Fred died Sept. 19, 2003, in Princeton of a respiratory infection that turned into pneumonia. He suffered from ALS and was wheelchair-bound his last few years but was nonetheless, in the words of daughter Liese, "healthy and happy until coming down with the pneumonia."
Fred attended Trenton [N.J.] Central HS before Princeton, where he majored in chemistry. He earned a master's in chemistry from the U. of California, Irvine before returning home to work for RCA (later Sarnoff Corp.) for more than 27 years until retiring in 2002 for health reasons.
While at Sarnoff, Fred was instrumental in founding and developing the Minorities in Engineering Program to help minority high school students. So influential was he that the program was renamed the Dixon Mentoring in Engineering Program in his honor.
Though his life was filled with tragedy ‚€” he lost his parents, two brothers, a sister, and his wife, Marthaliese ‚€” Fred never lost his beguiling smile or his love for life.
"He refused to be bitter or act like a victim," Liese said, "and after my mom died in 1999, he rediscovered through our church a longtime friend of the family, Marion Fisher, and she was a source of comfort and love to him after that."
Fred will be remembered fondly by all who knew him at Princeton. He is survived by three children, Damien, Liese, and Dee Dee; granddaughter Leila; fiancee Marion Fisher; five brothers, two sisters, and legions of loving colleagues.
The Class of 1971