Wayne Marshall Dixon, 69, of Castle Hayne, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on Oct. 13, 2016, at Lower Cape Fear Hospice, Wilmington.
Wayne was born in Wilmington, N.C., at James Walker Memorial Hospital on April 1, 1947, to Roland and Edna (Marshall) Dixon. He attended New Hanover High School and graduated from High School in Texas.
Wayne proudly served in the USAF, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. In his youth, Wayne also fostered a lifelong love and deep understanding of horses while growing up and working on his grandfather’s horse and dairy farm in Wilmington. This inspired him to become a farrier, graduating from Oklahoma Farrier College and proceeding to work with horses and horse owners all over southeastern North Carolina for nearly 25 years.
In 1973 Wayne met Lynn Gooch, the love of his life. From the moment they met, until his final days, his primary focus was always Lynn and her well-being and happiness. Lynn’s love, and the love he had for her, was truly the core of his strength and resolve throughout his life. The family that they built together was always his crowning achievement.
Wayne’s inherent kindness, service to others, faith, and love, eventually provided him the opportunity to serve as bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Wilmington. That same love and service to others translated into Wayne’s life-long devotion to the Boy Scouts of America, where he served in numerous leadership roles across multiple troops.
After retiring from General Electric after 36 years, Wayne’s devotion to the BSA continued with his employment with the Cape Fear Council, including serving as Camp Director for BSA Camp Bowers. During this time, Wayne also worked diligently to develop an inner-city Scouting program.
Wayne devoted his life to the service of his family, and to those in need of assistance, support, and leadership with profound success and impact. He provided an unparalleled role model to the youth that he interacted with, as well as those who led and served beside him.
For much of his adult life he was also an avid kayaker, outdoorsman and cyclist. At the age of 53, he completed the Cycle NC “mountains to coast” ride, traveling by bicycle from Banner Elk, N.C., to Atlantic Beach, N.C.
Despite Wayne’s unquestionable love and devotion as a husband, a father, and a friend; his greatest accomplishment, as well as his greatest strength, was uncovered when he became “Papa” to his seven grandchildren. His love, devotion, and involvement with his grandchildren was unwavering, as was his guidance and leadership.
Beyond his life-long pursuits, accomplishments, and innumerable lives he impacted, the years he spent being “Papa” were the ones he most cherished and the ones he was most proud of. He will be missed, but forever memorialized and honored in the hearts of so many that his smile touched.
Wayne is survived by his wife Lynn; brother Michael Draper of Durham N.C.; sister Jane Harrelson of Leland N.C.; children, Wayne Marshall Dixon Jr., Robyn Dixon Pratt (Doug)and Eric Brannon Dixon; seven grandchildren Brannon Dixon, Addison Dixon, Laila Dixon, Graham Dixon, Doug Pratt II, Wyatt Midgett and Alice Midgett; sister-in-law Tamara Bee; a very special niece, Lori Midgett (Will).
A celebration of Wayne’s life will be held Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, 6 p.m., at Andrews Market Street Chapel, Wilmington, N.C., with Scott West officiating. Visitation with family and friends will be one hour prior to the service (5 p.m.). Casual dress is acceptable, and any Boy Scout Class A uniforms are encouraged.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Wayne’s memory should be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice.