Frank Henry Dix, 55, contractor

Frank Henry Dix

Frank Henry Dix was the founder of Concepts in Construction, Inc.

Dix died May 7, 2012. He was 55.

He was born Feb. 23, 1957, in Philadelphia to Anna E. and John S. Dix. He was the youngest of six siblings to whom he was very close.

He attended Our Lady of the Rosary for his primary schooling. He learned the value of hard work early on. His uncle and namesake owned the only African-American hotel in South Jersey, the Elfra Court Hotel located in Wildwood, N.J. The hotel served as lodging for all of the African-American entertainers who played New Jersey and the surrounding area, as they were not welcomed in white owned establishments.

Dix worked at The Elfra Court from his primary school years until his graduation from St. Thomas More High School in 1975.

Education was important to the Dix family and they were overjoyed when he received a scholarship to attend Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. While at Mercyhurst, Dix was the captain of the crew team and he graduated with a degree in business administration. As the first of his family to attend and complete college, this generated a special sense of pride. After graduation, he stayed in Erie for many years and started his family. Dix worked in construction as a member of Laborers’ Local 603.

In 1994, Dix followed his entrepreneurial spirit and founded Concepts in Construction, Inc. He was a concrete specialist and it became his niche market. The city of Erie was one of his first major accounts. He used this account as a stepping stone to create a formidable construction firm. At the time, Concepts in Construction was the first and only African-American union construction firm in Erie. He understood the importance of economic development and he worked to make sure other African Americans were employed through his firm.

After a rigorous vetting process, Dix was selected in 2004 as a subcontractor for the U.S. Department of State and worked with Kaseman, a KS International Company, to build the largest freestanding embassy in the world in Baghdad, Iraq.

Upon returning stateside, Dix’s firm continued to grow and contracted with the Washington Nationals MLB franchise in Washington, D.C. His firm managed the concrete work at the stadium. Upon completion of the stadium, went on to work for the Washington Nationals, overseeing all of their construction projects.

In 2010, Dix was called to travel abroad again, this time to Surabaya, Indonesia. In Indonesia he led the construction of the United States Consulate. He enjoyed his time in Indonesia; he called it paradise. Dix recently returned to his home in Washington, D.C., and was looking forward to spending time with his children.

Dix was an active parishioner of Immaculate Conception Church. He was an avid swimmer who loved to share good times with close friends and family. Dix often made himself available to help those in need. His family said he will be remembered as a well-traveled, gentle giant, who was a family man and an upstanding member of his community.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Betty Anne Miller.

Dix is survived by his sons, David H. Dix of Philadelphia and Frank H. Dix of New York, N.Y.; daughter, Elena D. Dix of Erie; grandson, Bryce Barnes-Dix of Harrisburg; brothers, Clarence Wells, Edward Wells, Donald Wells and John Dix of Philadelphia; and other relatives and friends.

A mass of Christian burial will be held May 14 at Saint Francis De Sales Church, 4625 Springfield Ave. Friends may call at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is private.

A service of remembrance will be held May 16 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, 315 East 9th St. in Erie.

Frank C. Videon Funeral Home of Broomall handled the arrangements.

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