Retired Dover city Councilman Wallace R. Dixon died July 7.
Friends and acquaintances throughout the city are mourning former Dover city council member Wallace R. Dixon.
Dixon’s wife, Lillie R. Dixon, said her husband died at the age of 77 at their home Saturday, July 7.
Mayor Robin Christiansen ordered city flags be flown at half-staff shortly after hearing of Dixon’s death.
“Councilman Dixon was a quiet gentleman who did God’s work as well as that of a representative of the people of Dover with dignity and integrity,” Christiansen said. “His persistence and attention to detail were a quality to be envied.
“While some people have to trumpet their accomplishments, Councilman Dixon silently served and helped change Dover for the better,” the mayor added. “He will be sorely missed but never forgotten.”
A retired Air Force senior master sergeant, Dixon had come to Kent County in 1962 when assigned to Dover Air Force Base. He won a special election in November 2012 to fill the Fourth District council seat left vacant by the death of Councilwoman Sophia Russell.
Dixon lost his bid for re-election in 2015 to current councilman Roy Sudler Jr.
Reached at her home, Lillie R. Dixon, called her husband, “a wonderful man.”
“He was a person who wanted to do things for people,” Mrs. Dixon said. “He was a people person who wanted to make things better. That was nothing unusual for him.”
The couple would have celebrated their 55th anniversary in August, Mrs. Dixon said. They have three children, Wallace R. Dixon II and Lydia Small, both of Dover, and Ruthie Dixon of Virginia, plus nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Dixon was appointed city chaplain in September 2000 and served until being sworn in as a councilman in December 2012. He was reappointed to the position in 2016 and still was serving at the time of his death.
He was appointed in 2002 as a chaplain of the Dover Police Department.
Dixon served as an elder for the Bibleway Temple Church of God in Christ, where he also worked as an administrative assistant.
During his political career, Dixon had served on the Delaware state Human Relations Commission and the Governor’s Council on Equal Employment Opportunity.
During his term on council, Dixon served as chair of the Parks, Recreation and Community Enhancement Committee and was a member of the Safety Advisory and Transportation Committee and also was appointed to the Downtown Dover Partnership board of directors and the Kent County Tourism board of directors.
On hearing of Dixon’s passing, council President Tim Slavin said, “Wallace Dixon represented everything we want in our community: a strong moral compass, an innate sense of empathy, and toughness when he felt the situation warranted it.
“For many years, he was a touchstone for me and others on council, and his perspective was always respected and listened to.”
Current Fourth District Councilman David L. Anderson called Dixon “one of the finest people I knew.
“Many know his legacy of service, minister, veteran, police chaplain, and councilman, but I was most impressed with his heart for God and people,” Anderson said. “His legacy will go on as he was a key in finding the Restoring Central Dover grant that has helped turn our city around and it shines brightly in his family.”
“We were all fortunate to have Wallace Dixon as our chaplain for several years” Dover Police Department Deputy Chief Maj. Tim Stump said. “During his tenure, he never missed an opportunity to show his support for the men and women of the police department. He was at every promotion and award ceremony to give the invocation or benediction and he would always hang out afterward to congratulate the officers and their families.
“He was all about public service and he will certainly be missed.”
State Rep. Sean Lynn remembers Dixon as a friend and compatriot.
“I had the pleasure of serving with Councilman Dixon on Dover’s city council,” Lynn said. “We sat next to each other, and over the years we became good friends. Wallace was a kind man. A loving man. He cared deeply for his family, God, his country and his community.”
Former city council President Dave Bonar served with Dixon for several years.
“Certainly Pastor Dixon was one of the kindest and unassuming men I’ve ever met,” Bonar said. “His dedication to Dover and his constituents was unwavering. I valued his counsel and willingness to listen. He was a wonderful man.
“While we didn’t agree on everything he was never disagreeable in his reasoning or his thoughts afterward,” Bonar added. “He exemplified what each of us should strive to become.”
“First and foremost, he was a dear friend,” said former city councilman and former mayor James Hutchison.
“He was a man who served his country and served it well by serving in the United States Air Force. He also served his community and served it well. He was a man who had a deep love and commitment to God, and most importantly had that commitment toward his family. I’m extremely proud to have been able to call him my friend.
“He truly will be missed in the Dover community.”
Mrs. Dixon said arrangements are in the hands of the Bennie Smith Funeral Home, Dover.