Miriam Dixon, 81, homemaker, wife of House of Delegates member

December 01, 2005|By JACQUES KELLY | JACQUES KELLY,SUN REPORTER

Miriam Dixon, a homemaker and the wife of former Maryland House of Delegates member Isaiah "Ike" Dixon Jr., died of cancer Friday at her Roland Park home. She was 81.

Born Miriam Sylvia Millard in Washington, D.C., she was a 1941 graduate of Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School and became an X-ray technician at the old Freedman's Hospital, now a part of Howard University Hospital, where she received her medical training.

Shortly after World War II, she met her future husband in a crowd at Union Station.

"She was standing on the platform and had a large package," said her husband of 58 years. "She was struggling with the box. I offered my services. ... And I've been carrying that package ever since."

A homemaker for most of her 58 years of marriage, Mrs. Dixon often visited her husband at his business, the Comedy Club on Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore, where Miles Davis, Dinah Washington, Della Reese, Earl Garner and Billie Holiday appeared. He was co-manager for many years.

She also supported her husband's political career while he served 16 years in the House of Delegates. She was an alternate delegate to the 1976 Democratic Convention in New York, where she met and befriended future President Jimmy Carter. She was later a financial supporter of Habitat for Humanity.

Mrs. Dixon was an active Roman Catholic and attended Saint Edward and St. Mary of the Assumption churches. She and her husband made a religious pilgrimage to Rome and were part of an audience with Pope John Paul II.

She was also a member of Gilman School's Fitness Club, the Daytimers Club at Grace Presbyterian Church and the Cross Keys Tuesday Afternoon Bridge Group.

"She was a nurturing mother who instilled a strong value system in me," said her son, Isaiah "Ike" Dixon III, an attorney who lives in Mount Washington. "She was soft-spoken with a warm and gentle spirit."

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at noon Saturday at St. Bernardine Roman Catholic Church, 3812 Edmondson Ave.

In addition to her husband and son, survivors include a stepdaughter, Joyce Wood of Gary, Ind.; four brothers: Wilbur Millard, Robert Millard and Louvon Millard of Washington, D.C., and Donald Millard of Baltimore; three sisters: Cleo Davis and Diane Gordon of Washington and Phyllis Savage of Riverdale; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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