He and his wife Dorothy have two daughters.
Dominique is a third year medical student at Meharry Medical School in Nashville. Sydney is finishing her junior year in the honors business program at Indiana University.
More than anything, he loved them, and they are grieving.
Despite the pain, they shared with us how the outpouring of sympathy is helping them cope.
"We're dealing with a global pandemic, but it is really nice how much people have gone out of their way to make us feel the love," said Dominique. "This isn't a regular time, so people can't hug us or come into our house. But neighbors have been in our culdesec praying and being distant and they have a table outside of our door giving us things and writing how much my dad means."
They also shared that every Father's Day, Willie would give his children gifts because he felt he was the one who should celebrate them.
"We always knew how special our dad was," said Sydney. "The love and support that he showed us in everything that we did, we knew that his character and his personality was just so unique. But it's really nice to see that other people saw that and respected him as much as we did, didn't love him as much we did, but loved him a lot too."
Meanwhile, city and county leaders also took time to share the condolences on Monday. Judge Lina Hidalgo began her briefing on the county's COVID-19 response with a special message for Willie's family.
"I want to say to his wife and his daughters and to the entire ABC13 team, on behalf of Harris County, thank you for you. Know that you are loved and that you are appreciated. That your work changes lives and that Willie will be deeply missed."
Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted a 5-page thread with photographs of Willie at work and wrote that he will continue to remember the impact Willie made doing what he loved.
Today, our city mourns the loss of an individual who worked tirelessly to tell Houston's story in his own creative way.— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) April 26, 2020
Each time I saw @abc13houston's @13PhotogWillie, he was always professional, positive, and truly brought smiles and joy to the individuals he touched. (1/5)
Over the past couple of months, @13PhotogWillie helped capture how our city combatted #COVID19. It was this past Friday, where he covered a story of @LSCHoustonNorth's food and toiletries distribution in #AcresHomes while also attending our daily news conferences. (2/5) pic.twitter.com/KyTQBSywTO— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) April 26, 2020
In 2017, @13PhotogWillie was the @abc13houston photographer who covered the story of @HoustonHeights' residents Sophie and her letter to help rebuild a sidewalk which our @HouPublicWorks crews helped fixed and then followed us as we went for gelato at @gelazzi. (3/5) pic.twitter.com/KkzTf0OhiM— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) April 26, 2020
From major sporting events including the @astros playing in the #WorldSeries or our @HoustonTexans playing on the field, @13PhotogWillie was there to capture it all.— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) April 26, 2020
His smile, positive energy, and all the emojis he used in his tweets are how I will remember him. 🎥 (4/5)
May God watch over @13PhotogWillie's family and his @abc13houston family during this time. Although he may be gone physically from us, we will continue to remember the impact he has made doing what he loved.— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) April 26, 2020
Rest well, Mr. Willie Dixon. (5/5)
"He covered all the major sporting events and traveled the world with some of our top reporters and anchors to bring us the news," Turner said on Monday. "Willie passed away far too soon over the weekend, and I want to extend my deepest, deepest condolences to his wife, to his daughters, [and] to his colleagues at ABC13."
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, with whom Willie traveled during the 2016 presidential campaign, said he always appreciated "Willie's easy smile and joyful spirit."
Willie died unexpectedly Saturday night. He was 52.
"He was a dear friend to us all," ABC13 News Director Rehan Aslam said. "The loss we feel today is beyond measure."
Willie's face may not have been familiar to ABC13 viewers, but the video he captured was Houston's window to the world and some of the most compelling moments in recent history passed through his lens.
Willie Dixon was singular. He was a bright light. He was a beautiful soul. He was a devoted husband and proud loving father. He was a talented, smart, tireless journalist who always saw the best in people. He was kind and genuine. And he was my friend. 🎥🎥 pic.twitter.com/b84N9fSy2l— Tom Abrahams (@TomAbrahams13) April 26, 2020
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