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Richard B. Dixon

Richard B. Dixon

Richard B. Dixon, 86, retired educator of Little Rock passed away, Monday, October 29, 2012. He was born December 31, 1925 to Samuel P. Dixon and Eunice Austin Dixon. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Charles J. Dixon. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Eva Dixon of Little Rock.

He attended Little Rock public schools, graduating from Little Rock High School in 1944. He served in the Navy from 1944 to 1946. After discharge, he attended Little Rock Junior College. He was elected President of the sophomore class of 1947 to 1948. He received his A.B. in education from Southwestern College (now Rhodes College) in Memphis, TN in 1948. His M.A. in History was received at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR. He began his teaching career at Little Rock Junior College (now the University of Arkansas at Little Rock) and continued teaching in the History Department for twenty-three years. After retiring he received the UALR Alumnus Association Faculty Emeritus in Education, recognizing twenty-four years of Excellence in Education.

He was very active and became a permanent member of the Pulaski County Historical Society and served as President for two years. He received the J.B. Shellcutt Award for Outstanding contribution to Preservation of Pulaski County Heritage and also the P. Westbrook Award for Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation. He was considered, by many to be one of the important historians in this area.

A visitation will be held at Ruebel Funeral Home, 6313 W. Markham St. on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 from 4 to 6 p.m. A graveside service will be held at Roselawn Memorial Park on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 1 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: UALR- Richard B. Dixon Scholarship Fund, 2801 S. University Ave., Little Rock, AR 72204. Arrangements by Ruebel Funeral Home,

Condolence Book

"We will miss Richard and his tales of lore. We will miss his incredible recall and his sharp wit. We will miss the fact that history lived through him and to sit at his feet as a student (of any age) was a lesson in attentive listening, for you could easily miss what it was he was teaching, and you just might be quizzed on what he had just delivered. With candor, he could excite and challenge the most timid among us, and yet would be your friend as he lifted you from mediocrity to a new level of awareness about life and its incredible journey. He loved the stage of his classroom and sacrificed time and energy to stretch those young minds of "mush" into ones brimming with energy and excitement. What an honor and a privilege to have known him and speak of things old and grand, or new and unexplored. His memory lives on in the many lives he has touched - for the good. "
Joe and Mary Alice Henry | Little Rock, AR

"Richard Dixon kindled my interest in hstory and politics as a 19 year old student at then LRJC. A gifted instructor and a subtle motivator, he opened my mind to expanded thinking beyond anything I had ever contemplated. He left a legacy of countless other students like me and will be remembered by me as a very special instructor and a unique human being. "
Gene Fortson |

"Deepest sympathies at this time of loss. Mr. Dixon was an early Board member at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military and provided valuable leadership and advice as we prepared to open the museum in 2001. "
Stephan McAteer | Little Rock, AR

"My condolences to Mr. Dixon's family. He was my professor at LRU. He was a great educator, not only for the subject matter, but for those life lessons that we all needed and remember. I am so glad I got to visit with him at the LRU/UALR Alumni Reunion. I will miss his letters to the editor and his great memory of what Little Rock was like at one time. We are truly losing a legend."
annette williams | little rock, AR

Dr Hampton Roy | Little Rock, AR

"Richard Baker Dixon was a teacher extraordinaire, one of the few teachers a person of my age (72, Class of '62) can still look back upon with an awe that only his ex-students can really appreciate. All of us have our favorite memories of this man one way or another- he was simply not a personality anyone would view with ambivalence- but few would ever say that he failed to enrich their lives as students and on in to the life that followed. He probably did more to focus my study skills than anyone in my academic life. I know that when my wife and I (Carol Turner Burton, Class of '64) talk about teachers, professors, instructors from days of yore or in crrent times, Mr. Dixon is a standard we think about in describing the impact such folks can have on a life. God rest you, Mr. Dixon. And, Thanks. "
Ron Burton | Meridian, MS

"Ah, dear Richard. We first met when I was but a lad and you nothing more than in your twenties. Both at dusty, old Central Presbyterian in LR. These words, from a song written in 1932 by a grieving, young husband who had just lost his wife, may help you walk Home: "Precious Lord take my hand, lead me on, let me stand. I am tired, I am weak, I am worn. Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light. Take my hand, precious Lord. Lead me Home." Tommy Dorsey"
Michael Crist | Hohenwald, TN

"Thirty years ago I was at a party when a gentleman with grand Southern manners inquired if he could catch a ride home. I had observed everyone in the room hugging, kissing, slapping-him-on-the-back and becoming enraptured in conversation with him. All in the room knew RICHARD DIXON and paid him hommage. Our brief ride to a demur, white frame cottage (now a memory / it was the last private residence of it's type in the downtown area) was the beginning of our friendship. Had I known what a terrific pal he would become - I should have volunteered to carry him piggy-back to his threshold. I pray GOD swept him away in a magnificent chariot-of-fire to his own mansion home in Paradise. MR. DIXON deserved no less...
My condolences to his family and countless admirers."

