A memorial mass was held Feb. 12 at St. Matthew Catholic Church for Veronica Blanche Bess Dixon, who departed her earthly life suddenly on Jan. 30. Born May 19, 1943 in Baltimore, Md. to the late Floyd and Mildred Bess, she was the eldest of six girls often tasked at a young age with taking her siblings for back-to-school shopping and bringing home groceries.

Inspired by the exemplary skill and kindness of teachers like the late Mabel Byrd, she was determined to become a teacher herself. After graduating from Edmondson High School in June 1961, she entered then-Morgan State College that fall in pursuit of her goal. Ronnie contributed significantly to her college education by working summers at the Maryland Glass Company. She also attended Baltimore Junior College and then Maryland State College in Princess Anne. In June 1967, she received a bachelor’s in education with a concentration in history from that institution, becoming the first college graduate in her family. In 1972 she received her master’s in administration and supervision from then Coppin State College.

She began teaching history at the old Francis M. Wood School in 1967. For 39 years, she served as a dedicated frontline educator who received consistent promotions including department head at Pimlico, head of the Department of Exceptional Children at Walbrook High School, assistant principal at Hampstead Hill Middle School, managing assistant principal at Lemel, principal at Greenspring and Highlandtown middle schools. Following her retirement, she worked another two years assisting in the organization of the Buford-Drew-Jemison Charter Middle School.

She is survived by her husband of 39 years, Osborne B. Dixon Jr.; daughter, Carol D. Croxton; son-in-law, Brandon R. Croxton; grandson, Ryan B.J. Croxton; sisters Linda Milton (Thomas), Paula Fleet, Sharon Bess, Eleanora Johnson, and Machele Bess; nieces Sage Johnson, Tasha Milton, Kisha Fleet Hendrick (Sean), Nikita Artis, and Jennifer Ashley; nephews, Kirk R. Fleet, Jr. (LaTisha) and Joseph Johnson, and a host of grandnieces, grandnephews, relatives and friends.