Brother Nixon was born in Norwalk and raised in Stamford, Connecticut by wonderful parents (Bertha Avery Nixon and Bill Nixon). At an early age he got interested in Sports, encouraged by his father but mainly supported and mentored by his loving older brother, Art was an outstanding athlete who lettered in Football, Basketball and Baseball and in his Senior year was voted Stamford High School’s Outstanding Athlete. Dick remembers him fondly as a wonderful mentor and brother as well as an outstanding athlete. On December 3, 2012 Brother Nixon is receiving the State of Connecticut Outstanding Athletic Citizen award and is being inducted into the City of Stamford Athletic Hall of Fame.
Following high school graduation he briefly attended Blessed Sacrament Catholic Prep School in New Rochelle, New York on scholarship. He then enlisted in the United States Navy during the Korean War, completing basic training at the Naval Training Center in Newport, Rhode Island. Dick was then assigned to Dental Technician School at the Great Lakes Training Center in Illinois. There he was able to continue his joyful Baseball, playing for the Naval Training Center Team managed by Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, Mickey Cochran Catcher of the Detroit Tigers. The Great Lake Team played the local colleges (Northwestern, Notre Dame, the University of Illinois as well as Armed Services Teams. After graduating from Dental Tech X-Ray schooling, Dick was then stationed at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, California. He was assigned to Special Services where he continued playing Baseball for the Naval Training Center Base Team, winner of the prestigious 11th Naval District Armed Services Championship. These were exciting, learning times for a young teenager, because during the Korean War the Armed Service Team rosters were dotted with many Major League Baseball players and high-abilitied Minor League players including luminaries such as: Hall of Fame, Ed Mathews of the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves; New York Yankee stalwart pitcher Tom Morgan; Del Crandall, catcher for the Milwaukee Braves who was stationed at Ford Ord, California; and Earl Wilson, Detroit/Boston pitcher who was stationed at the San Diego Marine Corps. Depot Marine Base. Brother Nixon had a challenging and wonderful sports life and growing experience for a then young teenage boy playing Service Ball against the best.
Upon discharge from the Navy, Brother Nixon received College Baseball Scholarship offers from the University of Florida, Florida Southern, and the University of Southern California. However, he excitedly made an excellent choice to play Baseball at the University of Arizona in Tucson to play for Coach Frank Sancet, who in recent years has been recognized for his outstanding college teams by being enshrined in the College Coaches Hall of Fame.
Brother Nixon’s entrance into the University of Arizona followed a different path than many of his beloved Fiji Fraternity Brothers who after college served in the Armed Forces. All of this was the precursor of Dick’s great lifetime joy of being a proud member of Phi Gamma Delta, Upsilon Alpha. Brother Nixon explains that he learned many lifeftime skills, treasures from Phi Gamma Delta undergrads during these times. There were many career leaders, Brothers, in the fraternity at that time and these fraternity leaders spearheaded claiming the Fraternity Cheney Cup. Excellent mentoring abounded as he observed the wonderful Brotherhood leadership. The successes of Fijis, again Championship Cheney Cup Winners, coupled with Brother Nixon’s participation on the outstanding University of Arizona Baseball Teams from 1956-1959 represented a glorious, highlighted college experience. In 1956, they placed 2nd in the College World Series behind the Minnesota Champions. In the1957 Regional Competition they lost to the University of Texas; Dick got Honorable Mention All American from the Southwest Region. In 1958 the University of Arizona Baseball Team was ranked 4th Nationally and in 1959 the team came in 2nd in the College World Series behind the Oklahoma State winning team.
Dick later was able to continue his baseball interests by pitching batting practice for the San Diego Padres and assisting the coaches while holding a full-time job. He thoroughly enjoyed his travels for the three years spent with the Padres.
Most important to Brother Nixon is that he hopes that he contributed to the much appreciated leadership of Phi Gamma Delta’s continual demonstrated pursuit of excellence academically, career accomplishments, family life and civic, human contribution. Dick has a long lasting admiration of his Brothers and appreciates their positive influence in his, and his family’s life.
Brother Nixon graduated with a BS in 1959 and received a Masters of Education with Honors in 1960. He went on to teach High School History, Geography, and Social Studies, while sharing his athletic knowledge by coaching varsity baseball and JV basketball.
He also spent time working sales for 3M in the Hollywood/LA area. His first sale was to Tony Curtis after failing to make a sale to Jerry Lewis Productions
Dick was involved with local youth, as owner of “Camp Fun”, a summer youth day camp for three years, as well as Director of the Wally Moon Baseball Camp. He later set-up and managed Wally Moon’s Sporting Goods in North Hollywood.
Brother Nixon proudly states that he has spent most of his enjoyable working career providing fund raising services to schools, churches, youth organizations and civic groups. along with managing family Distributorships in the Pacific Southwest including Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, and in the country of Mexico. Currently, Dick and his wife Pat are owners of People Helping People Fund Raising Services providing profits to schools and service organizations.
Dick engaged in several civic activities including: a member of a College Fraternity Phi Gamma Delta; Toastmasters International; Kiwanis Club; University of Arizona Alumni Board, San Diego Beachcats Chapter; Queen of Angels Financial Board for building the new Catholic Church in Alpine, California. He was a Little League Baseball Coach in Brentwood, California and had the joy of coaching actor Jack Lemmon’s son, Christopher. Dick recalls that Jack was a wonderful, enjoyable parent and a true gentleman on and off the screen.
In 1977 he met his wife, Pat, who was residing in Los Angeles. In 1979 they got married and bought a home in Alpine, California. He explains “Pat is my true love, who I admire for her loving support, courage and her many abilities including being a wonderful, loving mother.” Pat graduated from Marymount College that later merged with Loyola University and is now called Loyola Marymount University. They have a lovely daughter, Cindy, who also graduated from the University of Arizona with a major in Communications and a minor in Journalism. She currently resides in Washington, DC and is the Public Relations/Marketing Director for Communities in Schools, a well-recognized large national non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the dropout rate of students in our nation. “We, as parents, are happy that Cindy has been able to travel and learn more about the beautiful East Coast,” states Dick.
Dick played tennis for many years and then took up recreational golf in 1993; he has yet to have a sub-par 80 game, nor have an enjoyable Hole In One like his many friends. As he states, “When you do not succeed, try, try, try again!” He and Pat also enjoy traveling.
Dick is very grateful and adores his extended family who mostly live on the East Coast and greatly appreciates his many friends in Stamford, Arizona, California and in different parts of the United States.
Brother Nixon holds this philosophy in life: “When “Good Luck” hits, enjoy; enhance the experience and run with good fortune; be grateful. When “Bad Luck” and difficulties hit, keep faith, stay focused with a consistent vision of success to improve life’s situations. “When we stop laughing, we stop living” “.
Dick extends his thanks to all for their leadership, mentoring, guidance, pursuit of excellence and most fulfilling for him the Fiji kindness and loving friendship. Brother Nixon is grateful for the Fiji Brotherhood presence in a rich and joyous life for himself and his family.
Failure to Prepare is Preparing to Fail – not the Fiji Brotherwood Way.
O Guard and Save our Dear Fraternity. Fiji Land Is the Land for Me.