upgrading the village budgetary system, initiating a Village Police Department upgrade and local medical service improvements by establishing of the Central Square Health Services Center in cooperation with Town Supervisor James McMahon. Donald was also responsible for establishing Meadowview Homes/Apartments for senior citizens.
Donald enjoyed traveling with his wife, Ellen. They visited every state in the nation and made numerous trips to Europe to research family histories as well as his World War II work. In 1999 they travelled to nine different countries in Europe while visiting the homes of their ancestors.
Donald’s greatest achievement was his enduring love and commitment to his family and members of his community. Donald spent most of his free time with his daughters, son and grandchildren creating lasting memories with his enthusiastic love for road trips, family barbecues, Christmas traditions, Easter egg hunts and Syracuse sports. Always the example of integrity and compassion, Donald, through his public service and private generosity, improved the lives of many local citizens.
He is predeceased by his daughter, Jeanne Anne Herholtz; his grandson, Kiel Dudley; his brother Charles P. Dixon, Jr. and sister Nanine Newman. He is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, Ellen Ruth (Scott) Dixon; his daughters, Judith Dixon Dudley and Jo-Anne Wilson; his son, Donald F. Dixon II; five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and dozens of nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his former son-in-law and his wife, Stephen and Beth (Miller) Herholtz of Warrenton, Virginia.
One of Don's favorite sayings was “when an old man dies, a library closes.” Thus, the Dixon Library of how to live a memorable life is now closed.
Calling hours will be held at Watson Funeral Home in Central Square on Tuesday, March 30 from 1:00-3:00pm with a private funeral service and burial immediately following. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Masonic Memorial Research Institute or The Wounded Warrior Project.
Obituary coming soon
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