April Dixon

April Carroll Dixon was born in Teaneck, New Jersey, on Aug. 14, 1946, to Lincoln and Carroll (Dick) Dixon of Dumont, New Jersey. She lived in Bergenfield, New Jersey, with her parents and two younger sisters until 1956, when the family moved to the North Country and settled on a farm outside of Bloomingdale. There, the family raised Black Angus cattle and gardened. April and her sisters attended the Bloomingdale Union School through sixth grade and then went to Petrova School.

After Ms. Dixon graduated in 1964, she attended Paul Smith’s College, where she graduated from the Culinary Arts program in 1966. While there, she met and married the late Paul Raihofer, who was also in the hotel management program, and they had a daughter, Heidi. They moved to West Nyack, at which time April took a job working for General Foods Corp. Later, when her family moved to Sugar Loaf, she opened a shop geared to the interests of tourists, selling locally made arts and crafts. In 1971, April and her family moved back to the North Country to work at the family business. Paul managed the restaurant and two bars at the Holiday Harbor while April ran the marina and drove the tour boats on Lake Placid. She also opened her shop there, which she moved from Sugar Loaf. Later, April and Paul had a couple of businesses in Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. She started her own catering business, hosting many dinners and other meals at places such as Trudeau Institute and the Lake Placid Olympic Center.

Starting in the early 1980s, April worked at local restaurants such as Casey’s Pub in Lake Placid and the Craigwood Golf Course, where she fed many locals and visitors who loved and admired her. During this time, she met her longtime partner, the late Gary Sheffield, Sr. Through his involvement in bobsledding, April took up luging. In 1983, April and Gary had a son, Shane.

April loved everything about nature. She observed and studied animals and plants of all kinds. She worked for Lake Placid Community Beautification from 2015 until her short illness and death. She passed away on Sept. 20, 2021. Living on an oxbow of the Ausable River, she watched beaver, flocks of ducks, bear, owls, raccoons, deer, fisher, and all that the Adirondacks had to offer from her front porch and would tell many tales about them. She cherished her family, pets and her many kind friends and neighbors. She will be missed by all who knew her.

April was predeceased by her parents, her longtime partner Gary Sheffield, Sr., and son Shane Sheffield. She is survived by her daughter, Heidi Raihofer (Joseph Leonardo) of Martha’s Vineyard, sisters Robin Muldoon (Douglas) and Dawne Pietras (John) of Saranac Lake and nieces Cherise Bixler (Pat) of Bloomingdale, Chenelle Palyswiat (Mark) of Bloomingdale, Chelley Pietras (Liam Johnstone) of England, nephew James Muldoon of Lake Placid, great-niece Coral Palyswiat and great-nephew Paxton Bixler.

A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Saranac Lake (57 Church St.) at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in April’s name to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society in Saranac Lake or the Lake Placid Community Beautification Association.