Florence Opale Nixon
Florence Nixon died at her home on October 21, 2021.
Florence was born on June 24, 1927 in Moffit, North Dakota, to Florence and Oval Gilbert. She was raised in Forbes, North Dakota by her aunt, Laura Harrison. She grew up with five cousins on a farm, attending a one-class school and later boarding “in town” for high school. She enjoyed playing the piano in church and in school Christmas programs.
As a teenager, Florence decided North Dakota wasn’t for her and boarded a train for new adventures. She first ended up in Spokane, Wash., With her sister Margie, where she repaired pianos and learned telegraphy, before working for the Northern Pacific Railway in Plains, Thompson Falls and Kootenai, Idaho. She met and married railroad photographer Ron Nixon. She was proud of her darkroom work. Florence and Ron met in Missoula in the 1950s, where she spent nearly 70 years.
Florence worked for a few years at Miller’s Four Stop Market. Her next career began in 1971 at Higgins Avenue Dairy Queen, where she spent many years making perfect ice cream cones and befriending most of the locals in the college district. If you’ve been to DQ before, you’ve probably bought some ice cream from Flo. If you worked at Dairy Queen during those years, she never forgot you; Flo was very fond of her Dairy Queen “daughters”.
Florence loved art and music and was a talented painter and pianist. She could accomplish anything she envisioned, from sewing a wedding dress to rewiring a lamp to teaching her grandson to play Zelda. She loved her home and garden and was deeply devoted to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Babies of all kinds and all the things that were growing and flourishing brought him great joy. Her constant love and ready humor will be sorely missed.
She was predeceased by her husband and a son, Larry Lacock. She is survived by one son, Lee Nixon; one daughter, Jeannine Nixon; grandchildren Natasha Andries, Cara (Joey) Arbor and Evan Laskowski; and great-grandchildren Isaac McCoy, Alesje McCoy and Gavin Arbor, all of Missoula.
Because Florence loved the flourishing of life, instead of flowers, donations can be made on her behalf at Mountain Home Missoula. You can also honor Florence by planting a flower, rocking a child to fall asleep, enjoying the lilacs in spring, or singing “You Are My Sunshine” or “Red Wing”.
Posted by Missoulian on Nov 7, 2021.