Wilson Orestus (W.O.) Ritchie, age 85, of Nixon, Texas, passed away on September 28, 2021. He was born in Nixon, Texas, on January 24, 1936, and was a member of the First Baptist Church in Nixon. He was known in the community for his work ethic, intelligence, integrity, and willingness to help others.
He graduated as valedictorian of Nixon High School in 1953, but attending college was never a consideration. A lifetime farmer and rancher, W.O. began his career while still in high school working for the late Robert Harvey, Sr. in the watermelon fields. He continued to farm both watermelons and peanuts through a partnership with his father-in-law for many years.
Although farming was a large part of his life and he had a love for the land, W.O. was a cowboy at heart. He worked at cattle auctions and owned a meat market early in life so that he could obtain a better understanding of the beef industry and the different cuts of meat. He worked cattle for other area ranchers at times and was on the Nixon Livestock Show Board for many years in an effort to promote agriculture among area youth. He said many times that his ultimate goal was to build a cattle herd and obtain land to put the cattle on. He accomplished that through hard work and dedication.
W.O. was a part of other community activities and earned awards through the years. He was a member of the Nixon ISD School Board and GVEC Member Information Committee. He was also awarded the Nixon Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Award in 1971.
He loved family, hunting, fishing, and making music. An accomplished guitar player, he played in the O’Neal Brothers country band for a number of years and entertained the family during many holiday gatherings by making music with his nephews.
W.O. is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Diane (Caraway) Ritchie of Nixon; his daughter, Dana Ritchie, of Nixon; his son, Wilson Ritchie and wife Christy of Pflugerville, Texas; his sister, Erma (Ritchie) Miles, of Nixon; his longtime foreman, Manuel Tinajero and wife Josie, of Nixon; plus, numerous nephews, in-laws, and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Marvin Clyde (M.C.) Ritchie; his mother, Matilda Jane (Baker) Ritchie; his sisters, Nola Jane (Ritchie) Patteson Cox, and Erna (Ritchie) Pattillo; and brother, Kenneth Marvin Ritchie.
A private burial and a public memorial will take place at a later time. You are welcome to leave messages of condolence at www.finchfuneralchapels.com. Services entrusted to Finch Funeral Chapel, Nixon, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Nixon or Caraway Cemetery Association, c/o Sharron Kalisek.