Frank E. Nixon Jr., 72, of Danville passed away at home in the embrace of his loving family on Thursday, November 12, 2020. Frank was born in Danville, Illinois on March 7, 1948 to Frank E. Nixon and Rosemary Nixon Beightler. He is survived by Garnet, his wife of 44 years; his sister Janet (Dave) Marken; his daughter Melissa (Matt) Muirhead, and his grandson Grant Muirhead. Also surviving Frank are his niece, Michele (Jeff) Prunkard; his great niece Olivia Prunkard, and his nephew Nathan Marken.
Frank graduated from Schlarman High School in 1966 and Eastern Illinois University in 1970 with a B.S. degree in Social Studies. In his 33-year teaching career he taught social studies at East Park Junior High, history, economics, and psychology at Oakwood High School, and social studies at Oakwood Middle School. He coached basketball at all three schools, and he took special pride in the players and the performance of his ’78-79 Oakwood High School team.
Frank was a competitive player of many sports over his lifetime. He played basketball, baseball, and softball on school and league teams; he won several city tennis championships and played travel tennis with his doubles partner, Dave Howrey, and he played golf every day he was able. He was a lifelong lover of sports and games in general and an avid fan of Illini basketball, the White Sox, the Bears, and the Blackhawks. Frank was a founding member of the Mid-Life Crisis fantasy baseball league, an activity he enjoyed with a group of close friends for nearly 30 years. He also particularly enjoyed playing board games with his grandson Grant, and they kept a running win/loss record of their games because for Frank, nothing really counted unless he could keep track of the statistics.
Frank and Garnet shared a love of Broadway musicals and frequently traveled to New York City for the theater. They took in 50+ first run shows and revivals in New York over the years and also held season tickets to Broadway series in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Louisville. Frank’s favorite musical was A Chorus Line; he saw it 13 times in theaters all over the country. In addition to their theater trips, they also took what he referred to as “social studies vacations,” visiting historical sites, college campuses, and old minor league ballparks.
Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Danville, Illinois, 3940 N Vermilion St. Danville, Illinois 61834 has been entrusted with arrangements. A private family graveside will be held at Sunset Memorial Park in Danville. A public memorial service is to be announced.
Please join Frank’s family in sharing memories, photos, and videos on his tribute wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.
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