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John R. "Jack" Rixon, Jr.

March 16, 1929 March 28, 2010
John R. "Jack" Rixon, Jr.
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Obituary for John R. "Jack" Rixon, Jr.

St. Albans - Jack Rixon wants us to celebrate his life. He peacefully died on Sunday, March 28, 2010, with his loving wife and family at his side. Jack was born in Somerville, NJ on March 16, 1929, the oldest son of John Rixon and Blanche Gosselin Rixon. Jack grew up in Springfield, VT. He later moved to St. Albans, Vermont where he attended St. Mary's High School and graduated in 1947. During high school he began working at Sanders Pharmacy at the soda fountain, a business he would eventually own and build throughout his life. Jack was always close with his siblings, Bob, Paul, Don, Jim, and Anne. His mother Blanche was a motivating force in his life and she would go on to live with Jack and his family for the remainder of her days. He served in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Korean conflict. Upon his return from service he attended St. Michael's College and received his pharmacy license in 1953. He then began working as a pharmacist at Sanders Pharmacy. He married the love of his life, Rose Luneau, in 1954. Their beautiful marriage flourished for over 55 years. They built many bridges together, and raised a family of six children. Jack purchased Sanders Pharmacy in 1970, and ran it as Jack Rixon's Pharmacy until 1988. Jack was a respected member of the St. Albans business community. He also ran a pharmacy at Gaynes Shoppers World in South Burlington. He served as President of the Vermont Pharmaceutical Association, Chairman of the Vermont Board of Pharmacy, was a board member of both the Vermont and National Board of Pharmacy, and was a member of the National Association of Retail Druggists. He was awarded the Bowl of Hygiea Award for community service in pharmacy. While running a business and raising a family he was involved in many civic organizations. He served as an alderman of Ward 5 in St. Albans, served on the board of Franklin County Home Health, Franklin County Court Diversion, Vermont Corrections Reparative Program, and Martha's Kitchen. He was a member of American Legion Post #1, Knights of Columbus and a director of the St. Albans Chamber of Commerce. The Jaycees awarded him in 1963 with the" Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award." He was dedicated to his community and offered his many talents generously. His motto was," Give back to the community some of what was given to you." Being a Vermonter was very important to Jack. He enjoyed a deep connection to its land, people and ideals. Jack enjoyed skiing, and taught all of his children how to ski. He was a founder and president of Hard'ack Ski Area in St. Albans. He was also a ski instructor at Madonna Mountain Ski Area, now known as Smuggler's Notch. He spent his lifetime golfing, fishing, skiing and celebrating with many dear friends. Jack's deep Catholic beliefs took root early in his life. Always a man of faith, as his family grew; he deepened his commitment to the Catholic Church and was ordained a permanent Deacon of the Diocese of Burlington by Bishop John A. Marshall in 1986. He served St. Mary's Parish in St. Albans. He was a member of the St. Mary's Parish Council; he served the diocese as a member of the media board and vocations committee, as well as the Vermont Cursillo Movement and the Deacon Board. He continued to actively serve the parish and his community despite his failing health until his death. Jack's compassion for others was exemplified through the many people whose lives were enriched by his deep faith and sense of humor. Jack is survived by his adored wife of 55 years, Rose Luneau. He leaves behind six children and their families: Laure Jenkins and her husband, Tim, of Versailles, KY; Janet Goodell and her husband, John, of Essex Jct; Roger Rixon, and his wife, Susan of St Albans; Mark Rixon of Hope, ME; Matthew Rixon and his wife, Robin, of Manasquan, NJ; Luke Rixon and his wife, Liza, of Huntington. Jack's grandchildren were his absolute pride and joy. Papa's memory will be cherished by Shawn, Allison, Michelle, Maggie, Andrew, Bill, Warren, Amy, Ian, Catie (Pixie), Carleigh and Charles. He is also survived by his siblings: Bob Rixon and his wife Julie and Paul Rixon and his wife Jackie, all of St Petersburg, FL; Jim Rixon and his wife Linda, of Shrewsbury, MA; and Anne Knisley and her husband Robert, of Sunset Beach, NC and his sister-in-law Dottie Rixon of Middletown, CT. He leaves behind many loved nieces and nephews; Jack was predeceased by his father and mother, John and Blanche and by a brother, Don and Don’s first wife Joan. Jack requested a joyful celebration of life for his services, "For where I am going is a better place than where I am now" he said. In that spirit there will be calling hours from 4:00 until 8:00 pm on Tuesday at the Heald Funeral Home, 87 South Main Street. This will be concluded with a Vigil Service at 8:00 pm. A funeral mass will be held at St Mary’s Parish on Fairfield Street on Wednesday March 31, 2010, at 11:00 A.M. In lieu of flowers, the family would sincerely appreciate donations to the “Jack Rixon Memorial Scholarship Fund”, c/o Peoples Trust Company, 25 Kingman Street, St. Albans, Vermont 05478. Private messages of condolence to the Rixon family are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com. The family wishes to thank the generous and dedicated staff of Northwestern Medical Center and Dr. Gerald Davis for his many years of thoughtful care for Jack.

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