Coordinator of College Ceremonies and Events Rebecca Dixon died last week after complications related to pancreatic cancer. Dixon started working for Keene State College in January of 2015. Those who worked closely with Dixon remember her as being a kind, warm individual to be around.
President Melinda Treadwell, who worked closely with Dixon, said she was not only a reliable employee, but simply a pleasant person to know as well.
“She was creative and incredibly professional and always calm. I just never worried about the logistics and about a ceremony being extremely well done with her, because she was so good,” Treadwell said. “Beyond that, I’ve never met a more bright spirit.”
Executive Assistant to the President Barbara Preston was on the search committee for Dixon’s position in 2014. Preston had known Dixon for her entire career at KSC.
“I was involved from day one with getting to know her. She was charming. She was a real collaborator and she was pleasant,” Preston said. “In a very short period of time she built a wide web of friends on campus.”
Dixon also worked in the alumni center for some of her time at KSC. In that time, she worked with Director of Strategic Communications and Community Relations Kelly Ricaurte, who remembers Dixon as being a positive and a kind person.
“She was very much a team player. She loved to work with people across campus and collaborate with people,” Ricaurte said. “She had great energy and positivity that she brought to work every day. Just this feeling of true comradery.”
Aside from her work at KSC, Dixon was also a talented trumpet player. She was the founder and director of Monument Square Brass, a quintet of musicians from the Merrimack Valley. She played the trumpet for the group. Rick Bolling, another trumpet player in the quintet, said he will miss Rebecca and that she will be missed by all others who knew her.
“She was a really beautiful musician,” Bolling said. “Any musician who has known her will miss her. Just beautiful music that she produced.”
Dixon also played trumpet in the Hollis town band, and even played for one of Keene State’s commencement ceremonies prior to working here. Even when Dixon received her initial diagnosis, she stayed true to who she was.
She never really became known by [her diagnosis]. She was just the constant, same person all the way through this. There aren’t many people like her,” Treadwell said.
As for how Dixon will be honored by the KSC community, she did not wish to have a public memorial. According to Treadwell, the College is working with Dixon’s children and family to find the best way to honor them during this time.
“These are the harder moments. We’ve lost a light as a campus. I think it’s a testament to the resilience of the community that we continue to have a positive outlook and send a lot of love,” Treadwell said. “I miss her a lot, she was fun to see coming up the stairs everyday.”
Rachel Vitello can be contacted at