Frank Fredrick Dixon
August 13, 1933 – November 30, 2018
Frank Fredrick Dixon passed away on Friday, November 30, 2018 in Ivins, Utah where he was a resident in the Southern Utah Veterans Home. He was born in a lowly shack in the middle of a wheat field in Shoestring, Idaho, near Gooding, on August 13, 1933; the third child and only son of Persis Alice Tinker and Harvey Wells Dixon.
As a child, Frank loved to spend time with his father in the outdoors fishing and hunting, and working in the farm fields where he spent much time preparing the soil, planting and harvesting. The story is told that one day in the fields the men were having great difficulty handling a newly bit-broken plow horse. It would rear up and would not be guided by the strong-armed men who pulled severely on the reins tied to the bit in horse’s sore mouth. One of the men said, “Let Frank try it.” The others complained that it would be impossible as Frank was only a 6-year-old boy. It turned out to be the right decision for the horse’s sake, and for the task of furrowing the rows, as the gentle tug of his small hands and the light pull of his small frame calmed the horse, and it obeyed his guidance.
His teen years were turbulent and fraught with struggles of self-worth. But, he had a few good friends who helped him stay away from “the corruption of youth” and generally out of trouble. He attributes the only form of discipline outside of his home to his love of music and his success playing the trumpet and being a drum major for the high school band.
After high school Frank joined the Navy. The Korean War was the conflict at the time, and he was deployed to the Philippines in the Seabee’s and worked to build the infrastructure for the headquarters of the Seventh Fleet. The Navy is where he found real discipline, gained a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and a commitment to the Church, and made life-long friendships with Navy buddies he called “brothers in the Gospel.”
Prior to deployment, Frank met Nancy Stapley in Oxnard, California, where he was stationed. He said, “The Lord led me literally to Nancy.” Nancy waited for Frank while he was deployed to the Philippines. They shared many tender love letters while they were apart. Frank and Nancy were married in the LDS Idaho Falls Temple on December 11, 1953. He said, “I married far above myself and have never caught up.” This wonderful union was blessed with six children: Mark (Robin), David (Jana), James (Lisa), Carolyn Leavitt (Wade), Abby Bergquist-Armstrong (Michael), and Andrew (Heidi). They have since been blessed with 35 grandchildren and 43 great grandchildren.
Upon starting a family and being discharged from the Navy, Frank attended Idaho State on the GI Bill. He was able to complete a bachelor’s degree in education, qualifying to teach English, Social Studies and Physical Education. After a year of teaching he returned to Idaho State and earned a master’s degree in educational administration. He spent his career working for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Heavenly Father entrusted Frank with many important callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a bishop, a Stake President, a full-time missionary with his wife in South Africa, a member of the temple presidency, and then the President of the Las Vegas LDS Temple. Most of his life people in the church knew him simply as “President Dixon.” He was a leader and teacher, a confidant and counselor, and a spiritual exemplar. Many would seek out and revere his advice. Although he was known to have a serious demeanor he had a heart of compassion, mourning with those who mourned and rejoicing with those who rejoiced.
His living legacy is his children. He was focused and committed to the ways of Christ. Frank taught his children to “pray and walk uprightly before the Lord,” and when he made a mistake he was man enough (and father enough) to apologize to them and correct his ways. He loved his wife deeply and taught his children to respect, love and honor their mother. He was also a man who spoke to others with great pride about his children. He was very proud of their accomplishments, and how they did their best to raise their own children in love and truth, as he did. He loved all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Each was acknowledged and valued on a personal level. Upon his phone calls, the first child to answer always heard his endearing question, “Does anyone there love Grandpa?”
Time, age, a loving and patient wife, and the Savior molded the man into a gentle giant. His legacy of influence, teaching and love will be a gentle tug on our reins, guiding us down the furrowed rows, pointing us toward Christ.
Frank was preceded in death by his mother and father, his son-in-law, Barry Bergquist (Abby), and his beloved wife, Nancy. He is survived by his four sisters, Nancy Jean Burt (Robert), Gilda Wade, Persis Weston (John), and Elsie Lively. Frank is also survived by those he had a fatherly, life-long influence upon and who spent much time in his home; Gloria Patterson (Michael), Missy Gerry Taylor (Doran), Michael Gerry (Julie), and Susannah Thompson (Gary).
A viewing will be held on Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. The viewing and funeral will be held at the Tule Springs LDS Stake Center, 6051 Dorrell Lane, Las Vegas, Nevada 89131.
Interment will be held on December 10, 2018 in Meadow Valley, California, next to his wife, Nancy.
- Visitation Saturday, December 8, 2018
- Funeral Service Saturday, December 8, 2018
Frank Fredrick Dixon
January 3, 2019
When I was about 15, an unfortunate Sunday School teacher told me that my mom could never go to the Celestial kingdom because she wasn't married. Humiliated, I left class to find my mom, who promptly marched me to your dad's stake president office. The relationship that allowed us that kind of comfort and support had long been in place because of the many acts of service that both your parents had given us - dates to daddy daughter activities, babysitting, helping us get Mother's Day presents, etc. As I sat in your dad's office, I felt the love of our Heavenly Father through him. He gave me universal advice that has applied to so many of life's hardships. First, don't listen to judgmental people, they are not God and only God can judge. Second, God loves all His children more than we can comprehend so He will take care of them and their eternal salvation, offering every opportunity here on earth and in heaven for us to succeed. Third, I only have to worry about myself and doing the best I can do.
This advice is almost better than my patriarchal blessing at helping me through hard times. I can never pay back what your family gave to me and my family, but I can pay it forward. Through your parents example, I see the importance of sharing your time and your talents and I appreciate the sacrifice that the kids in your family made because of what their parents shared. Thank you.
Persis and John Weston and family
December 6, 2018
I will truly miss my loving brother. He has always been the solid rock in our family. Our love extends out to all of his family. We love you all.
Dena and Steve Hoff
December 5, 2018
We met Brother Dixion when we joined the church in the 23rd Ward. We remember that he and his sweet wife attended our family's baptism, even though we didn't know them at that time. But from that time forth, we counted them as our brother and sister in the gospel. He was always kind, always had a smile and uplifting words for us. We are grateful to have memories of his wonderful family. We offer our condolences, prayers and love to his family.
December 4, 2018
He was my bishop and my classmate's (Mark Dixon) dad.