In Memoriam: Alfred Dix Leeson


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death May 27, 2004, of Honorary Member of the Corporation Alfred Dix Leeson of respiratory failure at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockland, Maine. He was 83.

Dix Leeson was elected a Member of the Corporation in 1983 and an Honorary Member in 1991. He served on the Planned Giving Committee from 1995 to 1999, and had been a member of the WHOI Associates since 1979.

orn in Boston, MA, Alfred Dix Leeson attended Dexter School in Brookline and graduated from St. Mark's School in Southborough in 1939. He received a bachelor's degree in 1943 from Harvard College, and graduated from Harvard Business School in 1947. He served in the US Navy in the Pacific during World War II as a lieutenant and skipper of PT 129, and was awarded the Silver Star.

During his business career   Dix Leeson held executive positions at a number of firms. He was President of PeterTare, Inc., formed in 1947 in the Nelson Room of the New York Yacht Club as an informal organization those officers had served on PT boats during the war. He was Vice President of Advertising and Public Relations, and Vice President and General Manager of the International Division, of the Budd Company in Philadelphia, which manufactured railway diesel cars.   He also served as Director and Vice President of Marketing at his family's textile machinery business, LEESONA Corporation of Warwick, RI, before joining the Reece Corporation in Waltham, MA, another textile machinery manufacturer, as Director and Senior Vice President of Operations.

He retired at age 58 and moved to the island of Cuttyhunk, where he served as selectman of the Town of Gosnold, MA, from 1981 to 1984, as chair of the Harbor Committee and as a member of the West End Pond Committee.   He summered on the island for many years and then lived nearly year-round there for some time, continuing to support projects to improve the island's environment.   In recent years he resided in Rockport,   Maine.

Dix Leeson is survived by his wife, Nancy (Snow) Leeson, of Rockport, Maine; two sons, A. Dix Leeson, Jr. of Needham, MA and David Leeson on Winterset, IA; a daughter, Melinda Leeson of Nokomis, FL; five grandchildren; five stepchildren; 18 step grandchildren; and two step great-grandchildren.   His first wife, Nancy (Browne) Leeson, died in 1996.

A memorial service was held in Chestnut Hill, MA, June 2, with burial planned on Cuttyhunk in July.


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Alfred Dix Leeson

Alfred Dix Leeson