Delane Robert Nixon 1948-2012 |

Delane Robert Nixon 1948-2012

Delane Robert Nixon was born Sept. 25, 1948, in Philip, SD, to Robert and Maxine (Fortune) Nixon. In 1949, the family moved to a ranch near Ridge, MT. He attended grade school in the area at different country schools taught by his mother.

Delane attended high school in Belle Fourche, SD and graduated in 1966. During his high school years he participated in track, basketball, rodeo and played the tuba in the band. Delane was a natural in the arena. Though he competed in all events, his favorite was saddle bronc riding. He won three All-Around Cowboy titles at the SD State High School Rodeo – a record that still stands today. He won his first title in 1963, despite a broken ankle, and won again in 1965 and 1966. He also earned individual state championships in calf roping, saddle bronc and bull riding. In 1965, Delane was the champion saddle bronc rider at the NHSFR in Ogallala, NE.

While attending college in Sheridan, WY, his professional rodeo career began. He filled his RCA permit at a rodeo in Grover, CO, on his way to compete at the CNFR in Sacramento, CA. His traveling partners included several members of the Sheridan College team, who became life-long friends – one of the biggest perks of time spent on the road. He competed in all three roughstock events in the PRCA and enjoyed much success.

On April 26, 1975, Delane married Maura Jo Hanify in Alzada, MT. Together the couple made their home on a ranch in the Jump-off, west of Buffalo, where they raised three daughters, Kerry, Robyn and Molly. He had a passion for his cattle breeding program. With careful herd sire selection and AI, he was able to develop a herd of Angus cattle of which he was very proud.

Being a pilot from the age of 19, he used his airplane to check livestock on the ranch. Delane was also an aerial predator hunter for the state. The plane proved useful in transporting kids to town and to the bus. In 1986, he painstakingly restored his 1966 Piper Super Cub.

In 1998, Delane and Maura sold their ranch in Harding County and moved west of Belle Fourche, SD. Delane began to do custom AI-ing, which took the family to the Red Lodge, MT area for several summers. He enjoyed being asked to preg test, freeze brand and AI for local ranchers. Because of his many talents and ability for his end product to be “nearly perfect,” he was often called to help with building projects. He also put a great deal of time and effort into beautifying and building up his present “ranch.”

Delane is survived by his wife, Maura Jo; daughters, Kerry (Lance) Frei of Red Owl, SD, Robyn (Colton) Miller of Saratoga, WY, and Molly (Weston) Garrett of Bill, WY; seven grandchildren; mother, Maxine Nixon of Belle Fourche; brothers Don (Reni) Nixon of Alzada, MT, Dallas (Danyel) Nixon of Belle Fourche; uncle Vern (Bea) Fortune and aunts Vera (Martin) Nelson and Marie Mortellero, along with nieces, nephews and numerous cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father, Bob; brother, Darrell “Butch”; and grandparents, Roland and Frances Fortune and Matt and Myrtle Nixon.

An online guest book is available at