Samuel E. Dixon, Sr., was born in Ayden, North Carolina on November 27, 1926 – the only child of Edgar Dixon and Eva Adams Dixon. He was raised in Saint Matthew’s U.F.W.B. Church, where his mother was a founding member and very active. Samuel joined the ancestors on August 17, 2022.

Samuel’s life included many interests which he actively pursued. He was a lifelong dreamer, learner and explorer.

He loved music with a passion, becoming a drummer with local jazz ensembles and playing behind some established artists as well. Later, he studied the saxophone and clarinet. Samuel also loved to hunt and to fish – being near or on the water was precious to him. Nothing made him happier than to be in a boat fishing with good friends. He had owned a home and a boat in East Haven for many years.

Samuel was fascinated by all things Brazil. He loved the country, particularly the Bahia region, buying and selling property there and taking trips there on a regular basis. He loved the language and studied Portuguese.

There is no disputing the fact that Sam loved company; he maintained an active social life well into his later years, married three times, and was a very popular resident of The Regency House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (Wallingford, Connecticut).

Sam Dixon loved his family. He and Winifred Virtue Dixon were married for 59 years, until her death. Sam doted on their daughter, the late Sandra E. Dixon. He was proud of his son, the late attorney Samuel E. Dixon, Jr., born to him and his second wife, Jeannette Mero, and worked as a Legal Investigator for Sam, Jr.. And Sam worshipped his grandsons, Elijah Dixon Owens and Sampson Dixon Owens of New York City.

During his life, Sam had different occupations. In his younger years, he had worked with his parents at The Dixon’s Hotel of West Haven, Connecticut, and as a busboy and bartender at other establishments.

Sam Dixon became one of the first New Haven police officers of African descent, serving from May 1951 until March 1956. Sam earned two commendations for exceptional police work from the Department and praise from the community. To quote then Chief of Police Francis McManus, “He did his work well and got along well with his superiors. He was, in my opinion, an excellent policeman.” Sam’s work in law enforcement also included more than two decades as a professional bondsman and several years working for the Yale Center for British Art as a security officer.

Sam was involved for years with real estate and economic development in different capacities. He had his own business from 1969 to 1992 as a real estate broker managing housing units for government programs and developing private housing. For a few years during this period, he also served as the Deputy Director of the New Haven Model City Agency, responsible for work with neighborhood organizations and public-private partnerships to alleviate substandard housing conditions.

Since his wife’s death in December 1998, Sam Dixon was in ill health. He was always happy to see members of his family, however, and spoke often of his plans to buy another boat and spend time on the ocean. While Sam did not enjoy material wealth, he had a wealth of big dreams, great memories and love from his family.

Sam was predeceased by his wife Winifred, his daughter Sandra, his son Sam, Jr., and his first wife. He is survived by his son-in-law, Christopher R. Owens of New York City, and his grandsons, Elijah and Sampson. Sam is also survived by his former wife, Jeanette (Mero) Thomas, and numerous cousins and their families in the New Haven area as well as other states.

A celebration of Mr. Dixon’s life and legacy will be held Saturday, December 3, 2022:
9:00 AM – Memorial Service at the Curvin K. Council Funeral Home, 128 Dwight Street New Haven, CT
10:30 AM – Graveside service at Beaverdale Memorial Park, 90 Pine Rock Ave, New Haven, CT
12:00 Noon – Luncheon at IL GABBIANO, 501 Long Wharf Drive, New Haven, CT

Anyone desiring to send floral arrangements may have them delivered to the Funeral Home on Friday, December 2, 2022 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

If you plan to attend the luncheon, please RSVP immediately to with “Dixon Repast” in the subject line and the estimated number of people in your party. In your RSVP email, please indicate whether you/your group members prefer chicken, fish, or pasta, and if you have any dietary restrictions that we should be aware of. If you cannot attend the services, you are welcome to join us for lunch!

If you cannot attend the services but wish to share memories of Sam, please feel free to write them up and email them to Chris Owens by Thursday, December 1st with “Dixon Memories” in the subject line and they will be read at the 9:00 AM service.

The 9:00 AM service will be live-streamed via the following link: