"I think he did great work as state treasurer," Minnich said. "He just took whatever the job title was at hand and applied his common sense and sense of humor to it, and was able to be a good part of the dialogue, whatever the public issue."
Discipline and a sense of teamwork was, perhaps, a product of his military service. Dixon served in the Army from 1960 to 1968, attaining the rank of captain. He served with the 101st Airborne Division and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam.
Dixon valued education as a social duty and responsibility. He received his bachelor of science degree and a master's degree in business administration from Morgan State.
He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws in 1988 from then-Western Maryland College, and an Honorary Doctor of Public Service in 1994 from Carroll Community College.
Villa Julie College and Morgan State University also conferred honorary degrees on him in 1997.
As a child, Dixon had attended Robert Moton School in Westminster, and even after that school was closed, he retained his affinity for it.
Robert Moton School, named for the black Virginia educator who headed Tuskegee Institute from 1915 to 1935 was, for 35 years, a 12-grade school that provided the only education available to black children in Westminster. It was closed in 1965 when the county schools were integrated. Its building is part of the Carroll Community College campus.
Still, Dixon had wanted its heritage remembered. In the 1970s, he was instrumental in getting a new elementary school in Westminster named Robert Moton Elementary — and in 2004 was honored at the school with a portrait that had been painted by local artist Tom Holder.
"I am the one who insisted the new school keep the name of the old one, even though the student body would be mostly white — that is the makeup of Carroll County," Dixon told the Baltimore Sun in 2004. "I was on the school board at the time and I had the support of my colleagues in this effort, although the decision was not the popular one."
On Thursday, in announcing Dixon's passing, current state Treasurer Nancy Kopp described Dixon as a man who was, "clear and confident in his convictions, and brought great intelligence and common sense to public service.
"Treasurer Dixon was a person who succeeded as a military officer during the Vietnam War, as a businessman and stockbroker, as a state legislator and as the state treasurer," she said.
Services scheduled for June 12
Richard N. Dixon was the son of Thomas A. Dixon and Mamie Dixon; loving husband of Grayson Dixon; father of Timothy and Richard Jr. and brother of Edith Davenport, Trudy Green and Twila Mitchell.
He was also the grandfather of Marilyn, Richard III and Robert; nephew of Julia Gibson and Adina Ashburn; father-in-law of Sandra; brother-in-law of Vivian Dorsey, Mae Beard, Hazel Collins, Thelma Smith, Bernice Young, Ivory Green and Carl Dorsey.
Survivors also include a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and aunts and uncles.
He was preceded in death by brothers Thomas Jr. and William; sister Dorothy; sisters-in-laws Rosa Lee Dixon and Sedonia Dorsey; and brothers-in-law George Collins, Calvin Dorsey, James Dorsey, Delmar Dorsey, Louis Beard, Gerald Davenport and George Young.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, June 12, from 11 a.m. until start of services at 1 p.m. at the Gilliam Concert Hall in the Murphy Fine Arts Center at Morgan State University, 2201 Argonne Rd., Baltimore. Interment will follow in St. Luke's United Methodist Church Cemetery in Sykesville.
The family requests that contributions be made to the Mamie Dixon Scholarship at Morgan State University, 2201 Argonne Dr., Baltimore, MD 21251 or to St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 350 River Road, Sykesville, MD 21784; or to the Former Students and Friends of Robert Moton, 300 South Center St., Westminster, MD 21157.
Online condolences may be sent to http://www.prittsfuneralhome.com
Jim Joyner contributed to this story.