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Warren Edouard Dixon

March 23, 1931 - November 17, 2019

Warren Edouard DixonA TESTIMONY TO MY DAD Duty, honor, decency, reliability, and tenacity: these are all qualities that my father not only held in high esteem, but with which he tried to live throughout his life. He was a disciplined and organized man, but he could never resist an opportunity to have a laugh with those he loved. His positive attitude and infectious sense of humor truly sustained him in his last months. Dad saw a lot during his lifetime, especially since he was born smack-dab in the middle of the Great Depression. He saw a world ravaged by war he himself was a staff sergeant in the Air Force stationed in Alaska as a radar technician during the Korean War, then the Cold War, Watergate, the Oil Crisis, Whitewater, Iraq, Afghanistan, the twin towers, not to mention the social and cultural revolution that exploded in the early 60’s and 70’s. It’s mind-boggling to think about how these events in history can shape a person. As a result, he passed onto his prodigy, his love for God, family, and country. He loved God, first and foremost and wasn’t shy about sharing that information. Though he actively fought for his life every minute of his last 8-1/2 months, he was confident in knowing Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, so he fully understood that if his physical fight wasn’t successful, he would still win because he would spend his eternity in heaven. Even though my dad lived a long and fruitful life when he passed away on November 17, 2019; we would have gladly kept him for longer. Mom and I promised him that as long as he wanted to fight that fight, we would be his advocates and stand by him; we tried our best to keep that promise. We have never witnessed anyone fight so hard to stay alive and through such difficult challenges. God healed him numerous times and we were so thankful for everything that God gave to him in the end; we know that His ways are not our ways and we were continually reminded to trust God in every situation. So, Dad was born in Sacramento, California on March 23, 1931 to Ralph and Bonita Dixon. He grew up with two sisters and a brother with whom he dearly loved. He graduated from Benson High School in Portland, Oregon and served in the Air Force from 1952-1956. On June 23, 1956, he married the love of his life, Danielle Chittenden. He loved her dearly and knew he was blessed even from his sick bed to celebrate their 63rd anniversary last summer. At the last count, they had seven children, 28 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren. Dad always felt that his greatest accomplishment was his family. He was fiercely protective and proud of all of us from his siblings, to his wife, kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. He drew such great strength and love from us all, but was always there with open arms and a generous heart. His grave marker attests to this: “Love binds us together.” That’s not to say that we didn’t have our difficult moments. Dad was a very choleric-type personality: in charge, organized, always right, born leader, independent, decisive, goal-oriented, and ambitious, so occasionally, things were less than peaceful. As us kids became teenagers, each of us inevitably went toe-to-toe with Dad because our strong-willed temperaments would clash with his. Like most kids at that crazy age, we believed that we were smarter than he was. It was interesting, however, that in just a few years’ time, Dad got so much smarter! It was like he became a genius overnight! Ahhhh…teenagers, you’ve gotta love them. I’ve always enjoyed the fact that God surrounded Dad with very strong women, too. From Nana, Dad’s mom, to his eldest sister, Dolores, baby sister, Tana, his nieces, Celeste and Carrie, myself, my four girls, and a number of others…he didn’t stand a chance. Even my Mom who is so sweet, amiable, and kind-hearted could give Dad a run for his money when he was being ornery. Dad began working for Tektronix in 1958 as an electrical engineer in sales, opening and managing new offices for his company; he was a natural at this and his company relied heavily upon his expertise and natural abilities. He also worked in their Military Products Division, in Marketing Support, and in Personnel Administration; he worked for 26 years from Portland, Oregon to Houston, Texas to all over California. He finally retired in 1984. We were told time and time again by co-workers that Dad was well-loved by them, many of whom became close friends. While continuing to work for Tektronix in Beaverton in about 1965, Dad moved us from California to Oregon for two years and he ran our small farm in Damascus. To me, that was where he seemed to shine because, even though, he was well-educated, he found peace and harmony in the simple ways of the land, the necessary hard manual work, heavy responsibility, long hours, and the wholesome setting of nature. Dad also built and sold two beautiful homes in Oregon with his little brother, Noel Dixon; he absolutely loved working with him. He was very handy and was a “do-it-yourselfer.” If he didn’t know how to do it, he would either figure it out or learn from someone else. He passed on some very beneficial skills to us kids, which have sustained us over the years. I have one brother who is an excellent carpenter just from what Dad taught him. Dad also excelled at repairing his vehicles. He taught each one of us the “basics” of mechanics and keeping our cars running. Years later, Dad became the pastor of a Portland church start-up and was a missionary and church planter for American Missionary Fellowship which took him and Mom to Hermiston and Milton-Freewater, Oregon for a couple years. After returning to the Salem area around 1992, he worked for the National Guard for several years and eventually retired from that position as well. He continued to work in an administrative position with his and Mom’s churches Monmouth Christian Center and New Life Ministries for a number of years before finally retiring from everything. He was also instrumental in starting the "Helping Hands” Ministry at Monmouth Christian Church, which continues to this day supplying local families in need with clothing and food. This last year has been very challenging for our over-all family. Our beloved Aunt Dolores Dad’s eldest sister passed away in May and my sweet Uncle Noel Dad’s little brother lost his wife in June. Dad’s passing in November completes a trifecta that we can hardly bare. We miss them so much and struggle to recognize our family after the loss of such icons. We are so thankful, though, that God, not only gave us more time with Dad, but He made that times very special. God never wastes an opportunity to bless or mature us. He’s always on the ready to gives us His best through even the most difficult times in this sin-filled world. My encouragement would be to celebrate these lives that have gone before us. The Bible tells us that there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Weeping brings healing; God designed it that way. He planned for our falling tears to wash away the pain, grief, and loneliness that results from the death of a loved one. Don’t let anyone hurry you through this process. We need this time to cry and seek recovery from these unbearable losses. So cry, unabashedly, as often as you need to in the coming months. We can be thankful that for our loved ones, God has “wiped every tear” from their eyes, and for them, there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain as they experience their heavenly calling. Time will help to heal our hearts, but God will be our ultimate Healer, if we’ll allow Him. So, celebrate that life! Light a candle, let loose a bunch of balloons, celebrate their birthdays with cake and ice cream. Don’t be afraid to face the holidays; cook their favorite foods, trim the Christmas tree with their special decorations, make a new year’s toast. Also, don’t forget to pamper yourself a little once in a while: talk to a close friend or family member, stay involved in church, or GET involved in church, spend time outdoors, work hard, take long, hot baths, treat yourself to something special, continue to be active, and don’t isolate yourself. Bring honor to their memories and shine as bright as you can during this difficult time. That is one of God’s greatest callings on our lives…to be that shining light in the midst of the darkest days. Here is one final thought from “Winnie the Pooh” that touches my heart deeply: “If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something that you must always remember: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and much smarter than you think. But the most important thing is that, even if we are apart, I’ll always be with you.” Thank you for celebrating with us the life of our father, husband, grandpa, uncle, brother, and friend. Vonda Jackson

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Love to the family from Pam, Devon, and Aliyah. We love you and miss you Warren. You were nothing but a blessing to our lives.