Visitation at Funeral Home
Obituary of Willard Dix
Retired US Air Force Lt. Colonel, Willard (Will) L. Dix, passed away peacefully on October 3, 2018, at his home in Abilene, Texas, after an extended illness.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 8 at 10:30 am at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 525 Beech St., in Abilene with Reverend Felicity Hopkins and Dr. Robert Monk officiating. Following a reception and lunch at the church, interment will follow with military honors at 1 pm at the Texas State Veterans Cemetery, 7457 West Lake Road, Abilene, TX, under the direction of Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Rd. Visitation will be 3:30 -5:30 pm Sunday at the funeral home.
Will was born in Siebert, Colorado, on April 22, 1931 to Alpheus and Anetta Dix. The family moved to a farm near Coggon, IA, before he started school. He graduated from Coggon High School in 1949 and Iowa State College in 1953.
While attending Iowa State College with his sister, Donna, he met the love of his life, Cleta Moreland. Donna told Will that there was a girl in her dorm that he had to meet. Donna’s introduction and subsequent “blind date” let to Cleta and Will’s marriage on September 2, 1951. They have four children. They celebrated 67 years together last month.
Upon graduation from Iowa State, he was commissioned into the United States Air Force and entered flight training. He flew as a navigator-bombardier on bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. Will received his MBA from George Washington University. After a long career of flying, he served in staff assignments before being called back during the Vietnam War. He flew both bomber and reconnaissance aircraft during different tours at Vietnam. The highlight of his career was flying 5 bombing missions over Hanoi-Hiphong during the Linebacker 2 exercise. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters and numerous other decorations including the Bronze Star Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. He retired from the Air Force January 1, 1976.
Following his military retirement, Will worked for C.B. Oats Construction Company and later for two local oil and gas companies. He so enjoyed his second career as the Director of Physical Properties at McMurry University and retired from there almost 20 years ago. He was a member of St. Paul Methodist Church since moving to Abilene in 1971, having served multiple terms on the Board of Trustees and the Beacon Sunday School Class. He had a 20-year perfect attendance in the Abilene Rotary Club and directed their weatherization program for many years until his illness forced him to resign in 2010. Will was recognized at Rotarian of the Year in 2004.
Will was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Cleta of Abilene; son Ron and daughter-in-law Linda, of Broken Arrow, OK; his son Mark, of Las Vegas, NV, his son Jeff and daughter-in-law Terri, of Rowlett, TX: and daughter Renee and son-in-law Scott King of Boerne, TX. He is also survived by 8 grandchildren; Kendra Stevens of North Richland Hills, Jeffrey Dix (Stephanie) of Rowlett, Emma Dix of Garland, Laura Henderson (Austin) of Chandler, AZ, Courtney King of San Antonio, Matt King of Denver, CO, and Jacob and Joshua King of Boerne and two great grandchildren, Becky and Miriam Dix of Rowlett, TX; and two sisters, Donna Robinson of Manchester, IA and Carol Slife (Garry) of Independence, IA.
Serving as pallbearers will be, Dale Cartee, Bob May, Chuck Erwin, Barney Johnson, Glenn Drumgoole, Ray Holladay and Jim Alexander. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be his grandsons, Jeffrey Dix, Matthew King, Jacob King and Joshua King.
Who we are:
The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.
Phone: (325) 692-2232
6449 Buffalo Gap Rd.
Abilene, Texas 79606