NASHVILLE, TN (TN Tribune)—The Tennessee Democratic Caucus and the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators today are mourning longtime legislator Roscoe Dixon, who passed away late Thursday evening. Dixon served Memphis for more than 20 years, the first 10 years as a member of the House of Representatives before serving an additional decade in the State Senate. He also served as the chairman of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Health Committee before leaving office in 2005.
The Senate Democratic Caucus issued a joint statement in commemoration of Dixon, who served the 33rd District: “Senator Dixon was born in the tiny of town of Gilmore, Arkansas and he rose to the highest levels of government in his chosen home state of Tennessee. Just as he served his country in the Army and his state in the Tennessee Army National Guard, Dixon was deeply committed to serving his community. Sen. Dixon had kindness and duty in his heart. We wish his family and loved ones peace at this time.”
House Minority Leader Karen Camper said Senator Dixon was a mentor to her: “I learned from him here in the Legislature and from when we both served on the Memphis NAACP board. Roscoe Dixon was dedicated to community service and was a consummate servant to the people. He will be missed.”
TBCSL Chair Antonio Parkinson said, “While I never had the opportunity to serve with Senator Dixon, I knew Roscoe as a warm, encouraging man. I felt his love for my generation of leaders as he always made it a point to let me know how proud he was of me, as a result, I always felt energized in his presence.”
Representative Barbara Cooper said Dixon was always active. He organized a group he called his kitchen cabinet of Memphians working to better the community. She said “We were very close. He was always available and accessible to everyone. He was a fine man who loved his work and he was loved for it.”
Representatives Joe Towns and Larry Miller are two of the lawmakers who served the longest with Dixon. Both joined the legislature in 1995. Representative Towns called Dixon both a rival and a friend. He stated, “He was a totally committed person to his community, especially the Black community. I remember him working long hours in his office until 10 or 11 o’clock at night…working to improve the plight of Black Memphians. He leaves behind a fantastic legacy of service.”