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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

‘We will weather the weather together’: City gathers to honor the life of funeral director James Dixon III 

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On Aug. 10, standing in front of Dixon Memorial Chapel & Cremation Services, family, friends, city officials, religious leaders and community members honored the legacy James Dixon III created in Indianapolis. 

Dixon owned the funeral home, but to many he was more than that. He was a father of three and a U.S. Army veteran, and to Quincy J. Webster, he was a dear friend, a great mentor and like an older brother. 

“He wrapped his arms around me and taught me everything he knew,” he said. “He modeled and exemplified what a funeral director should look like.” 

In the early morning hours of Aug. 6, Dixon was shot and killed outside of his funeral home during an attempted robbery. 

The two teenage suspects, Jashan Wallace-Carswell, 18, and Stacey Myron Fuller, 19, were arrested in connection with his death, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. They face charges including murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. 

Webster, who has owned his own funeral home for nearly seven years, will help with funeral arrangements along with many other funeral directors in the city.  

The vibrant, dimpled smile on Dixon’s face was something that stood out to many who knew him. 

“That smile lit up the room,” Shelly Wood said. 

He was also known for working with those who could not afford a funeral service for their loved ones and ensuring their family members had a proper burial. 

City officials — IMPD Chief Randal Taylor, city-county council President Vop Osili and Rep. Andre Carson — spoke about Dixon’s legacy of helping the community. 

Carson mentioned Dixon hosting drive-up viewing services for families during the pandemic and how Dixon was “always thinking of ways to serve his community.” 

Dixon’s daughter, Ja’Kell Dixon, shared with the crowd one of the last moments she had with her father. Sitting on a motorcycle, the two of them were smiling and happy. 

“You’re only ever truly gone if you’re forgotten” she said. “I want you all to remember all the good times you had with my dad.” 

Allison Banks attended the vigil to support Ja’Kell, her former student, and seeing the overflow of cars in the parking lot and a lawn full of community supporters, she was amazed. 

“All of the support for his family, it’s just beautiful to see,” she said. “It just shows that the community really does care and they do want to care.” 

At the end of the vigil, the crowd recited one of the funeral director’s well-known passages, one that he ended his funeral services with. 

“Whether the weather be good or the weather be bad, we’ll weather the weather together, whether happy or sad,” the crowd said. “We will weather the weather together.”  

There will be a visitation service for anyone who would like to pay their respects to Dixon from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Dixon Memorial Chapel in Eagledale, 3325 Lowry Road. There will also be an additional visitation service 9-11 a.m. Aug. 19 at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 1301 N. Goodlet Ave. Dixon’s funeral service starts at 11 a.m. Aug. 19 at the church.  

The burial is at Crown Hill Cemetery, and they will honor Dixon as an Army veteran. 

Contact religion reporter Abriana Herron at 317-924-5243. Follow her on Twitter @Abri_onyai. Herron is a Report for America corps member and writes about the role of Black churches in the community. 

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