Basil Dixon of North Chelmsford, MA

1936 - 2024

No Vistitation Date Scheduled

No Funeral Date Scheduled

Basil Dixon, a native of North Chelmsford, died on March 22, 2024, at Lowell General Hospital

after a brief illness. He was 87 years old.


Basil is survived by his daughter, Emily North, of Brattleboro, Vermont; grandchildren Violet

Zarriello, Miles Goldenbird, Jonah Goldenbird, and Maria Zarriello; and his lifelong friend and

cousin, George Dixon, of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Basil was predeceased by his

grandmother, Annie (Trask) Larkin; mother, Ann (Larkin) Dixon; aunt Marguerite (Larkin)

Shugrue; and uncle Charles Shugrue, all from North Chelmsford.

After graduating from Chelmsford High School in 1954, Basil attended the Lowell Technological


Institute and graduated in 1960 with a degree in electrical engineering. A gifted mathematician,

Basil could solve three-digit multiplication problems in his head quickly and with 100% accuracy, as his daughter checked his answers with a calculator. He served in leadership roles at

manufacturing firms in New England, including MeyersonTooth, Rath & Strong, MFE, and

Varian. He was an exceptional supervisor who developed relationships with his employees,

whom he treated with kindness, dignity, and respect.


An accomplished athlete, Basil played college basketball. He tried out and was accepted to the

original New England Patriots team, but a knee injury prevented him from being signed. Basil

played basketball for decades. When he traveled for work, he’d visit local courts and play

pick-up games. His daughter remembers him holding his own and often winning against much

younger players on basketball courts all over New England.


Basil descended from a family of accomplished musicians; his great grandfather, James P.

Larkin, orchestra leader for the White Star Line, co-founded the Lowell chapter of the American

Federation of Musicians, his Uncle Greg Larkin assisted with founding the Berklee College of

Music, and his Uncle Bernie Larkin led the famous Bernie Larkin Orchestra which performed in

ballrooms all over New England. Basil studied Jazz Trombone under John Coffey in the 1950’s.

Over his seventy-year musical career, Basil played with the Angie Bergamini Orchestra, Billy

Notini Orchestra, Leite Concert Winds, the Richy D Orchestra, the Portuguese Band of Lowell,

Saint Anselm College Jazz Band, the After Hours Band, the Jerry T Band, and the Dave

Rasmussen Big Band. Additionally, Basil performed in the orchestra for Bob Hope and Joan

Rivers when they performed in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1970s. Furthermore, he served as

a mentor to countless young musicians.


Together with his mother, Ann, Basil raised his daughter, Emily, in rural Hudson, New

Hampshire. He was a gentle and attentive father. Their life in Hudson was busy yet tranquil, with

a house full of jazz, family, friends, and neighbors. The trio went to Rockingham Park every

weekend to enjoy the horse races. Basil enjoyed the outdoors and spent his weekends with his

daughter, chopping wood and building additions to the house. He read and discussed books

with his daughter, including the Dr. Doolittle series and Tarzan. One of Basil’s greatest joys was

inviting his daughter’s boarding school friends to join her for weekend overnights. He provided a

safe and loving environment for the young people to have family fun, home-cooked meals, and

the freedom to be teenagers.


A host par excellence, Basil threw many house parties with live jazz music. On occasion,

strangers would see the house lit up, and upon hearing the music, they would pull over on the

quiet country road and join the party. Basil allowed strangers to drop in as long as they behaved

respectfully. Basil brought his daughter to jazz performances all over New England, including his favorite musician, Stan Kenton.


In addition to being a devoted family man, Basil loved his friends and neighbors, and he thrived

in the quiet pace of life in rural New Hampshire. He moved to Hudson intentionally to live in the

country, seeking a peaceful atmosphere and a high quality of life. He became deeply connected

to his community, left his house door unlocked, and used to leave his car keys in the ignition in

case a neighbor needed to borrow a vehicle.


Always a straight shooter, Basil was kind, outgoing, and generous. If someone needed help, he

helped them right away. He believed in treating all people, animals, and our planet respectfully.

He supported environmental protection, human rights, civil rights, workers’ rights, labor unions,

and the protection of the poor and oppressed. Basil stood against malice, injustice, and

prejudice of any kind. In 1984, he lost his job after reporting workplace EPA violations- dumping toxic paint into the Merrimack River- but he never regretted this decision.

In the 1990s, Basil and Ann lived for several years in San Marcos, California, where Basil

volunteered for Rotary International and helped run the famous World’s Ugliest Dog Contest.

After Ann died in 2003, Basil returned to North Chelmsford to care for his Aunt Marguerite until

she died in 2014 at age 96. Basil then spent a few years living with his daughter and

grandchildren in Brattleboro, Vermont. Still, he returned to Chelmsford to spend his final years

living with a close friend. Basil kept busy until the end of his life, consistently winning in his

Fantasy Football league and planting flowers.


A memorial service will be held at St. Kathryn’s Catholic Church, 4 Dracut Road, Hudson, New

Hampshire, on September 14 at 8:30 AM. A Celebration of Life event is planned for June;

please contact his family at for more information.

Donations may be sent to the Humane Society of the United States instead of flowers.

2 Condolences for Basil Dixon of North Chelmsford, MA

  • Avatar

    John Wilder


    To George and Family- Accept our condolences for your loss. Basil must have been quite a guy.


  • Avatar

    Megan Davis


    Thinking of you Emily, and your children. My sincere condolences.


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