February 26, 1924 - June 22, 2017
Maria Antoinetta Johanna Linssen Dixon-Watts, 93, of Urbana, Ohio passed away on Thursday, June 22, 2017 in Eaglewood Health Center, Springfield, Ohio.
This is the wonderful lady who is my Mom!
“Mia” was born February 26, 1924 in Heerlen, Limburg Netherlands, the daughter of Dr. Wilhelmus Linssen and Emma Claessens-Linssen.
Mia Linssen Dixon was a patriot in World War II as an active member of the Dutch Resistance Movement from 1940 through 1944. Mia was college educated, was fluent in five languages and a patriot in World War II. She lived twenty-two years in the Netherlands and sixty- nine years in her adopted home of Champaign County, Ohio. Mia was the first Champaign County war bride from World War II. She arrived early in 1946 to marry my father North H. Dixon who was a hero in the American army which liberated her home of Brunssum, Netherlands November 19th, 1944.
Mia Linssen-Dixon and North H. Dixon had one child, a son William H. Dixon. Mia was a wonderfully loving mother to “Billy” and she was an inspiration of the great work ethic he grew up to emulate. Mia spent her life straddling her two worlds: that picturesque county of the rolling hills of Brunssum, Netherlands and the rolling farm lands of Champaign County. Mia had beloved father, sister, brother, niece and nephews overseas and in Champaign County. She also had her husband North, son Billy and friends in Urbana, Maryland, New York and Kentucky whom had also immigrated to the good old USA.
Mia Linssen-Dixon has left this world much richer for her being a part of our lives. Her family and friends include her son and daughter-in-law Bill and Priscilla Dixon of Urbana, Ohio. Her loving second husband Jack P. Watts who did everything in the world to make Mia’s life good and joyous. All of Mia’s grandchildren whom she adored; Jason and Lee Anne Dixon of Bellaire, Texas, Alexis S. Dixon Johnson and Chad Johnson of Forney, Texas, Erin Dixon Wintill and Col. Gregory Wintell of Washington D.C., Elizabeth Dixon Alley and Chad Alley of Houston, Texas, Jacob and Carter Dixon, Michael and Drew Johnson, Daniel, Sarah, Grace and Ruth Wintell, one appreciated and beloved daughter-in-law Priscilla L. Dixon, three loving step- grandchildren; Katherine Bandman, Daniel and Carrie Bandman and Lauren Bandman, one great-grandson Jack Bandman, brother-in-law and life-long friend Jo Goddery of Brunssum, Netherlands, nephews Hans and Caroline Goddery and Fred and Mies Goddery, niece Em Goodery Smitt and Henk Smitt. Best-friends; Natalia Dummer of Schinvelt, Netherlands, Jeanny Kerens of Heerleen, Netherlands, Chuck Andrews of Walhalla, South Carolina, Ben and Janet Runkle of West Liberty, Ohio, Charles and Carole Brammer of Clear Water, Florida, Rosa Finch of Urbana, John E. Hupp of Cincinnati, Ohio, Jo Davis of Palm Harbor, Florida, Harold and Ruth Watts of Springfield, Ohio, Larry and Barb Watts of Columbus, Ohio, Norman and Trixie Watts of Springfield, Ohio, Peggy and Tom Wilkins of Urbana, Maud and Lindsey Hayes of Urbana, Walter and Marguerite Emory of Mutual, Ohio, Felix and Zinka Geraets of Syracuse, New York , Jim and Leni Heiser of Urbana, Ohio. Cousin Fred and Mary White Lok of Barnesville, Maryland and sister-in-law Margerie D’ Asembourg of Gold Coast, Australia.
Preceded in death are Mia’s loving partner and her liberator, husband North Herman Dixon of Urbana, her father William Linssen, mother Emma Classens-Linssen of Brunssum, Netherlands, brother Fritz Linssen ‘Asembourg of Gold Coast, Australia, sister Addie Linssen-Goddery of Brunssum, Netherlands, father-in-law South Dixon and mother-in-law Eva Hayes-Dixon, brother-in-laws; James W. Dixon and Helen G. Dixon, George Hayes Dixon and Ruby Dixon all of Urbana, Ohio,
sister-in-law Ruth Marie Dixon-Preston of California and special cousin, Mia Classens of Flissing, Netherlands.
