NO. 17604 • 16 June 1928 – 2 Jan 2010
Died in Orlando, FL
Cremated. Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Louis Frederick Dixon was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA, the son of Jesse and Elizabeth Garney Dixon. Growing up, he led a very dynamic and active life. He was very involved in the Boy Scouts of America, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. At Elmer L. Myers High School, he was on the wrestling, gymnastics, rifle, track and field teams as well as being in the school band. During that time, he courted his high school sweetheart, Elaine Diterick, who would become his wife and lifelong companion.
The 1950 Howitzer reads as follows about Louis: “First one up at reveille and last one in bed at taps, Lou could never find time to keep up with his many and varied activities. The ‘Wilkes-Barre mauler’ didn’t mind though, because the Tactical Department was never able to keep up with him either. Next to beating the Tactical Department, Lou liked to tell stories best. With all these abilities, we know he will go a long way in the Armored. (He actually ended up being commissioned as a Signal Corps Officer, as he had wanted). Gymnastics, Wrestling, German Club, Art Club, Dance Orchestra, Radio Club, and Sergeant.”
Upon graduation, the overwhelming majority of the Class of 1950 went to war in Korea. Lou’s first troop assignment, after completion of officer entry training, was as a platoon leader in combat with the 51st Signal Battalion in Korea. As a Signal Corps officer, he was involved in five battle campaigns in Korea, one in which he sustained severe permanent injury to his knee. Upon Lou’s return from the war zone, he was assigned to Ft. Monmouth, NJ, as a tactical officer and company commander in the Signal Corps Officer Candidate School and later as a member of the Signal Corps Board.
Lou was transferred to Europe in the summer of 1956, following a year at Rutgers University studying writing and two years at Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration earning his master’s degree. There he served as a Branch Chief and Comptroller in the Signal Division of Headquarters, U.S. Army Europe, and Signal Command, Europe.
Reassignment back to the United States in 1959, returned Lou to his alma mater, where he made lasting contributions as the Chief of the Management and ADP Divisions and as assistant comptroller of West Point. During this assignment he was a co-developer of West Point’s management instruction and instrumental in the evolution of the Academy’s computer program. After completing Airborne School, Lou attended the Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS, in August 1963. Upon graduation, he served for a brief period as executive officer of the 501st Signal Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, at Ft. Bragg, Ft. Benning, and Ft. Jackson. In December 1964, Lou was assigned as a signal staff officer with the XVIII Airborne Corps at Ft. Bragg, NC. He later became commander of the 36th Signal Battalion, serving with that unit at both Ft. Bragg and in the Dominican Republic.
In June 1966, Lou was reassigned to the Republic of Vietnam as the commander of the 73rd Signal Battalion and later as a senior staff officer with the 21st Signal Group and the 1st Signal Brigade. While in Vietnam, Lou was involved in two major battle campaigns. In August 1967, Lou returned to the United States and the Pentagon on the Department of the Army Staff in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, first as an action officer and ultimately as Chief of the Information and Data Systems Office.
In July 1971, Lou was assigned to the Army War College as Director of Management Information Systems, Automatic Data Processing, and Audiovisual Instructional Technology Support Division. It was under his leadership that the television support to the War College grew from a small black and white capability into the Army’s best low-budget color television studio and closed- circuit system of that time.
Lou’s awards included two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, the Army Commendation Medal, two Purple Hearts plus numerous campaign medals for Korea, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam, and the Parachute Badge.
After retiring from the Army in 1977, Lou was an assistant professor of mathematics and computer science at Shippensburg University, Decision Systems Group VP with MANDEX, Inc., and ran his own company, Applied Decision Systems, Inc., as well as consulting projects with former associates. He remained active in the Boy Scouts, receiving their Silver Beaver Award, and DeMolay, receiving their Legion of Honor. Lou and Elaine moved to Melbourne, FL, in 1991 and enjoyed a more leisurely life, primarily playing golf and relaxing in their beautiful and well deserved new home and pool. Lou, not one to shy away from contributing his time and expertise to community improvement, continued to volunteer his time as a Florida master gardener, serving on various committees and being elected to the Board of Directors of their master homeowners association. Elaine, who meant so very, very much to Lou and his family, died in July 2006. Lou and Elaine were laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on 20 Apr 2010.
Lou was a great leader, innovator, and a wonderful, caring, charitable and accomplished man. He was a loving, devoted, outstanding, and true husband, father, grandfather, and friend who will be dearly missed so very much by all who knew and loved him (as will Elaine, his wife of 56 years). He is survived by his daughter Pamela (Sr. Systems Analyst, Washington Navy Yard), son Jeff (The Citadel 1981), granddaughter Megan (VCU 2003) and grandsons Jonathan (USNA 2011) and Stephen (USNA 2013). Daughter Valerie was tragically killed in a car accident in 1980 and has been dearly missed by her family ever since.
COL and Mrs. Dixon, Mom and Dad, well done, and God rest your souls! We’ll see you on the other side of the enternal life.