Dixie Hudgins Diggs, 83, a longtime Hampton businessman who founded the local auto parts store which carries his name, died Thursday, Jan. 21.
Mr. Diggs started Dixie Diggs Auto Parts in Hampton in 1947 and served as president of the firm until his retirement in 1972.
He first entered the business scene in 1933 as a founding partner of Gannaway & Diggs with the late J.E. Gannaway. Mr. Diggs was also one of the founding directors of the Virginia Automotive Wholesalers Association.
Mr. Diggs was a civic leader, serving as president of the Hampton Retail Merchants Association and also as vice chairman of the Hampton School Board during the 1950s.
He was president of the Chesapeake Lions Club, later renamed Phoebus Lions Club, and zone chairman and deputy district governor of his district.
The native of Hampton was a graduate of Hampton High School and Emory & Henry College, where he was a member of the Emory Debating Team. Mr. Diggs, who lettered in football, basketball and baseball in college and served as captain of the football team, was inducted into the Emory & Henry Athletic Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife, Lois R. Diggs; two daughters, Patsy D. Carpenter of Newport News and Gail D. Spiers of Jacksonville, Fla.; two sons, William E. Diggs of Hampton and Robert E. Diggs of Bozeman, Mont.; a stepdaughter, Lisa R. Moberg of Grafton; two stepsons, J. Jeff Rumley and John R. Rumley of Hampton; a sister, Dorothy D. Barton of Alexandria; a brother, Dr. L. Whitley Diggs of Memphis, Tenn.; 11 grandchildren; four step-grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 7 to 8 tonight at Lawrence B. Wood Funeral Home. A graveside service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday in Parklawn Memorial Park, Hampton.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, 618-C J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News 23601.
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