Alyce Dixon, one of the first African-American women to serve in the army and believed to be the oldest living female veteran, died Wednesday. She was 108.
Dixon, known as “Queen Bee,” died in her sleep, the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center said, according to FOX5DC.
Born in Boston in 1907 as Alice Ellis, Dixon changed the spelling of her first name when she was 16, inspired by actress Alyce Mills, the VA said in a prior press release. She briefly attended Howard University but quit school early to help support her family.
She joined the Women’s Army Corps in 1943, stationed in England and France during World War II and working in the postal service with the 6888th Battalion. Her job was to help eliminate a massive backlog of letters and packages sent to soldiers fighting on the frontlines. She received the Good Conduct Medal for her service.
Later, Dixon worked for the Census Bureau and the Pentagon. She also volunteered for Washington Hospital Center and Howard University Hospital. Dixon retired in 1973 and had been living at the VA Medical Center’s Community Living Center.
“God left me with a few marbles,” Dixon had said. “I’m so blessed.”
Medical Center director Brian Hawkins told FOX5DC that Dixon would be missed.
“She was one-of-a-kind; a strong-willed, funny, wise, giving and feisty WWII veteran,” Hawkins said. “Her message touched a lot of people. It has been an honor to care for the oldest female veteran. The DC VA Medical Center won’t be the same without her.”