The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 26, 2013

Wesley W. Nixon

Published 8-26-13


Enid News and Eagle

FREEDOM, OK — Wesley W. Nixon, 91-year-old longtime Freedom banker, farmer and rancher, died Friday, August 23, 2013, at his home in Freedom surrounded by his family. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, August 27, 2013, at the Freedom School Auditorium in Freedom with the Rev. Scott Ware and the Rev. Aaron Martin officiating. Burial will be in Freedom Cemetery with the United States Army providing military rites.

Visitation will be held at Freedom United Methodist Church today, August 26, 2013, from noon to 8 p.m. and on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. Arrangements are under the direction of Billings Funeral Home.

Wesley Willis Nixon was born February 17, 1922, southwest of Freedom, near Ellendale. He was the fourth child of Arthur and Lula Mae (Plumlee) Nixon.

Wes attended first grade at the one-room, rural schoolhouse of Ellendale. After attending grade school at West Union, Wes began attending high school in Freedom.

He began working for the Freedom State Bank in 1937 on evenings and weekends.  His early duties included being the bank janitor and running the check posting machine.

Wes graduated from Freedom High School with the class of 1939. He began college at Northwestern University in Alva and continued working at the bank.  

In 1942, however, duty called and Wes entered the United States Army during World War II.

He served his country with the 9th Bombardment Squadron as the crew chief responsible for maintaining the B-17 and B-24 aircraft during the building and defending of a treacherous 300-mile road over mountains and through jungles to reconnect the Burma Road, rescue China and counterattack the Japanese. Wes served his country admirably and was honorably discharged on Nov. 8, 1945.

Wes returned to Freedom and resumed working at the bank. After a two-year courtship, he was united in marriage to the love of his life, Maxine Coles, at the home of Jim and JoAnna Powers. They were blessed with four children, Kayle, Sue, Mark and Julie.

 Wes became president of the bank in 1954 and has continued with his family at the bank since that time.  To say that Wes was involved in the community of Freedom would be an understatement.

He has held office in practically every organization within the Freedom community. He is a 50-year member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Masonic Lodge and the Order of Eastern Star.

He was a charter member of the Freedom Museum and the Freedom Education Foundation.

For 48 years, he served on the Woods County Excise Board. He was honored by being inducted into the 50-year club of the Oklahoma Bankers Association.

He was instrumental in the historic refurbishing of Freedom’s storefronts, a project that began with the bank in 1972. He was honored at the Freedom Rodeo in 1999 as the Old Cowhand. He gave generously of his time and talents to many boards, foundations, clubs and to his church, Freedom United Methodist Church, in which he was very active.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Maxine Nixon of the home; three daughters, Kayle Costello, Sue Reed and husband Randy, Julie Russell and husband Tom; one son, Mark Nixon and wife Peggy; grandchildren, Debbie Costello, Dallas Smith, Nicole Caddell and husband Casey; Jerrod Reed and wife Cindy, Ashley Ferguson and husband Troy, Lisa Hughes and husband Dwight, Lori Parks and husband Bart, Corey Russell and wife Jill, Jordan Russell and wife Jessica, Lucas Russell; great-grandchildren, Hudson and Kennedy Caddell, Emma, Austin, and Arlee Reed, Chastin Eagan, Janea, Evan and Channing Ferguson, Dalton, Jake, Paige and Peyton Hughes, Sidney Parks, Jackson, Nixon and Nolan Russell; other relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a granddaughter Lindsey Reed; son-in-law Bob Costello; brothers Forrest, Cecil, Leo and Howard; and a sister, JoAnna Powers.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Freedom Museum Building Fund with Billings Funeral Home, 1621 Downs Avenue, Woodward, OK 73801 accepting the contributions.

Remembrances may be shared online at www.billingsfuneralhomewoodward.com

(Submitted by family)