Audrey Burtrum-Stanley | , AR

"It was my fate to only know Richard as a retired teacher and nursing home resident. We both had UALR history teaching in common. He told me stories of his days at LRJC, LRU, and UALR and I kept him informed about the latest events within the History Department. I sometimes found an old yearbook from the college and he seemed to know and have a story about every person pictured in the book. I missed having Richard as my college teacher in the 1960s, but will always treasure his friendship over the last five years."
Jerry Senn | Little Rock, AR

"As a lover of history, I was so privileged to have Mr. Dixon as my instructor of Western Civ at LRU. His personality was stimulating and so much more... so entertaining. Anyone bored in Mr. Dixon's class would have to have been asleep, and anyone who knew him, knows NO ONE would have been allowed to sleep in his class!

This wonderful gentleman is at the top of my 'favorite teacher' list!

One day in his lecture he mentioned 'Tours defeated the Moors in 732 and you will never need that piece of information the rest of your lives".

Recently, while scanning channels, I came upon a discussion. A gentlemen said Americans will never win the war on terrorism until they fully understand Islamists... that what they are doing now, they have been doing for centuries. He then went on to list multiple times when Moors tried to invade Europe, mentioning in particular "TOURS DEFEATING THE MOORS IN 732!" YEA, MR. DIXON! I really, really loved Mr. Dixon and am so grateful God brought him through my life's path even for such a brief time."

Donna McGraw Boyles | Little Rock, AR

"In 1949,when I arrived on the campus of the former Southwestern-at- Memphis College (Now Rhodes), fresh out of the U.S. Navy, in due time Richard Dixon was one of the upper class men and women who graciously welcomed me. Subsequently, we became Kappa Sigma Fraternity brothers. In later years Richard nominated me for the Distinguished Alumnus award which I was privileged to receive in October, 2007. Richard was a loyal friend to many and remained so though the years. In his latter days he was extremely grateful for the personal and caring support, as we all were, of his sister-in- law Eva Dixon."
Robert H. Crumby | Nashville. TN

"I will never forget the first time I met Richard Dixon. It was at LRU registration in the old student union during the fall of 1962. I approached this steely eyed man with great trepedation, and after talking with him a few minutes, he asked me if I was related to my brother Bobby who was seven years my senior. Surely enough he remembered him. Several days later as I walked into my Western Civ class, he twirrled around and pointed to the row by the windows and said "Mr. Bakerrr" (his emphasis, not mine) You will sit in the third seat and say nothing"! How great are the memories of the time he gave his entire lecture with his foot stuck in the wastepaper basket, or the eraser dust hanging in the air as a result of his throwing the eraser at some student, or the time he pulled down the map, and attached by person or persons unknown, were some ladies unmentionables as he later refered to them. We all miss you and will treasure your influence on our lives. God will have a very interesting person to talk to."
Bill Baker Class of 62 | Little Rock, AR

"I have a very old picture of my now wife, Jeanie, and I participating in some sort of candlelight ceremony on the occasion of becoming pinned at a Sigma Nu White Rose Formal. In the middle of that picture, holding the candle, is Mr. Dixon. That warm memory makes me smile.

What comes to mind when I think of Mr.Dixon? Fear, respect, affection, and gratitude. He was such a gifted historian and teacher. I was always scared in his Western Civ class but I was always very prepared and I still remember MANY of those lessons learned. Cheers to him - we were blessed to have him in our lives. Warm memories - "

Bob Brasher | Louisville, KY

"Mr.Dixon (as his we always addressed him at J.C.)was an inspiring teacher. He made Western Civilization a fasinating tale. He will be missed by generations of grateful students."
Ragon Willmuth | Burlington, VT

"My sympathies to the Dixon family and friends.

I have been warmly touched by reading the loving, inspring and amazing commentaries from Mr. Dixon's friends and former-students. It is obvious all who sheltered under his wing were forever changed. One student however, remembered a long ago classroom tidbit incorrectly; It involves 'The location of Tours, France and invading Moors.' As an historian, Mr. Dixon knew this conflict to be of macrohistorical importance, (yet accuracy is important involving battles, taxes and brain surgery!) The Franks (under the command of Charles Martel)defeated the Moors at the Battle of Tours therefore stopping the growth of Islamic area and preservation of Christianity in the region. This information rarely comes up in cocktail chatter, but Mr. Dixon would get a chuckle out of the fact it is being discussed now!

