Bill Dixon (holding the shovel) was president of the Belmont Chamber of Commerce when he broke ground for a new home for the Chamber in October 1967. The ground-breaking ceremony was for the building at 26 East Woodrow Avenue in Belmont, now home to NC Farm Bureau Insurance. Others in the photo are, from left, contractor Bob Rankin, Jack Neely, Chamber executive secretary Yvonne Hill, Howard Walls and Dick Cromlish. The photo was published in the book "Between Two Rivers," which commemorated Belmont's centennial in 1995. The photo below is Bill Dixon decades later.
(This article appeared on the Chamber's Business Update page
in the Gaston Gazette on Feb. 14, 2021.)
The name of a subdivision announced recently in North Belmont honors the late William A. (Bill) Dixon, Jr., who was a leader in the early days of Habitat for Humanity in Gaston County. When Dixon Village becomes a reality, it will include eight to 10 homes occupied by Habitat families in a blended community off Hickory Grove Road that will total 28 three-and-four-bedroom homes, most of which will be purchased by first-time owners.
Click this link for the Gaston Gazette article on Dixon Village:
Before there was a Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County, there was a Habitat program in Gastonia that began in 1988, with satellite programs in Belmont, Mount Holly and Cherryville. All four programs merged in 2000 to form Habitat of Gaston County.
Bill Dixon was a pivotal volunteer leader of the Belmont Habitat program, serving seven years as president and many more as construction coordinator. Decades of experience as a real-estate broker, land developer, home builder and appraiser equipped him well for that responsibility. An Army veteran and 1950 Davidson College graduate, Dixon joined his father at Dixon Oil Company before starting his own business in 1959.
In addition to his contributions to Habitat for Humanity, Dixon was devoted to many areas of community service. He was a member of the Belmont Rotary Club and president in 1959. He was a founding member of the Belmont Chamber of Commerce (now operating as the Montcross Area Chamber) and served as president in 1967. In 2005, he received the Chamber's Citizen of the Year Award. He was named American Legion Outstanding Citizen for his work in Habitat. A long-time Scoutmaster, who also held district and council leadership positions, he was awarded the Silver Beaver from the Piedmont Council. He served Belmont First Presbyterian Church in many positions including 23 years as an active elder, clerk of session and Stephen Minister.
William Alexander (Bill) Dixon, Jr., who retired in 1996 and died at age 80 on April 3, 2007, was married 56 years to the late Carol Dixon, who died on Christmas Eve in 2016. "Lasting Words," a collection of his meditations and devotions was published by the First Presbyterian Church of Belmont in 2009.
Naming this unique Habitat for Humanity community in Belmont for Bill Dixon is a fitting tribute to a man who served others throughout his life and whose work continues to make a difference long after his passing.
(For information on volunteering on this or other Habitat projects or applying to become a Habitat homeowner, visit www.habitatgaston.org or call 704-864-6536.)