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John Waverly Dixon, 91, on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, passed away peacefully at his cottage on Cherry Point, Gwynn’s Island, Virginia, surrounded by friends and family. He was the husband of the late Anita Lucille Ans-burg of 47 years. He is survived by his wife, Charlotte Sonya (Penny); a son, John H. Dixon (Patti); daughters, Gaynelle Ruben, Kathryn West (Kitty), Susan Reagan (Chris); grandchildren and great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews and their families. He was also survived by his faithful companion Brittany Spaniel “Dixie.”

He was born in Newport News, Virginia, on Oct. 5, 1931. He graduated from Mathews High School. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, better known as Georgia Tech, majoring in Civil Engineering and graduated with distinct honors in 1954. At Georgia Tech, John was a distinguished cadet in the Army ROTC. Following graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He was assigned to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and deployed to Germany, France, and Morocco. After completing his military duties, he returned to the United States and was hired as a Civil Engineer for Standard Oil of Indiana where he met his wife, Anita Ansburg. He then began working for his wife’s father’s company, Redi Plumbing and Mechanical in Calumet City, Illinois. He became an engineer for the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. In 1962, John took a position in Civil Service at Langley Air Force Base and spent 35 years maintaining Tactical Air Command and Air Combat Command facilities and infrastructure as General Manager for the Air Combat Command. During his employment in the 1960s, John served as a combat engineer in the Army Reserve rising to the rank of Major. During his retirement, John became a consultant at Parsons-Brinkerhoff engineering and design firm. Johnny’s interests included running, playing golf, writing books, amateur photography, and spending time with his grandchildren. He was an artist and an historian. He was instrumental in naming the athletic field at Mathews High School after his football coach, Kenneth Brown. John volunteered as a docent at the Gwynn’s Island Museum and authored many short stories regarding Black History of Gwynn’s Island, and the adventures of John Smith. A graveside service was held on Monday, April 10, 2023, at 2 p.m. at H. C. Smither Memorial Cemetery, Hudgins, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Gwynn’s Island Museum.

Faulkner Funeral Homes, Foster-Faulkner Chapel, Mathews, Virginia, assisted the family.


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