Community Mourns Longitme ABM Employee Mr. Bobby Dixon

Photo courtesy of New Haven Register

Mr. Bobby Dixon was at Choate for 55 years.

The Choate community suffered a tragic loss on September 1, 2017, when Mr. Bobby “Rebel” Dixon passed away at the age of 78 in Branford, Connecticut. Mr. Dixon worked with ABM cleaning services at Choate for 55 years prior to his retirement, and he is remembered among the Choate community as a cheerful presence with a love of life.

Mr. Dixon was born in West Virginia as the son of the late Luther Dixon and Betty Dixon.

As the husband of the late Dolores Sylvia Dixon, Mr. Dixon is survived by his five children: Frank Marciano, Bobby Dixon Jr., Laura Lavigne, Helen Ramos, and Chris Dixon. Mr. Dixon also had many grandchildren and great grandchildren. However, Mr. Dixon was sadly predeceased in death by his grandson Frank Marciano III.

“Rebel was a remarkable man. I worked with him here at Choate. He didn’t just clean our windows – he cleaned our souls with his stories and his effervescence of love and life. Know that he will truly be remembered and missed,” said  Mr. Rich Stainton, the Carpentry Supervisor of Choate’s Facilities.

English teacher Mr. Cyrus Cook added, “Rebel was such a colorful presence on the Choate campus for many, many years. Always cheerful, always singing while he washed our windows and helped keep our buildings neat and clean, he was his own man and a true free spirit. I had the privilege of having him play the spoons – and matchbooks! – for me, too. I already miss him.”

“He was a master at birdcalls. If you said, ‘Rebel, give me a canary,’ he would do a canary call. He just loved it,” recalled Mr. John Bjorkdahl, Director of Operations at ABM cleaning facilities. “He was an entertainer.”

Mr. Dixon’s funeral service was held on September 9 at Christ Christian Church in West Haven, Connecticut. He battled cancer two times before he passed. The first time he went through chemotherapy, he still continued to come to work every day.

“I don’t know how he did it. It was incredible strength,” said Mr. Bjorkdahl.

While recounting a memory of Mr. Dixon, Mr. Bjorkdahl commented on his annual Halloween enthusiasm. “On Halloween, he always wore this old man mask, and every year he would walk into the break room. We would all go, ‘Who is that?’ And he would laugh and say, ‘It’s me, Rebel!’ But that’s the type of guy he was, always happy. He was not into heavy conflict or deep discussions, although he loved to talk.”

“He was a happy guy. He was always smiling. No matter what you told him to do, he was always happy to do it,” added another employee of ABM.

“He had more energy than all of us combined,” added Ms. Eliana Camargo, an employee of ABM. “You could tell him to clean the whole school, and he would do it. No questions, no complaining. I think he was proud to be working here. He just loved it.”

Mr. Dixon came to every graduation and brought his grandchildren. He maintained a close relationship with them, and “couldn’t have been a better grandfather.”

“He loved the kids, was devoted to the school, and loved coming to work,” explained Mr. Bjorkdahl.

Mr. Dixon will be remembered on campus as a bright light and a constant source of happiness and love. In the words of Mr. Bjorkdahl, “You either loved Rebel, or you loved Rebel.”

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