Larry Dean Dixon, a former State Senator and Executive Director of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, died December 4, 2020 in Montgomery, Alabama. He was born August 31, 1942 in Oklahoma and grew up in Prosser, Washington. After high school graduation and three years of service with the U. S. Army in Germany, he returned to Washington State University where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees.
It was there that he met his wife of 53 years, Gaynell Kimbrough Dixon, and they decided to make their home in her native state of Alabama. Senator Dixon was first employed by the Alabama State Department of Education before accepting an opportunity to initiate a continuing education program for physicians with the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. In 1981, he became Executive Director of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and served with distinction until his retirement in 2016.
His accomplishments on the national level as a four-term Board Member of the United States Federation of State Medical Boards and as a founder of Administrators in Medicine, which he served as the first President, were noted by his selection for the Lifetime Achievement Award by the federation. He was recognized in his home state by inclusion in the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame in 2016.
Later that year, he was additionally honored with the decision by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners to rename their building, on his retirement, as the Dixon-Parker Building.
Senator Dixon's dedication to his new home was demonstrated early when he decided to seek election to the Montgomery City Council in 1975. He served the community until 1978 when he entered the Alabama House of Representatives and, in 1983, the Alabama Senate, where he served until 2010. He is remembered as a man of character who fought for transparency and fiscal conservatism throughout his 35 years in government.
He took the greatest pride, however, in his family - his wife, Gaynell, who was always by his side with encouragement and support, his daughters, Katherine Kimbrough Dixon Hert, her husband, Chris, and their children, Hannah Elizabeth Hert and Christina Lucille Hert of Montgomery, and Elizabeth Walker Dixon Allen, her husband, Grier, and their children, Elliott Grier Allen, Jr. and William Walker Dixon Allen of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
Senator Dixon leaves an older brother, Charles Lee Dixon and his wife, Barbara, of Orlando, Florida and their children, Jeffrey Scott Dixon, his wife Cathy, and Eric Dean Dixon and his wife Mitchie. He also leaves his brother-in-law, William Edwin Kimbrough and his wife, Anne, and their children, William Zachery Kimbrough, his wife, Nicole, and Melissa Anne Kimbrough Gunter and her husband, Tony. Senator Dixon was preceded in death by his parents, Chesley Lafayette and Charlene Walker Dixon of Prosser, Washington.
Following his retirement, Senator Dixon volunteered with the Respite Program at Montgomery's First United Methodist Church. Contributions in his memory would be welcome to that program or to the United Methodist Children's Home, the Stegall Seminary Scholarship Foundation, or to the Montgomery Symphony.
A memorial service to celebrate Senator Dixon's life is planned for a future date with Magnolia Cremations & Funeral Services, directing