A Cool Springs former certified nursing assistant, nursing home helper and farm lady was named the 42nd Horry Electric Cooperative’s Rural Lady of the Year at a luncheon Friday.
Sarah Dixon said handling all of those jobs while tending to her farming chores wasn’t a problem for her.
“I’ve always been an energetic person,” she said.
She worked for two years and three months at the Conway Nursing Center.
“I loved it,” she said. “I always loved working with the patients.”
Next she went to Conway Hospital where she worked until her retirement and was known as the singing CNA. Her favorite song she used to sing patients to sleep was Amazing Grace.
She loved that job, too, because she likes helping everybody.
She said she always tells everybody how good the Lord is, “cause He is good,” she said.
Mrs. Dixon isn’t the first person in her family to receive the Rural Lady of the Year award. Annie Ruth Dixon, who got the award in 1995, died in December, she said.
Accolades were flowing for Mrs. Dixon, beginning with new HEC vice president and CEO Daniel B. Shelley III, who said she has been a member of Horry Electric Cooperative for 38 years and is very involved in her family’s farm where they grow about 100 acres of tobacco, followed closely by 95 acres of sweet potatoes. They also grow soybeans and corn and raise cows.
Shelley said Dixon drags tobacco, cooks, fills water coolers and keeps the family’s books. He described her as caring and kind.
When her mother and mother-in-law were sick, she added taking care of them to her long list of duties.
She is active in her church, St. Peter African Methodist Episcopal, where she is president of the choir.
She is married to Warren Dixon. They have two children and five grandchildren.
Mrs. Dixon clutched her award saying, “I will hold this dear to my heart.”
She said her goal is always to help someone, and she hopes “to do that right on and right on.”
In addition to her plaque from Horry Electric, The Rural Lady of the Year received a citation from S.C. Senator Kent Williams, Dist. 30, and S.C. Rep. Jeff Johnson, House Seat 58.
Williams said Mrs. Dixon was definitely the matriarch of her family.
“There are not many minority farmers left, not many farmers, but especially minorities, so that says a lot about this family. They’re a great team,” the Senator said.
He said she loves people and believes in service.
“She’s a strong woman of faith. She believes in her faith,” he said.
Johnson said helping farmers has been a highlight of his career as a legislator.
He categorized farmers as the backbone of this country, saying people must have food. He said he also likes to celebrate women.
Speaker for the day was Miss S.C. Morgan Nichols, a Clemson University graduate, who sang Stand by Me for the large group assembled in the Horry Electric Cooperative auditorium.
Her comments focused on the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, and she encouraged women especially to choose that field for their careers.