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Lee Dixon

Obituary of Lee R. Dixon

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Lee Dixon September 10, 1932 – May 19, 2023 Beloved mother Lee Dixon passed away after a brief illness on May 19, 2023. An amazing music teacher, she would often be found perched on the piano bench surrounded by happy children sitting in a circle on the floor. Invariably there was always one child sitting under the piano keyboard right next to her on the bench. With her passion of music as choir and chorus director, singer and accompanist many lives were touched by her music. Lee grew up in Winterset, Iowa, one of 6 children. In her own words: "I started taking piano lessons when I was 4 so whatever song I was working on was my favorite. My mother did the piano teacher's laundry to pay for lessons for all of us – I was the only one to stick with lessons. I don't remember singing until somewhere in junior high (6-8 grades) – loved all the pop songs." "On Wednesdays my parents went to the movies uptown and all the neighborhood kids descended on our house. They played music, rolled up the living room rug and danced. Bonnie played piano – she could play most any popular song by ear, Mary Jane played the clarinet, and other kids brought instruments. I was a lot younger and littler so I mostly watched all the activity." She loved school and in her senior high school year (1950) decided higher learning and college were next. At her first college interview she was told to go home, get married and have babies because that's what women were supposed to do while the men went to college. The Winterset Iowa music teacher happily sponsored Lee and though she had to re-apply every year, off to college she went! Lee met and married her first husband, David Reed and moved to California and began her teaching career of 33 years. In the summer of 1963 Lee, David, their young children (4) and a teenage babysitter drove across the country in a red Corvair, destination an apartment in New York City. She commuted to Hartsdale, NY daily to teach music. 2 years later the family moved to Ossining and eventually White Plains, NY. In the Scarsdale School district Lee developed many friendships that lasted all of her life. After Lee and David divorced she married the true love of her life, Richard (Dick) Dixon. In June of 1987 they both retired from teaching and bought and opened Harmony House bed and breakfast in Ghent, NY. They had 6 blissful years running the B&B until Dick tragically died of cancer. It was a dark time in Lee's life until she saw an ad for a small chorus. Her musical passion woke up and took off, leading her to singing in elite choruses at Carnegie Hall, and accompanying many musical groups in the Berkshires. It was here more very special friendships, musical kindred spirits were born. She was always early to rehearsals – always! She use to say one needs to be there at least 5 minutes before the appointed hour, music open and ready to play! Often other chorus members would arrive early too, asking her for help with their parts. Happy to help she was encouraging and helpful with a smile. From Nancy Loder "When Berkshire Children's Chorus was only a few years old, we were invited to sing in the American Choral Director's Association Italy trip. We were thrilled to accept this honor to sing with other children's choruses from around the world, but we found ourselves in need of an accompanist at the very last minute. When I contacted Lee Dixon she immediately and willingly stepped in and went with us. That proved to be the beginning of a very long and productive and wonderful gift, as she then stayed on for the many years of BCC that followed, and many, many music trips, concerts, and traveling performances over time. Lee was not only a consummate pianist, but also a grand supporter of children's chorus music, and a wonderful ally and friend to all who were lucky enough to enter her sphere. Every year, every child it seemed, had formed a personal relationship with her before the year was out. Her musicianship was ever spot on, and her quiet contributions both personally and musically were such a huge gift to us all. Every child loved her and felt encouraged by her, as did this Conductor! She will be so sorely missed, but ever so fondly and lovingly remembered." Lee Dixon was pre-deceased by both of her husbands and her daughter, Sally Degler. She is survived by her sons, Matt Reed of Valatie, NY, David (Randy) Reed of Redwood City, CA, her daughter Becca Morrow of West Tisbury, MA, her granddaughters Kara Gioulis of Neptune, NJ, Madelyn Degler of Troy, NY, and her great-grandchildren, Layla and Micah Gioulis. A memorial concert and remembrance will be held at the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge on Wednesday, July 12th at 3:00 followed by a reception. Donations in Lee Dixon's memory may be made to: Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Kathleen Kelly Memorial Fund, 800 North Main Street, Sheffield, MA. 01257-9503.
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Lee Dixon

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Lee Dixon

1932 - 2023

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