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Rev. Willis E. DixonJune 13, 1926 ~ July 8, 2017 (age 91)
Willis E. Dixon, 91, passed from this world into eternal life with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at the Serenity Hospice and Home in Oregon, IL after a short illness. He was born on June 13, 1926, to John Edward and Ora (Bender) Dixon on a farm near Cherryvale, Kansas. His family were tenant farmers and moved 12 times in his 8 years of grade school. He attended all 4 years of high school at Mound Valley High School and graduated in 1944. He married Wilma P. Pearce on June 2, 1946. Willis graduated from the Open Bible Institute in 1954 in Des Moines, IA, and accepted his first pastorate in Seneca, NE. This was the beginning of Willis and Wilma's church pastoral ministry that spanned 25 years. This ministry took them to Anselmo, NE; Howard, SD; Sturgis, SD; and Dixon, IL. In Dixon, he was the pastor of the Open Bible Church from 1970 to 1979. In 1979, they moved to Rockford, IL to be a staff pastor at Open Bible Center. He retired in 1990. He held credentials with Open Bible Churches for 63 years.
Throughout their 25 year ministry, Willis and Wilma were active mission supporters. This included short term mission trips to the Philippines, Liberia West Africa, Jamaica, and Papua New Guinea. From 1994-1995 they spent one year as missionaries in Papua New Guinea. The couple wintered in Homestead, FL as staff of Camp Freedom from 1996-2009.
He is survived by his children, Norman (Linda) Dixon of Des Moines, IA; Wymetta (Andrew) Crull of Machesney Park, IL; Michelle (Jim) Frey of Dixon, IL; Marlis (Pat) Rushing of West Lafayette, IN; Mardelle (Bob) Slain of Dixon, IL. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren, Eric (Shelby) Dixon, Nicole (Steve) Sager, Natalie (Bill) Burchit, Jamie Frey, Megan (Josh) Swanson, Greg (Erica) Slain, Stacey (Chris) Studer, Jon Dixon, Sean (Hannah) Rushing, Kelly Slain, Laura (Jack Reed) Rushing and twelve great-grandchildren and one brother, Daryl Dixon of Plainview, TX. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma, and parents.
Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00pm on Wednesday, July 12, in Honquest Family Funeral Home with Crematory, 4311 N. Mulford Rd., Loves Park. Services will be on Thursday, July 13, at Open Bible Church, 8567 Townhall Rd., Belvidere, IL 61008. Visitation will be at 10:00am and funeral services will be held at 11:00am. Graveside service and burial will take place at 2:00pm at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Dixon, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Serenity Hospice and Home in Oregon or Open Bible Missions.