Jim Stanley, Esq. | , AR

"Sincere sympathy to Mr. Dixon's family and friends. We have valued his membership at Westover Hills, and we will especially remember him at the All Saints Day remembrance on Sunday in the worship service."
Laura Whitmore | Little Rock, AR

"My husband now deceased, Andy Karcher was his student after Central in the mid-50's. my condolences to his family."
Emily Karcher | Raleigh, NC

"My condolences to the Dixon family. Mr. Dixon was one of my favorite instructors at then Little Rock University. He made Western Civilization come to life. Being an instructor myself, I appreciate not only what he taught me in this wonderful history class, but also his teaching strategies. In the two semesters I had Mr. Dixon, I can promise that I never missed a class, and I always made sure I was sitting in my seat when it was time for class to start. Students also made sure they read their lesson as you never knew when he would call on you. We even read the fine print. God bless you, Mr. Dixon."
Martha McKissack Brothers | Stuttgart, AR

"My sincere condolences to family and friends of my beloved Bible and History Professor Richard Dixon.I regularly(after all these years) relate stories about Professor Dixon.(Good and humorous)He had the unique ability to make Bibical and Historicl characters come to life in your mind.I had not communicated with him since 1958 when in 1992 I received a very touching letter from him with a copy of my father's(Judge J.Fred Jones) obituary from the Arkansas Gazette.I was serving as US Naval Attache to Malaysia at the time and was not able to attend dad's funeral.Richard's letter was so very special.Thank you
professor ,rest in peace."

James(Jim) Voland Jones | Virginia Beach, VA

"Mr. Dixon was very intelligent and courteous. He was helpful to anyone that asked. He had so much interesting information to share with anyone that was lucky enough to know him and talk with him."
Mary M. Massery | Little Rock, AR

"Often we admire the instutions of higher learning and believe that learning is contained in the stone and mortar of the towering buildings and halls but the true place that contains knowlege are the teachers and professors that extend this knowlege and learning. To enlighten us in our journey in life. Richard Dixon was one of these unique individuals that was a candle that allowed us to be transformed by this light, inspiring us to pursue knowlege and virtues. RBD was a friend to many and a brother to me. A source of steadfast commitment to challenge each of us to live life beyond our own failings and to remain commited to a life of virtue and learning
Sad to learn of his loss and will miss his remarkable wit, humor and insight
Safe journey my friend"

Lawrence Bearden | Davidson, NC

"Professor Richard B. Dixon and I have been friends since my days at LRJC in l957. We were later colleagues in the UALR history department in the early 1970's. He had a thorough understanding of all facets of world history. But when it came to Arkansas and local history, his knowledge was simply unmatched. Richard "knew it all." He provided a valuable, memorable educational experience to thousands of students. May God rest his soul. "
Harold T. "Hal" Smith, PhD | Dallas, , TX

"While at LRU 1960-64 I took a couple of courses from Mr. Dixon (or RBD as many of us called him). What characterized him in life--a sense of drama, a demand for details, an intense interest in individuals--also made him the well-remembered instructor he was. All are on display in a 27 Oct 1988 letter in which he wrote: "I have vivid recollection of the role played by the 101st Airborne Division in the Little Rock Central High School crisis of 1957-58. ...I can still hear the Army trucks pulling off University Avenue onto the auxiliary road leading into the Seymour Terry National Guard Armory--adjacent to the campus (South Side). Some paratroopers were billeted in the Terry Armory." And then later in the letter: "Usually once or twice each week...I see your Mother--who boards the Lilac Circle inbound bus at Shackleford Road and Green Mountain Drive. Mrs. Carland consistently manifests a cheerful outlook, at no time have I ever heard her articulate any negative comment." My mother would always tell me about these encounters on the bus, a little embarrassed but largely pleased, when Mr. Dixon’s booming voice and precise enunciation would travel up and down the bus asking: “Mrs. Carland, how are you today? That is a striking outfit you have on. How is your family? Have you noticed the changing leaves?” Over the years, when we visited family in Little Rock, I would also see Mr. Dixon if our schedules meshed. I saw him in his family home on West 3d Street next to the bakery and in various assisted living homes. On one of the visits to 3d Street, I introduced him to my wife, born and bred in Manhattan and still a little unfamiliar with the Gothic South. After Mr. Dixon questioned her in detail about her education and background, he took a long look at her and said, as if there could be no disagreement, indeed he would brook no disagreement, “You look exactly like the Empress Eugenie.” We were floored, but in a nice way. This highlighted again his sense of drama, even melodrama, and his deep interest in individuals. He was one of a kind and I am glad to have known him."
John M. Carland | Annandale, Virginia

"It is now 2/7/13 -I only learned of RBD's death today(have been caregiving for 8 months for an In_law). I do not know 'where' to start: as I was an indifferent student, at best, @ LRU(60-65) I was astonished to learn that I had to attend W Civ class just to land a B in Dixon's class--and did so(not true in other classes where taking a test did just fine). I remember several 'incidents' in class that taught me to 'THINK'(later). RBD later became the Rep for the 'Infamous' Kappa Sigma Chapter @ LRU-and the truth is: he had as much fun as we did!! I had been in correspondence with RBD for many years - but has stopped for several months because of my caregiving role--I really do wish someone had let me know--He was an "Excellent Interesting Instructor" and a "Good Dude"deep down. My best to the family in dealing with your loss."
Bill Haddox | Byram, MS

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