George B. Dixon, 71, MTA bus driver, gardener

July 18, 2002

George B. Dixon, a retired transit bus driver and enthusiastic vegetable gardener, died of respiratory failure Monday at Sinai Hospital. He was 71.

Born in Baltimore and reared on Carey Street, Mr. Dixon attended Baltimore public schools. He enlisted in the Army in 1947 and served in personnel until 1961, when he was discharged with the rank of sergeant.

That year, he began driving transit buses for the former Baltimore Transit Co., and worked out of the Kirk Avenue and Bush Street bus barns.

At his 1991 retirement from the Mass Transit Administration, successor to the BTC, he was working out of the Retreat Street bus barn and drove buses on the No. 5 and No. 18 lines.

Both passengers and fellow drivers liked him.

"When he was sick, he received so many cards from former passengers," said his wife of 20 years, the former Kate Smith.

After retiring from the MTA and until his death, Mr. Dixon drove for the Wheatley Transportation Co., taking developmentally disabled patrons to day care providers.

Mr. Dixon liked cultivating a large garden behind his Northwest Baltimore rowhouse where he grew tomatoes and cabbages. He enjoyed giving them away to family and neighbors.

"He was always a very generous person," said Mrs. Dixon.

Mr. Dixon also liked drawing portraits and landscapes. He often returned home from church, inspired by a sermon, and tried to re-create it in a drawing, family members said.

He was a parishioner of Christian Life Church, 6605 Liberty Road, where services will be held at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow .

In addition to his wife, Mr. Dixon is survived by a son, James Phillips of Baltimore; three daughters, Anne Dixon, Maxine Dixon and Rita Callaman, all of Baltimore; a brother, Oliver Cassell of Catonsville; two sisters, Shirlee Smith and Lillian Stewart, both of Baltimore; and seven grandchildren.

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