First Sergeant Rodger Dale Thixton

February 13, 1951 - September 01, 2022


Obituary For First Sergeant Rodger Dale Thixton

First Sergeant Rodger Dale Thixton, age 71, of Jacksonville, North Carolina passed away on September 1, 2022 at Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Rodger was born in Seymour, Indiana on February 13, 1951, the third of three children born to Raymond and Alice (Peachee) Thixton. He attended Columbus High School and received his Associates Degree while in Okinawa, Japan through Central Texas University in 1988.

The family will receive friends on Monday, September 12, 2022 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Johnson Funeral Home (2685 Henderson Drive, Jacksonville, NC).

A celebration of life service will be conducted on Wednesday September 14, 2022 at 12 noon from Johnson Funeral Chapel with inurnment following in Coastal Carolina State Cemetery at 2 pm Wednesday with full Military Honors by the USMC.

First Sergeant Thixton enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1971. He served in both Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm. He was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland from 1977 to 1980, Pensacola, Florida as an Aviation Officer Candidate School Drill Instructor from 1980 to 1983, then back to Andrews AFB from 1983 to 1986. He was then assigned to Camp Courtney in Okinawa, Japan from 1986 to 1989. His final assignment was at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina from 1989 until his retirement in 1991 as a First Sergeant.

First Sergeant Thixton was a very proud Marine and was awarded a Purple Heart, The Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Achievement Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, and Overseas Ribbon Participated in Operation Desert Storm. Other awards: Rifle Expert Badge, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, and Southwest Asia Service Medal. After his retirement from the Marine Corps, Rodger became a successful real estate agent and started his own Real Estate Academy in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He loved NASCAR, country music, basketball, war movies, and anything and everything American.

He is survived by his very best friend and partner, Karen Stewart of Jacksonville, North Carolina; one Brother, Vic (Cindy) Thixton of Seymour, Indiana; one Step Brother, Gregg (Theresa) Galbraith of Goodlettsville, Tennessee; Son, Jamie (Tammy) Thixton of Columbus, Indiana; Daughter, Heather Renee Thixton (Timothy Jacob) Grapperhaus of Clayton, North Carolina; Son, Tyler (Sareba) Dale Thixton of Jacksonville, North Carolina; eight Grandchildren, and three Great Grandchildren. Son, Jeffery Thixton, preceded him in death in January 2020 as well as his brother, Phillip Thixton, in August 2020.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Semper Fi & America's Fund and Adoption First Animal Rescue, please click the link to the left.

Photos & Video

Add New Photos & Video


  • 12/18/2022

    I just read of 1stSgt Thixton's death, and wanted to offer condolences and a special memory. He was my senior Marine while we were stationed in Okinawa at an alcohol treatment facility on Camp Courtney. Although not a trained counselor, he established a significant rapport with the Marines in treatment, and to this day I haven't found anyone quite as good at connecting with people as he was. Semper Fi, Marine. Fair winds and following seas. Cathy Jaggars LtCol USMC (Ret)

  • 09/12/2022

    Rodger, it was truly and honor and pleasure to have served along side you at AOCS Pensacola. I had already been there a couple of years when you reported aboard. We were in the same Battalion and how we initially met was hilarious. The Chief DI informed you that your class was on board and eager to meet you. Well, instead of you coming to the Battalion and meeting the other hats, you tracked down the class to introduce yourself. We heard that there was a commotion going on the other end of the building. A couple of us went over there to check things out and what we witness was a "hurricane." There was yelling and sweating bodies all over. You saw us and calmly came over and introduced yourself and then continued with the ass whipping. We always had a good laugh about that day over a few beers. We had great family times while playing couples racquetball and being in the bowling league. I want to thank you for being a true friend. RIP and Semper Fi! With the utmost respect, SgtMaj Gil Macias, USMC (ret)

  • 09/09/2022

    When I think of a Marine I think of Roger Thixton - a Marine who was willing and more than able to lead and teach his Meathooks of 22-81 in voluntarily practice marching drills on the sea wall at Pensacola Fl in the summer of '81, have the choicest of words and phrases that epitomized his role as a Marine Corps DI and instilled fear in other classes while his meathooks grinned in enjoyment. He was a class act and so glad to have enjoyed his presence. I'll drink a whiskey (a glass) - no oysters please - we agree on that 🙂

  • 09/07/2022

    Thix Baby, You were the best. I was honored to have served along the side of you at both Parris Island and Pensacola as Marine Corps Drill Instructors. I enjoyed coaching The AOCS softball TEAM along the side of you. I enjoyed the softball team we played on ourselves, hell I even enjoyed you taking my money during our Friday night poker games. REST IN PEACE MY FRIEND. SEMPER FI BUDDY.

