LAGRANGE – Winifred P. Nixon, 97, died Monday December 7, 2009, at the LaGrange Nursing and Rehabilitation Home.
Born August 17, 1912, in Danielsville, she was the daughter of the late Clarence E. Adams and Tula Ethyl Smith Adams of Danielsville. Mrs. Nixon was preceded in death by her first husband, Joe Vance Pitts Sr. of Summerville; and her second husband, Otis F. Nixon of LaGrange; sisters, Maude Adams White of Davis and Aurelia Adams Howland of Austell; and a brother, Lovick S. Adams, Alexandria, La.
“Miss Winnie” as she was affectionately known, received her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from LaGrange College in 1933,with a double major in Bible Studies and English. She also received her Master’s of Education degree from the University of Georgia in Athens in 1962. Later, she received her 6th year Specialist in Education certificate in 1971, also from the University of Georgia. She retired from Lafayette High School, Lafayette, in 1977, where she had worked as a guidance counselor. Mrs. Nixon was a member of the Georgia Education Association, National Education Association, and the Georgia Association of School Counselors. She always had a passion and conviction for education, particularly helping students achieve their dreams.
Mrs. Nixon was active at LaGrange College throughout her lifetime and had many accomplishments including the Y.W.C.A., where she served as secretary, vice president, and president between 1929 and 1933; president of her junior class (1931-1932); May Queen (1933); a member of Inter-Sorority Council; and the LaGrange College Student Government Council. She was also a member of the English Club, Latin Club, and the Philomathian Club. The Citizenship Award was presented to her at commencement ceremonies in May of 1933.
She also wrote the Senior Class Prophecy for the 1922 Quadrangle yearbook. She was a member of the Alumni Association and served as a member of the Alumni Council. For many years, Mrs. Nixon served as the class coordinator for the class of 1933. She was a member of the LaGrange College Board of Trustees, serving as an Alumni Trustee for the college and was named a fellow of LaGrange College. Mrs. Nixon was a member of the Quadrangle Society, and was a charter member and past president of the Friends of LaGrange College Library.
In 1996, the parlor of Hawkes Residence Hall of LaGrange College, where she resided as a student, was named the Winfred Nixon Parlor in her honor. During the ceremony, Dr. Walter Y. Murphy, president of LaGrange College said, “We are extremely pleased that LaGrange College can continue to honor Winifred, for she is such a grand, generous and caring person. We feel it is altogether worthwhile and appropriate to have something lasting in perpetuity to recognize the vastness and depth of her contributions to her alma mater.” Winfred recalled her days as a student – “It was here where I met girls with real values and goals in life and made lifelong friends. It was here where I gained self-confidence and the belief that I could accomplish my goals. It was here I learned I had an obligation to my church, my community and to other people.” Through the years, her special interest had been helping deserving students achieve their educational dreams at LaGrange College, through her generosity.
Mrs. Nixon’s accomplishments included establishing the Lovick S. Adams scholarship fund at Young Harris College, in memory of her brother. She was a Charter Member and Board Member of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, a member of the Garden Club and Bridge Club. Mrs. Nixon also collected poems written by Katherine Glass, her classmate and former librarian at LaGrange College, and she published a book entitled “How Many Lilacs? And Other Poems.”
Mrs. Nixon was also involved in numerous civic and professional organizations over the years including; Kappa Delta Pi (president 1963-64), Delta Kappa Gamma; Phi Kappa Phi; Chattooga County Education Association (past president); Georgia Retired Teachers Association; Chattooga County Retired Teachers Association; Women’s Club and Music Club of Summerville; Coosa Country Club in Rome; Chattahoochee Valley Art Association (past president and director); Round Table Book Club; and LaGrange Woman’s Club (Chaplain). She also contributed to various charities and organizations throughout the years and opened her home to many distinguished members of Congress, as they were visiting in LaGrange.
Mrs. Nixon lived in Summerville from 1948-1984, and was a former member of the Summerville Presbyterian Church. At Summerville Presbyterian, she served as an Elder, Trustee, Sunday School teacher, Chairman of Education, Circle Chairman, Assistant Organist, Sunday School Pianist, and Chairman of Mission Work for Women of the Church. She was a member of the committee on Church Extension and Evangelism for the Cherokee Presbytery Committee. Since 1984, Mrs. Nixon lived in LaGrange and was a member of the First United Methodist Church. She was a Sunday school teacher, member of the Thursday Luncheon Club, and a member of the Circle of the United Methodist Church. “Miss Winnie” always found the goodness in people and never had negative responses concerning people. She had nothing bad to say about anyone who crossed her path in life.
Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Joseph Vance Pitts Jr. and Jane D. Pitts, LaGrange; stepdaughters, Marie Nixon Winslow, Winter Springs, Fla., and Janet Nixon Freeman, Fullerton; step-grandchildren, Leslie Suzanne Dunn, Columbus, and James Richard Dunn, LaGrange; sister, Catherine A. Lombardo, Damascus, Md.; brothers, Clarence Ernest Adams Jr., Gainesville, Fla., James Stephens Adams, Hartwell, Thomas Marvin Adams, Gibson, and Edmund Ivan Adams, Sparta, N.C.
Funeral services were held Thursday, December 17,at the First United Methodist Church of LaGrange with the Rev. Helen Freeman Henry officiating. Graveside services will be held Monday, December 21, at 1 p.m., in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Clinton, S.C.
Memorial contributions may be made to her beloved LaGrange College (Attention: Office of Development, 601 Broad St., LaGrange, GA 30240) in her memory.
Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 1010 Mooty Bridge Rd., LaGrange, GA 30240 was in charge of arrangements.