William Lawrence Dixon, 86, of Mt. Airy, a retired Philadelphia police detective, died Feb. 5 of complications from pulmonary disease at Fairview Care Center in Chestnut Hill.

Mr. Dixon, who had received numerous awards and commendations during the course of his police career, was a supervisor in the rape and robbery squad when he retired in 1982. He joined the Police Department in 1958, specializing in undercover assignments with the vice squad and was promoted to detective in 1967.

After retiring from the Police Department, he joined the security force at Philadelphia Gas Works, retiring in 1995.

Born and reared in West Philadelphia, he was a graduate of Overbrook High School. He enlisted in the Navy and served aboard the Merrimack, a fleet oil tanker, as part of the Seventh Fleet.

After serving in the military, he worked at the Frankford Arsenal as an optical etcher, engraving glass used in Army telescopes and binoculars. He later worked as an archivist for the Signal Corps.

Active in the community, Mr. Dixon was an assistant coach for the West Oak Lane Raiders Little League team, a block captain and a member of his neighborhood’s Town Watch. He also was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Cape May, N.J.

He was a longtime member of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Philadelphia, where he served as trustee and usher.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Gladys Thomas; daughters Denise Dancy and Debbie Beeks; four grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

Funeral services were held Feb. 12 at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church with interment in Rolling Green Memorial Park, West Chester. – WF