Obituary: Don Nixon: 1947-2016
Donald Gene Nixon, 69 years old, went to be with the Lord Dec. 27, 2016. He fought a very brave battle with cancer, ending at the VA Hospice in Ft. Meade. He seldom complained through it all. He was grateful for all the good care and special people he met along the way, his special angel, Janet Long and the girls at the Cancer Care in Rapid City, especially Daney.
He was born February 15, 1947 at Philip, South Dakota to Robert T. and Maxine (Fortune) Nixon. They lived in the Quinn and Cottonwood area until the fall of 1948. The family moved to Ridge, Montana, where they lived and worked on the Ormesher place. They then moved to the home place where he has lived since 1952.
Don was drafted into the United States Army in 1970 and served in Vietnam. His brother, Delane ran the ranch while he was gone. When Don returned home he did some rodeoing. He often said he would rather ride then eat. He said if you get that back trouble though, where a yellow streak starts up your back, you better quit! He served as the NRCA President for several years and won buckles and two saddles in bull riding.
Don married Reni McKee in Deadwood in 1973. To this union three children, Josh, Jill and Joe were born, of whom he was very proud. Don loved to bring them with him especially when he was riding and feeding. One thing Don enjoyed was nicknaming his children and his dogs. You could name something but they all had another name before long.
He loved ranching and raising the best black Angus cattle and going to bull sales. He also enjoyed raising sheep and always had some around. In the earlier days, Don and his dad, Bob broke work horses and enjoyed feeding with them. They seldom got stuck and didn’t use fuel. He later learned to appreciate a John Deere tractor with a cab, after several frozen toes and fingers. He also enjoyed breaking and riding saddle horses. He had fun watching other guys having a good buck out on one too. Don had a strong work ethic and one of his friends jokingly said, there was a “right way” and a “wrong way” and then Don’s way.
Don and Josh decided to buy rodeo cows and start raising bucking bulls to take to rodeos. Don’s grandson, Jade, starting at a young age was usually at Don’s side making sure he was doing things right. They were good traveling partners. Jade still hauls bulls today that they raised.
Don tried his best to never let his cancer slow him down. He still rode his horse and raised his cattle. As time went on he would get out and feed with his tractor or check on the cows in the ranger. His favorite border collie “Sadie” (nickname “Bubbins”) would usually go with him. When he wasn’t able to get out he would check with the guys to make sure the cows had enough hay and the bucks were turned into the sheep on time.
During his bout with cancer, his faith grew and his heart softened. Amazing things happen with God!
He is survived by his family who loved him, his wife, Reni of 43 years; children, Josh (Lynn) Nixon of Alzada, MT, Jill (Todd) Keller of Harlowton, MT and Joe (Kristen) Nixon of Bettendorf, Iowa; grandsons, Jade, Noah, Kaden and Brock; his mother, Maxine Nixon of Belle Fourche; brother, Dallas Nixon of Belle Fourche and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and Vera and Martin Nelson who kept a special eye on him.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Frances and Roland Fortune; father, Robert Nixon; brothers, Delane Nixon and Darrell Nixon and a nephew, Taylor Nixon.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Saturday, December 31 at the Christian Life Center in Belle Fourche with the Reverend Paul Howard officiating. Interment will be at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis at a later date.
An online guest book is available at klinefuneralchapel.com