Dr. James Eugene Nix (Gene)

Published 3:30 pm Thursday, August 3, 2023

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Dr. James Eugene Nix (Gene), 84, of Elizabethton, Tenn., passed away on August 1, 2023, at Johnson City Medical Center after a long illness.
Gene was born in Temple, Ga., to Lawrence Aldridge Nix and Hazel (White) Nix. He grew up with four siblings on their family farm in Georgia. As a youth, he learned to milk cows, pick cotton, and plow with a mule. As he got older, he attended West Georgia University for two years and received his undergraduate degree and Doctorate from the University of Georgia. He was a gifted teacher and loved both his colleagues and students. Gene taught for 50 years at Milligan University as a Chemistry Professor. He was an eight-time National Science Foundation recipient and received the Fide et Amore Award from Milligan. He also taught prior to Milligan at Georgia Southwestern College, Middle Georgia College, and Bowden High School. He was a member of the American Chemical Society.
In his 20s, he met Ruth Shepard. They were married by her father, C.E. Shepard, and brother-in-law, David Chapman, on October 6, 1962. In October, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Within four years, they had started a family, complete with Brian and Sherry. As a family, they loved traveling and visiting family members. Being a kind and dependable father was of the utmost importance to Gene, and he certainly did not disappoint when it came to wholeheartedly loving his family. Gene also loved reading, birding, and helping anyone that needed a hand. He also often attended Milligan Basketball games. Gene loved God and his church. He was an Elder, Trustee, and Partnership Fund Chairman throughout the years. He often said he wanted to wear out, not rust out.
In addition to his spouse, Ruth Elizabeth Shepard Nix, and his children, Brian Nix (Becky) and Sherry Nix Nakoff (Keith), Gene is survived by his grandchildren, Caleb Nix (Simone), Nathan Nix (Melissa), Mihail Nakoff (Audrey), Joanna Nix-Walkup (Michael), and Slade Nakoff (Allie), and his great-grandson, Alexander James “A.J.” Nix. He is also survived by his sister, Joan Nix Sheppard; his sister-in-law, Anne Nix; and his many nephews and nieces, who were all special to him. He also leaves his special caregiver for the last three years, C.J. Lovell.
He was preceded in passing by his father and mother, Lawrence and Hazel (White) Nix; his stepmother, Millie Nix; his brothers and sister, Lawrence Nix Jr., Dr. W. Robert Nix, and Mary Nix Hall; and his great-nephew, Christopher Lee.
The memorial service will be held at Grandview Christian Church, 300 University Parkway, Johnson City, on Monday, August 7, at 6 p.m. with Aaron Wymer officiating. There will be a visitation at the same location beginning at 4 p.m. His family will be present to welcome loved ones. A private burial will be at a later date. Tetrick Funeral Home in Elizabethton, Tenn., is handling the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent in Gene’s memory to Grandview Christian Church (please put Partnership Fund in the Memo line) or Milligan University Chemistry Department (P.O. Box 750, Milligan, TN 37682). Words of comfort can be sent to the Nix family through our website, www.tetrickfuneralhome.com.
Tetrick Funeral Home-Riverside Chapel, 211 North Riverside, Elizabethton, TN 37643 (423) 542-2232, is honored to serve the family of James Eugene (Gene) Nix.

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