Floyd Thomas Rixen, a life-long resident of Mott, N.D., died peacefully in his sleep Nov. 7, 2013.
Floyd’s funeral mass was held Nov.11th at St. Vincent’s Catholic Church with Fr. Charles Zins, officiating. Burial was at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery south of Mandan Nov.12th with full military honors afforded by the Taylor-Skartvedt American Legion Post #71 of Mott.
Serving as casketbearers were his grandchildren, Ryan, Steve, Cory, Jonathan and Darin Rixen, Elliot and Robert Carvell, and Jay Gillespie.
Floyd was born July 6, 1924 in Mott, the oldest son of John and Bertha (Zauner) Rixen, who made their home on the second floor of Rixen’s Tire Shop, a Mott business. After Floyd’s mother died when he was 14 years old, he helped raise his little brothers and little sister: John, Ronald, Kenny, Richard, Neil, and Diane.
Floyd was a football and basketball player for the Mott High School Cardinals, and a member of the first Mott basketball team to qualify for the state tournament. After high school, Floyd proudly served during World War II with the United States Navy, doing two tours in Asia.
Shortly after his return to Mott, Floyd married Eleanor Braun. They had five children: Linda Gillespie of Bismarck, N.D., Loran (Lois) of Mott, N.D., Collin (Mary) of Durant, Okla., Michael (Kelly) of Bismarck, N.D. and Melanie (Charles) Carvell of Bismarck, N.D.
After a short time as a North Dakota State Game Warden, Floyd and his brother Kenny bought a bar on Mott’s Main Street. Rixen’s Bar, and Floyd’s presence in it, was a fixture in the town for 32 years. Along with running the bar, Floyd was also a rural mail carrier.
Floyd was a long-time member of the Mott Volunteer Fire Brigade, serving several stints as its Chief and became famous for his “fireman’s punch.” He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council and Taylor-Skartvedt American Legion Post #71. Floyd was proud to serve on the honor guard at the funerals of many Mott veterans. He was a member of St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, where he and Eleanor often lead the congregation in the rosary before Mass.
Along with spending time with his family and recounting the stories of his life, Floyd’s joys were daily prayer, tending his huge backyard garden, and hooking walleye, especially if one of his sons was in the boat with him. He kept abreast of the news and knew what was going on in the world and in the country and had sympathy for those in trouble.
He is survived by Eleanor, his wife of 66 years, his children and his 11 grandchildren, each one of whom he was tender with and inordinately proud: Jill of Scottsdale, Ariz., Jay (Lori) of Lincoln, Neb., Steve (Erica) of Norman, Okla., Kelsey of Boston, Mass., Robert (Katie) of Great Falls, Mont., and Ryan (Sarah), Cory, Darin, Elliot, Rachel, and Jonathan, all of Bismarck, N.D. Floyd is also survived by eight great-grandchildren: Cameron, Macy, Gigi, Addison, Emma, Charles, Natalie and Eloise.
Floyd is preceded in death by his brothers and his sister, and by his son-in-law, Dwayne Gillespie.
Memorials may be given the Good Samaritan Society in Mott or the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to Floyd’s family at www.evansonjensenfuneralhome.com