Mia “Mary” Linssen-Dixon worked for nineteen years as a Deputy Clerk of Courts in Urbana, Ohio. She was head- bookkeeper for the Charles A. Culp Company and for Auto Body both of Springfield, Ohio. Mia was also secretary for Ace Hupp and seven years for USAA Transport Company both of Urbana, Ohio. Mia was a life-long member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Urbana, Ohio.
Mia’s hobbies included frequent trips to the Netherlands to visit her many friends and relatives in Europe as well as reminiscing with Natalie Dummer about the lacrosse games each of them won or lost. Living on Pullins Drive in Urbana, Mia enjoyed keeping her one and a half acre lawn immaculate and delighted in the lasting fragrance of the red roses and Dutch tulips in her well- tended gardens. Mia enjoyed teasing and being with her son “Billy” and his son Jason and the triplet granddaughters Alexis, Erin and Elizabeth.
Mia Linssen-Dixon was a hero in Limburg Province, Netherlands as she was a courier for the Dutch underground from 1940 through 1944. Mia also worked at the Labor Pool in Brunssum where she distributed documents to halt the Nazi’s from taking Dutch citizens to forced labor camps. Mia kept over 200 men from the Nazi death camps during her service. On September 5th 1944 the German SS came to Mia’s home with their luger pistols drawn to arrest her for her underground activities. Mia was to be sent to a concentration camp for her resistance activities against Germany. With great courage and against all odds she gathered all 5’4″of her height and told the two SS officers who had drawn their weapons to come to her office on Monday and her manager would testify as to her innocence. The bluff worked. The two SS officers went away leaving Mia Linssen to survive another day in occupied Brunssum, Limburg Province, Netherlands. Mia then went into hiding for two weeks. Meanwhile, the American G.I.’s liberated her home town of Brunssum on September 19, 1944. It was then that Mia Linssen met her future husband who was a Sergeant in Pattons Second Armored Division. ” Hell On Wheels” this Sergeant , a Bronze Star recipient was North Herman Dixon of Salem Township, Champaign County, Ohio. Mia Linssen married North Herman Dixon in Urbana, Ohio on June 3, 1946.
When Mia Linssen’s Limburg Province, Netherlands was liberated on September 19, 1944, she served as the interpreter for General Dwight D. Eisenhower of the United States and General Montgomery of Brittan. When Mia was asked how the British and American armies could help her state of Limburg Mia said “Bring back the sheep, the cattle, the swine, the chickens to our country that the Nazi’s have stolen. Our people are starving to death”. Eisenhower and Montgomery immediately sent troops to Germany to herd enough animals back to Brunssum to feed the people in her town.
My mom was proud to become an American citizen and became one as soon as possible. She was always a decisive take-charge type of person. She diligently tried to take care of her people and spoke at many Memorial Day celebrations to share what it was like to regain her freedom.
May God rest and protect Mia Antonette Johanna Dixon-Watts.
Thank you for your 93 years. Mia, my loving mother, was truly a person worth knowing.
M chere maman
Your family loves you. You will forever be in our hearts and minds.
A gathering of family and friends will be held from 5-7 PM Thursday, June 29, 2017 at VERNON FUNERAL HOME, Urbana. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 AM on Friday, June 30, 2017 in St. Mary Church, Urbana with Father Matt Lee officiating. Burial will follow in Highland Memorial Cemetery, West Liberty.
Memorial contributions may be made to Barely Used Pets, Inc. 844 Jackson Hill Road, Urbana, Ohio 43078
Condolences may be made to the family at www.vernonfh.com.
I am truly sad I never met your mother! what a fabulous lady! thank you for sharing her story in the most wonderful obituary I have ever read! I am sorry for your loss, but you will meet again.
Dearest Billy, I read your Mother’s obit because her photo drew me to do so. I just wanted to say that your words made me feel as if I had known her, and it was just a lovely tribute to an obviously well Loved Mother and humanitarian. The pride you felt having her as your Mother brightly shined thru with your every word. So sorry for your loss.