Kenneth Dixon, 68, Lawyer, Star Runner

Posted: May 30, 1996

Kenneth R. Dixon, a former assistant district attorney, assistant U.S. attorney and a champion runner, died Sunday of complications from diabetes. He was 68 and a lifelong resident of Germantown.

Dixon was an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia from 1971 to 1980, heading the newly formed claims division. Before that, he was a hearing examiner for the Department of Public Assistance from 1969 to 1971. From 1968 to 1969, he was an assistant DA in Philadelphia.

He was an estate tax examiner for the Internal Revenue Service from 1966 to 1968. He worked as claims authorizer for the Social Security Administration from 1957 to 1966.

Dixon graduated from Germantown High School, Morgan State College in Baltimore and Temple Law School.

In high school, he was the Public League champion in the mile and cross-country competition. He also won the mile race in the 1946 Meet of Champions at Franklin Field. In 1947 he was part of the team that won the Middle Atlantic Amateur Athletic Union sprint medley relay.

He was a member of Omega Psi Phi, a national service fraternity.

Dixon was the son of Randy Dixon, a radio personality on WDAS, WHAT and WIP radio stations in the 1940s, '50s and '60s.

``He was very dedicated to his wife and children,'' said Edith Dixon-Wilhite, his sister.

``He did a lot of pro bono work. In a year-and-a-half, we counted up to $72,000 worth of pro bono work he had done. He went out of his way to help people.

``He helped everyone he possibly could. He was very soft-spoken. He was just a very good-natured man.''

Other survivors include his wife of 44 years, Rosa Johnson; two sons, Keith and Kenneth Jr.; a daughter, Dawn; three brothers, Randy III, Hugh and John Lane III; another sister, Jacquelyn; his mother, Ruth Robinson Dixon; his stepmother, Florence Nichols Dixon; four grandchildren, and a niece, Wanda Cooper Sidahmed.

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home, 6653-75 Chew Ave.

Burial will be private.

PERRY ROBERT WATKINS JR. Perry Robert Watkins Jr., a career soldier who battled back after a life-threatening stroke, died May 21. He was 67 and lived in Wynnefield Heights.

In 1967, Watkins went to work for Westinghouse in Essington as a manager, departing when the plant closed in the 1980s.

While there, he was affirmative-action officer and responsible for hiring many minorities from the Chester area. In 1986, Watkins joined Janey & Associates, where he was an income tax preparer.

Watkins was born in New York City and graduated from Eastern District High School in Brooklyn.

At 17, he joined the Navy for three years. Then he joined the Army, becoming a career soldier and retiring as a major in 1967. He graduated from officer training school in 1952. He received many commendations for excellence and bravery.

Watkins also was awarded many trophies for basketball, football and track. While in the service, he developed a fondness for flying helicopters.

He also enjoyed cooking, pinochle and ``wolfknuckle,'' a type of pinochle he created with his uncle.

``Perry will always be remembered with affection as a thoughtful human being and a fighter, not only on the battlefield of war but the battlefield of life,'' said his wife, Barbara Ann Ringgold Watkins.

She said a massive stroke almost killed him in 1990. ``Despite the doctor's predictions, he miraculously regained the use of his faculties and regained his memory and speech.

``Through it all, he remained positive and never lost those wonderful qualities that endeared him to everyone: his sense of pride, his sense of humor, a desire to help others and a love for all people.''

Other survivors include three daughters, Iva, Lisa and Barbara; a son, Barry; two brothers, Garrett and Ronald, and an uncle, Benjamin.

Services were held Saturday.

HENRIETTA MAZALINE TAYLOR Henrietta Mazaline Taylor, a professional seamstress and beauty-salon owner, died Friday. She was 71 and lived in Wynnefield.

Taylor was a seamstress in Maryland, where she also operated the beauty shop. In her later years, due to illness, she moved to Philadelphia to live with her daughter, Varona White.

She was born and raised in Isle of Wright County, Va., and graduated high school in Virginia. She was a member of New Covenant Church of Philadelphia in her later years.

Other survivors include two daughters, Connie Angela Jones Hawkins and Gail Mazline Jones-Jones; a stepson, Gomalie A. Jones Jr.; two stepdaughters, Evelyn Raphaela Johnson and Agnes Betty Simms; granddaughters, Zite Ulluanda Jones, Cheryl Denise Taylor and Veena Kenoah White; grandsons, Ralph Ernest Hawkins IV and Aaron Kalai Hawkins; sisters, Dorothy Mae Copeland, Barbara Bernette Fulgham Fridie, Elmira E. Fulgham Griffin and Rosemund Virginia Fulgham Bailey, and brothers, Henry Jerome Copeland and Allen Maxwell Copeland.

Services will begin at 11 a.m. today at First United Church, 5150 Baltimore National Park, Baltimore.

Burial will be in Maryland National Park, Laurel, Md.

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