By Denise DuBois
The Citizen of East Alabama lost a member of its sports writing team over the weekend. Chad Dixon, 36, died Saturday afternoon at the Columbus Hospice House after a lengthy battle with cancer. Dixon had beaten the disease twice before. Chad has been writing sports for The Citizen for many years, covering Russell County High, Chattahoochee Valley Community College baseball and softball, and most notably, Smiths Station High School.
While Chad graduated from Central High School, the Smiths Station community adopted him as one of its own.
In addition to writing sports, Chad was an active participant in the games he loved to write about. Over the years, he coached the Smiths Station Dixie Girls softball team and ran the Smiths Station Coed Softball League. He was the head coach of the Psycho Pitches. He was undeniably the biggest fan of the Chicago Cubs, and he enjoyed professional wrestling and cheering for the Crimson Tide.
When he wasn’t writing and making connections in the community, Chad was a Claims Compliance Specialist for Aflac.
At the age of 15, Chad met F.L. “Bubba” Copeland, now the mayor of Smiths Station. Copeland was the store manager of Piggly Wiggly on Stadium Drive at the time. Chad began working there. Copeland said they instantly connected.
“From the start, I could just tell how good of a person and kid he was,” Copeland said. “We had a lot in common, particularly our love for sports and WWE wrestling. Chad was very involved in reporting and coaching Smiths Station sports.”
Their friendship grew from there.
“Chad had this ability to know when you needed him, and would just call to check on me, never expecting anything in return. He was a great supporter, and most importantly, a great friend. There are not many people like him in this world. He will be forever missed by myself and the large number of people he touched during his lifetime.”
Chad was a friend to everyone around him, which was evident when the cancer he had fought before came back. A Facebook page, Fight Chad Fight, was started and an outpouring of love and support followed. Local sports teams joined together to raise money for his family that included his wife Brittney and daughters Berkley Eastridge and Caroline Granby. Chad also had an unborn daughter Bayley.
Throughout his time battling the disease, friends commented on the kind of person he was, calling him a fighter and a friend.
Soon after his passing, Brittney said on social media, “Chad is no longer struggling here on Earth. He is dancing with Jesus to *NSYNC I’m sure. Thank you everyone for your thoughts.”
A celebration of life service will be held 11 a.m. ET Feb. 14, at Vance Brooks Funeral Home in Phenix City, with Pastor Jeremy Green officiating. A private internment will follow at Lakeview Memory Gardens. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. ET at the funeral home.
Chad was born in Columbus, Ga. the son of Tammy Hill Moore and the late Larry Dixon. Other than his mother, Tammy Hill Moore and step-father Bob, he is survived by his loving wife Brittney Brown Dixon of Phenix City, Ala.; daughters, Berkley Eastridge, Caroline Granby and his unborn daughter Bayley Dixon; maternal grandmother, Liv Meadows of Phenix City, Ala.; sisters, Mandy Downs and husband Peanut of Phenix City, Ala. and Robin Berry and husband David of Winnfield, LA; brothers, James Moore and wife Abby of Phenix City, Ala., and Bobby Moore of Phenix City, Ala.; a special niece, Bridget Berry of Winnfield, LA; several extended family and numerous caring friends.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a memorial fund set up at SunTrust Bank for Bayley Dixon (in the name of Brittney Dixon) in honor of her dad.
Additionally, the family asks that if you purchased a “fight Chad fight” t-shirt, please wear it to visitation on Wednesday night.