Marion Doris Jacqueline DIXON
June 19, 1934 – May 14, 2020
Marion Doris Jacqueline Dixon, a generous volunteer, former teacher, mother of five and devoted grandmother of 13, unexpectedly died May 14 after a fall in her home. She was 85.
Born in 1934 in Ottawa, Ontario, Jackie attended Glebe Collegiate High School in Ottawa, where her father, John Wesley Sterling, was a public school principal and her mother, Doris Mary Sterling, was a school teacher. In 1953 Jackie earned a bachelor’s degree from Carleton University in Ottawa, where she was top in her class. After first working as a clerk, Jackie pursued a career in education. In 1956 she married John Dixon, whom she met in high school. The couple settled in Hamilton, Ontario, where Jackie began teaching and John was a chemical engineer for Procter & Gamble Company.
When son Steven was born in 1960, Jackie retired from teaching and devoted her time to being a mother. The family welcomed daughter Lynn in 1962 and son Glenn in 1964 before moving briefly to Cincinnati where daughter Heather was born in 1966. In 1970 son Jeffrey was born after the family returned to Hamilton.
Jackie’s keen curiosity and passion for travel made moving from Canada to Cincinnati to Belgium and back again to Cincinnati during John’s 20 years at Procter & Gamble a fun adventure. She was equally thrilled to put down roots in Deephaven, Minnesota, on Lake Minnetonka when John joined Minneapolis-based Pillsbury Company in 1975.
Jackie loved the outdoors. She was an avid hiker, sailor, canoeist, swimmer and marine wildlife advocate. Growing up, she spent entire summers on the Ottawa River in Norway Bay, Quebec, at a cottage built in 1923 by her maternal grandfather, Norman Schwerdfager. She adored the Norway Bay community, a place where the Sterling-Dixon family continues to gather to this day. Other favorite family vacations included camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness, boating in the Florida Keys and Bahamas, and skiing in Colorado. Jackie delighted in exploring all over the world including Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand and the majority of Europe.
In 1992 Jackie and John chose Longboat Key, Florida, as the perfect warm-weather place to retire. In addition to building their house, they became founding members of Christ Church of Longboat Key, which first gathered in 2005 and later built its sanctuary in 2011. Jackie’s love of family extended to her church family; her love of God and Christ the Lord served as a guiding light throughout her life.
An enthusiastic lifelong learner, Jackie led an active retirement. She volunteered as a reading buddy for at-risk children at the Neighborhood Learning Center-Bradenton and as a docent for Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota. She also was passionate about genealogy, an interest that she happily shared with extended family members. Her research uncovered a family secret: her mother had married without telling anyone for six months because teachers weren’t allowed to work and be married! A devoted grandmother, Jackie’s ability to ask great questions and actively listen endeared her to her grandchildren. She loved sitting on the floor reading and playing games with all of them. As each grandchild grew, Jackie seized every opportunity to watch and cheer them in their extracurricular activities.
Jackie is survived by her husband of 63 years, John Dixon of Lakewood Ranch, Fla.; sons Steven Dixon (Betsy) of Berkeley, Calif.; Glenn Dixon (Eleri) of New York, New York; and Jeffrey Dixon (Jill) of Los Angeles, Calif.; daughters Lynn Dixon-Anderson (Gene) of Princeton, New Jersey; and Heather Driscoll (Thomas) of Los Gatos, Calif.; grandchildren Phoebe Dixon, Erik Dixon-Anderson, Andrew Dixon, Sydney Dixon, Ian Dixon-Anderson, Sean Driscoll, Sterling Dixon, Kyle Dixon-Anderson, Jacqueline Driscoll, Makayla Dixon, Matthew Driscoll, Meiers Dixon and Nation Dixon; sister Mary Hennigar (Erik) of Perth, Ontario; brothers John Sterling (Alice) of Burlington, Ontario; and Norman Sterling (Joan) of Toronto, Ontario; and former sister-in-law Janet Sterling of Manotick, Ontario.
A service in celebration of Jackie’s life will be held for family only on Saturday, May 30, at 4:00 p.m. at Christ Church of Longboat Key. Friends are invited to Livestream the service at https://christchurchlbk.org. There will be a private burial at Palms Memorial Park in Sarasota. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Christ Church of Longboat Key or a charity of one’s choice.
Online condolences can be offered at www.palmsmemorial.com
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Marion Doris Jacqueline DIXON
May 22, 2020
She did such an awesome job raising her kids!
If they are all as kind and sweet as jeff.. “well done good and faithful servant!!!”