  • 09/07/2022

    More about Rodger. He loved coins, classic cars, new trucks, mimosa trees, flannel shirts, Bojangles, his dog Zues, He saw opportunity, potential and beauty where no one else did. He was fair, firm, honest and compassionate. He was smart, witty, industrious and had commanding control over "unwanted situations". He was a mentor and leader and a giver. He sacrificed for his family, friends, colleagues, students and Marines. He was a great tipper. He could move a mountain and clear any path on his John Deere tractor. His favorite song was Mustang Sally. His place was always in drivers seat, never passengers.He was a horrible singer and dancer, but he always tried. His work ethic was intense and began as a child on his uncles farm for cents an hour. He loved Polly peaches and anything his mom made in the kitchen except for liver. He pushed people to their limit to enable them to do and be their best. He hated " snot-oysters and sushi". When he said, " lookie here or food for thought or consider this" you were about to get an ass whipping and it was usually deserved! He was problem solver, whether it was big, small or strange. I every house, he always had his spot and everyone knew not to sit there.He never complained about anything ever no matter what. He endured more than what I will ever know. At Christmas time, he was super easy to buy for.... adjustable Timex watch and plaid shirts, the right size of course. The man had long arms! He liked pedicures and trimmed eyebrows. His favorite series was Spartacus. He knew what every crop was and what every type of grass was at a tiny glance. He knew to yell quietly and loudly. He knew how to convey information without a word, just a look. He had beautiful Paul Newman eyes. He supported those that he loved with a genuine heart and no judgment even when they did something stupid. He was a man of action not words.He was appreciative to those that helped him and he let them know it. He loved his life and never gave up. We all have a time and he knew that. He accepted his cards and played his best game til the very end.

  • 09/06/2022

  • 09/06/2022

    May God comfort his family and friends, in this time of sorrow. He was a very kind and honest Human. RIP , he will be missed . I feel honored to have meet him in my life . Till we all meet again.

  • 09/05/2022

    Outstanding Marine. First Sergeant Thixton made a major impact on my life and many other Naval Aviators. He taught me the importance of "attention to detail", teamwork, and self discipline. It was a honor to learn from him. Semper Fi BobTedesco - Meathooks AOC 22-81

  • 09/05/2022

    It was an honor to have been trained to be a Naval Officer by SSgt Thixton. We didn't love every minute of it but we needed every second of it. Until I die, I will remember the things he taught me and will try to make him proud. Meathooks. 22-81 Jim Breaugh

  • 09/05/2022

    He was by far an Outstanding Marine. He will be missed by his fellow Marines. Semper Fidelis. you are now with the Lord on his staff. See you one day. Bob Baldwin, MgySgt.

  • 09/04/2022

    RIP, First Sergeant Thixton. You were one fine Marine. Chad Hill AOCS 37-82

  • 09/04/2022

    It was quite an honor to serve with Roger Thixton, aka "Gunny Thix". He demanded perfection and accepted nothing less. His unwavering expectations of us prepared us well for the demands of Naval Aviation. His legacy as a Marine will live forever, Semper Fi!

  • 09/04/2022

    Good man. Great Marine. Fantastic Drill Instructor. We learned a lot and shared a lot. Meathooks 22-81

  • 09/04/2022

    Fair winds and following seas. Chris McMahan, (CDR, USNR Ret)

  • 09/04/2022

    R.I.P. Warrior!

  • 09/04/2022

    Our love & hearts are with each of you. First Sergeant Rodger Thixton's impressive legacy of bravery, leadership, and service in the USMC, in Real Estate, and in our community will be a lasting impact. His special love for our country and his beloved family will live on forever in the hearts of all who knew & loved him. Our prayers and love is with each of you. Semper Fi on a life so well lived Sir. With heartfelt sympathy and love, Karen& Larry Salefsky and family

  • 09/04/2022


  • Sweet Tranquility Basket

    Randy Radke sent Sweet Tranquility Basket for First Sergeant Rodger Dale Thixton - September 12, 2022

    With our greatest sympathy. Randy (Vicky) Radke Class 06-83 He will be deeply missed.

  • The Loving Light Dishgarden

    Lindsay Cooley sent The Loving Light Dishgarden for First Sergeant Rodger Dale Thixton - September 11, 2022

    May peace and comfort find you at this difficult time. Our love and support is with you. Dick and Lindsay Cooley

  • America the Beautiful

    James Breaugh sent America the Beautiful for First Sergeant Rodger Dale Thixton - September 09, 2022

    AOCS 22-81 We didn't love every minute with Gunney Thixton But we needed every second

  • Peace Lily

    Peace Lily was sent for First Sergeant Rodger Dale Thixton - September 08, 2022

Add a Candle

Click a candle below to add a candle to your message.


For older obituaries, please visit our obituary archive by clicking on the button below.

Call Now Button