Gov. Jay Nixon today released the following statement regarding the death of his father, Jeremiah (Jerry) Nixon, due to natural causes at his home in St. Louis. He was 90 years old and passed away surrounded by his family, including his wife of 32 years, Katy.
“Throughout his life, my father was driven by a commitment to leave his community better than he found it, and that’s exactly what he did. A larger-than-life figure who cherished his family, served his country, and loved the outdoors, he taught me and my sisters about the value of public service and the dignity of a hard day’s work. As a military veteran, prosecuting attorney, mayor and judge, my dad had an accomplished career in public service, which included helping to establish Jefferson Memorial Hospital, Jefferson College, Mastodon State Historic Site, and the very first water district in Missouri. But I will remember him most for his quick wit and sense of adventure -- and the joy he took in casting a line into a cold Ozarks stream. I will miss him deeply and be forever grateful for the example he set.”
Born March 7, 1925, Jerry Nixon served in the United States Navy during World War II and the United States Army during the Korean War. After receiving his law degree from the University of Missouri, Nixon served as the assistant prosecuting attorney in Jefferson County and later established his own law practice in Hillsboro. He also served as mayor of De Soto and as a municipal judge. Over the course of his career, Nixon was instrumental in the establishment of Jefferson Memorial Hospital (now Mercy Hospital Jefferson), Jefferson College, and Mastodon State Historic Site. In addition to serving as Scoutmaster of Troop 559 in De Soto, Nixon was involved in numerous civic organizations, including the Governor Thomas Fletcher Home in Hillsboro.
Jerry Nixon is survived by his wife, Katy; three children, Melinda, Jeremiah, and Penelope; and five grandchildren, Alex, Bess, Frank, Jeremiah, and Will.
The funeral service will be held at Dietrich-Mothershead Funeral Home in De Soto for family and friends.