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Luke D. Dixon: giving thanks for 100 years


A week from today Luke D. Dixon will turn 100 years old. That means a century of Thanksgivings.

Still, it’s a birthday he takes pretty much in stride, saying it doesn’t seem that it’s been that long.

“I feel good,” said Dixon. “I’ve been really busy. I never took drugs and I’ve never been a drinker or a smoker.”

The family is planning a big shindig of 170 or more people for the Inglewood resident at the Torrance Marriott on Saturday Dec. 1.

Letters of commendation have come from presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Gov. Jerry Brown, as well as Inglewood Mayor James Butts.

Dixon was born on Nov. 29, 1912, in Mound, La., a little community between Monroe and Lake Providence. He was the fourth of six children–five boys and one girl–born to James and Anna Dixon, and is a graduate from Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock, Ark., which also sent a letter.

He arrived in Los Angeles in 1945, after leaving the Army, to rejoin his wife and son, who had come to Los Angeles to live with relatives four years earlier while he served out his military duty.

About two and a half years after his discharge, Dixon went to work for the post office. He retired after 37 years, but then opened a real estate and income tax service, which he ran for about 40 years.

“I had a lot of clients,” he said. “I had three people working for me, aside from myself. Now I’ve been retired I guess about nine years.”

A widower, he has outlived two wives. His first wife, the former Mary Ellen Johnson, died in 1974. They had three children together–a son, Robert; and two daughters, Doris Jean and Shirley Ann. A second wife, the former Inez Marie Wallace, died in 1986. He has a stepson from that marriage, Quincy Watts, with whom he remains very close.

Dixon said his health is good. “I eat what I want and do what I want,” said Dixon. “I came down with diabetes, but it’s kinda under control.”

The centenarian-to-be says he has been a member of True Samaritan Baptist Church at 54th and Main for 56 years.