Former Wythe County Board of Supervisors Chairman Charles S. Dix died over the weekend. Though Dix was known by those closest to him as a farmer and family man, he held the distinction of serving on the Wythe County Board of Supervisors for 16 years.
“Charles Dix was a caring person with a heart of gold that always put others before himself and loved his family, Crockett, Rural Retreat and Wythe County,” retired Wythe County Administrator Cellell Dalton said in an email. “Charles Dix placed Wythe County as his number one priority as can be witnessed with all the school construction, industrial development, and water and sewer improvements completed during his years on the Board of Supervisors. I have admired Mr. Dix’s caring toward his family, community, giving and others first virtues. I believe that every Wythe Countian for many years to come will see the impact of Charles Dix’s time and leadership on the Board of Supervisors. I was saddened with the news of his passing but I will always have fond memories of my time working with Mr. Dix.”
According to a county press release, the people of the Blacklick District of Wythe County first elected Dix to serve as their representative in November 1993. Dix continued to serve in this position until Dec. 31, 2009, serving as board chairman in 1996 and 2000, as well as vice-chairman from 2001-2003.
During his four terms, Dix advanced the local community through a number of initiatives and actions, most notably through his commitment to seeing new industries brought into the Southwest Virginia locality. Dix assisted in the purchase and development of Progress Park, a 1,210 acre industrial park that is now the home to Gatorade among several other industrial facilities, the release said.
Dix was credited for helping in the creation of over 800 high paying jobs while on the Board of Supervisors due to his support for the expansion of existing industries, including Klockner in Rural Retreat and the location of four new industries within the county. The former Board of Supervisors chairman also supported the purchase of property and funding for the construction of the Rural Retreat Elementary School.
According to the release, other achievements credited to the former board member include renovations to the Rural Retreat Lake Campground, implementation of the E-911 system, closure of the Wythe County Landfill and the construction of the Fort Chiswell Wastewater Treatment Plant to serve the residents of eastern Wythe County.
In 2009, the Wythe County Board of Supervisors unanimously honored Dix with a resolution commending him on his years of service to the locality. In that resolution, the board expressed its “heartfelt appreciation for his time and service to the citizens of Wythe County…”
Jack Crosswell served with Dix on the Board of Supervisors in the 1990s. He and Dix were also members of the Wytheville Masonic Lodge together.
“He was a good fella and easy to get along with,” Crosswell said. “He was a good friend of mine.”
Wythe County Administrator Stephen D. Bear said he was saddened to hear about Dix’s death.
“Charles was just one of many visionary supervisors in the late 1990s and 2000s who had the foresight and leadership to bring about Progress Park, the New River Regional Water Authority, and expansion of the public water and sewer services in Wythe County,” Bear said. “In 2002, he was instrumental in obtaining $20 million in initial funding for school renovation projects throughout the county, including assistance in obtaining the land for the new Rural Retreat Elementary School. Our hearts and warmest sympathies go out to his family and close friends during their time of loss.”