Mary “Diane” Flanigan Dixon, 80, of Lake Charles passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, surrounded by family. She was born on March 21, 1943, in San Antonio, Texas, to Joseph Willard and Mary Mabel Miller Flanigan. Diane was a devout Roman Catholic. She was a parishioner of Our Lady Queen of Heaven for 50 years.
Diane grew up in Beaumont, Texas, where she graduated from St. Anthony Catholic High School and Lamar University with an English degree. During college, Diane met and then married William “Bill” Cecil Dixon, Jr., in a union that lasted 32 years. Diane was a loving and involved mother, volunteering at her children’s schools as a recess mom, Brownie leader, and Boy Scouts leader. Diane worked as a dental assistant in college. After the family moved to Lake Charles, she worked in sales at Sears, as a real estate agent for Reinauer Real Estate, and a jewelry designer and crafts-maker at flea markets, festivals, and Larry’s Old Time Trade Days in Winnie, TX. Diane eventually discovered her calling in social work for Volunteers of America. Diane had a big heart for others, especially clients with disabilities or mental illnesses and those with little to no income. She was kind and compassionate and went out of her way to care for others.
Diane was a wonderful grandmother to Aaron, Alex, and Lauren, who called her “Min.” Min spoiled her grandkids, not with money or material things, but with her time and love, exposing them to the simple joys of life, such as finding four-leaf clovers and feeding ducks. Diane also had a love for animals and opened her home to a range of pets, although not all at once, including a goat, a greyhound, a stray cat or two, and the family favorite, Dachshunds.
Diane never met a red hair dye she didn’t like. She proudly flaunted her flaming wavy mane of fire for many years, until she finally, more recently gave in to her natural, glorious tresses of white. Diane enjoyed gardening, especially growing roses. Her musical tastes ranged from Janis Joplin to the Gap Band. Some of her best times included the Flanigan family summer vacations at Crystal Beach, Texas, where her parents, her family, and her five siblings’ families crammed into a one-room beach cabin for family fun, family feuds, lots of laughs, and penny poker games. She also enjoyed fishing and crabbing and driving her favorite car, a silver Ford Probe.
Diane was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Janet Carol Pady; her former husband, Bill Dixon, and her best friend Michael Touchet.
Those left to cherish her memory are her children, Pamela Eve Dixon and William “Pete” Dixon, both of Lake Charles, and Andrew Clay Dixon of Phoenix, AZ; her siblings, Sharyn McLauchlan (Michael) of Humble, TX, Joseph P. Flanigan (Vickie) and Susan “Susie” Phillips (Keith), all of Vidor, TX, and Daniel Flanigan (Mary); and her brother-in-law, Tommy Pady, Sr., all of Lumberton TX; her grandchildren Aaron Gayle (Mackenzie), Alexander “Alex” Gayle (Hayley), and Lauren Gayle (fiancé Christian Sweezy), all of Lake Charles; her great-grandchildren, Liam, Evelyn, and Colton Gayle; and many nieces and nephews she adored.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Monday, June 26, 2023 at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church. Father Levi Thompson will serve as Celebrant. Visitation will be at Johnson Funeral Home of Lake Charles on Sunday evening, June 25, 2023 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM, with a rosary being recited at 6:00 PM, and will resume on Monday morning from 9:30 until leaving in procession to the church at 10:30 AM. Interment services will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Beaumont, TX.
The family would like to give special thanks to Heather Moore for the loving care she provided that allowed Diane to live in her home her final years and the staff of Harbor Hospice for her medical care and support.