Maxine A. (Fortune) Nixon, age 92

Maxine A. Nixon

Maxine A. (Fortune) Nixon, age 92, Belle Fourche, S.D. passed away Oct. 15, 2017, at Belle Fourche Health Care Community.
Maxine was born Aug. 22, 1925, at Grindstone to Roland and Frances Fortune. The fifth of eight children, Maxine grew up on the ranch with her large family where she learned the value of working hard and making do. Her stories of growing up were always so fascinating. 
She graduated from Quinn High School and began her teaching career at the age of 18. Maxine was a gifted teacher who loved her students and made learning fun. She spent several years teaching in rural Haakon County schools before marrying Robert T. Nixon in Cottonwood Oct. 26, 1946.
In 1948, Bob and Maxine moved to Ridge, Mont., and in 1952, they purchased a ranch there. The Nixons welcomed sons to their family, Don in 1947, Delane in 1948, and Darrell in 1952. In 1965, they purchased a ranch along the Tongue River near Miles City, Mont., and in 1968, Dallas was born. 
Maxine taught at the Ormesher, Ridge, Hammond, Belle Creek, and Gardner schools in Montana before moving to Belle Fourche in 1976.
Maxine taught in the Belle Fourche school district for many years. In 1992, she started a day care business in her home. Over the years, she cared for many children. They could always look forward to a fun day at “Grandma’s” where they’d likely eat stew, they might get a haircut; and they would definitely get a spelling or math lesson.
A kid at heart, Maxine loved to laugh and made everything fun. She always had a little something up her sleeve and would often bend the rules for the sake of a good laugh. She loved gardening and canning; singing and dancing; tending to her yard and flowers; and it seemed she looked forward to the first few heavy snowfalls of the year so she could get out her scoop shovel. 
Always on the go, Maxine was known for having a lead foot and met many a patrolman because of it. Chances are, however, she was headed to a rodeo, a basketball or football game, or a graduation, and she didn’t want to miss a thing. She was her family’s biggest fan who always made it known she was in the crowd.   
Maxine was a devout Catholic and member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Belle Fourche. Even in her 80s, Maxine continued to study her faith which undoubtedly helped her through the loss of her husband, three sons, her grandson and made her a breast cancer survivor.
Maxine is survived by her son, Dallas (Danyel) Nixon, Belle Fourche; brother, Vern Fortune, Vale; two sisters, Marie Mortellaro, Gillette, Wyo., and Vera Nelson, Philip; daughters-in-law, Maura Jo Nixon, Belle Fourche and Reni Nixon, Alzada, Mont.; grandchildren, Josh Nixon (Lynn), Alzada, Jill Keller (Todd), Harlowton, Mont., Joe Nixon (Kristen), Bettendorf, Iowa, Kerry Frei (Lance), Red Owl, Robyn Miller (Colton), Saratoga, Wyo., Molly Garrett (Weston), Wright, Wyo., Sammi Nixon, Lead, Shelby Nixon, Lead, Dalton Dampier, Belle Fourche, Janeil Dampier, Belle Fourche, and Matthew Miley, Belle Fourche; 15 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. 
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Robert Nixon; sons, Darrell Nixon, Delane Nixon and Don Nixon; and a grandson, Taylor Nixon; brothers, Jack, Howard and Eugene (Bud) Fortune; and a sister, Darlene Moreland.
A Christian wake was held Oct. 18 at St. Paul Catholic Church in Belle Fourche.  
Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Oct. 19 at the church. 
Interment was at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
An online guest book is available at

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