Ray Eugene Nixon, age 90, passed away on 9/2/21 in Grove, OK.
Ray was born in Belleville, KS on 1/11/1931 to William Roy Nixon and Nellie Mae (Gray) Nixon. During his childhood years, they lived in Belleville, Wichita, KS, and Central City, NE. He graduated from Central City High School in 1949. He soon enlisted in the Air Force and served in the Korean War.
In 1952 he married Katherine Jane Gowdy in Kirksville, MO. During their marriage they lived and worked in Wichita Falls, TX (Sheppard AFB), Topeka, KS (Forbes AFB), Oklahoma City, OK, Derby, KS and Grove, OK. Ray was a salesman at heart, and while serving in the Air Force he supplemented his income with various jobs, usually selling something. After leaving military service, he was employed for many years with Fleming Foods, a wholesale food company. After retiring from Fleming, he and Kathe moved to Grove, OK to enjoy life on Grand Lake and be near family.
Ray’s high school yearbook had a caption under his senior photo which said “Happy with the Car”, which was always true for him. He did thoroughly enjoy cars throughout life, and it was certainly tough for him when he had to stop driving later in life. Some of his best friends were from his time in the Midian Shrine (Wichita) when he was in a mini-cycle unit and later in a Volkswagon “Thing” unit – driving these vehicles in parades all over the place. He loved to return to Belleville, KS in late summer to see the races at High Banks Speedway. He also looked forward to attending the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, OK for many years.
During the time in Topeka when the kids were young, family vacations often involved a travel trailer or later an RV. The destination was usually a lake (Tuttle Creek Reservoir, the favorite) or Colorado, and often involved his brother Nick, sister-in-law Virginia and nephew Gary.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Katherine (“Kathe”), and his brother Irvin (Nick) Nixon. He is survived by his 3 children and their spouses – Michael Nixon (Darnice) of San Antonio, TX, Linda Wetzel (James) of Olathe, KS, Bill Nixon (Kim) of Grove, OK and by 7 grandchildren, 8 great- grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Interment: Belleville Cemetery (Belleville, KS), Private family services to be held.