Roanoke Credit Union

Virginia IAFF Leader D. Duane Dixon Passes

July 13, 2010 -- The IAFF has lost one of its most dedicated leaders, former Virginia Professional Fire Fighters (VPFF) Secretary-Treasurer and Roanoke Local 1132 President Emeritus D. Duane Dixon. Duane passed away July 10, 2010, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 74.

The family is planning a memorial at the Colonial Country Club near their home in Fort Myers, Florida, on Sunday, July 18 from 5:00-7:30 p.m. All fire fighters planning to attend are asked to RSVP to VPFF Secretary-Treasurer Mike Hanks by for directions and other details.

Separate services are also being planned in Virginia, and details are to be determined.

“Not only was Duane a great leader, but he was a great friend, ” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “I was lucky enough to have him as secretary-treasurer when I was president of the VPFF. He became indispensable as an advisor and friend. The IAFF will miss him and so will I.”

“Indeed, Duane left all of us too soon, ” says VPFF President Mike Mohler. “But we will never forget that it’s because of his dedication and his professionalism that Virginia is now a better, safer place to be a fire fighter.”

Duane became a Roanoke, Virginia, fire fighter and member of Roanoke Local 1132 in 1963. Not long afterwards, he began serving on his local’s executive board as secretary-treasurer, then as president.

As president of Local 1132, he worked hard to improve pension benefits, wages, health care benefits and working conditions. He also earned respect representing many fire fighters in grievance hearings and had a reputation for winning.

After Duane retired from the fire department in 1988, Local 1132 bestowed him with Emeritus status. In that capacity, he continued to serve as an invaluable advisor to the local.

“Duane was a leader that we all admired, ” says Local 1132 President Rodney Jordan. “No matter what we needed, he was always there.”

In 1972, Duane was elected VPFF Secretary-Treasurer, a position he held until he retired in 2002. He holds the record of longest-serving IAFF officer in Virginia.

At the state-level, Duane helped grow the membership of the VPFF by more than 5, 000 members. Additionally, he lobbied for fire fighter presumptive legislation and other legislation important to fire fighters.

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