Ken Nix

Ken Nix

Ken Nix was born on January 5, 1935, in Birmingham, Alabama, to Ruth and William C Nix.

Ken’s father got work in Alaska and moved the family there when Ken was 14 years old. He lived in Alaska for 42 years.

Ken was ambitious and hard working. If there was something that interested him, he would find all the information and read about it to master it. Ken hunted and fished and learned how to fly. He was a bush pilot and flew out to the best spots for hunting moose and other wildlife. He loved flying so much that he had many airplanes over the years and got his multi-engine and instrument rating (IFR).

He loved and learned the guitar. Ken and 2 friends formed the country/bluegrass band “Ditchdiggers “and played music all over Alaska and later in life he played music from Alaska to Venezuela and Trinidad.

His love of adventure led him to build and race cars in Palmer and Anchorage racetracks, and because of his competiveness, there were good races and some not so good even if it landed him in the hospital.

Ken loved airplanes of every design. He built and flew remote controlled airplanes and entered in many competitions and won some pretty nice trophies.

He was drafted into the Army and drove his beloved 1956 Crown Vic to report in Fort Benning, Georgia.

He was a talented auto mechanic and eventually became the general manager of the Chrysler dealership in Alaska. He and a friend, Ken Parker, bought a backhoe and started underground excavation work that eventually became the company Peninsula Excavating, completing multi-million dollars’ worth of water, sewer and natural gas pipe in Alaska.

As an inventor, Ken had an idea of a V-8 jet propelled rugged river boat. He developed Gator Jet, which was so popular even Alaska Fish and Game used them for many years.

In the late 80’s, the economy in Alaska tanked so he closed Peninsula Excavating. He studied and became a U.S. Coast Guard Master Captain and bought an off-shore trawler (Bluefield) and with Nancy cruised the entire Bahamas and the Caribbean including Trinidad and Venezuela. In 1993 they decided to come back to the U.S. and brought “Bluefield” through Mobile to Guntersville to live.

In Guntersville, Ken started a boat canvas and marine engine repairs business called D&N Marine. He eventually changed from boats to recreational vehicles and re-named it D&N RV Service.

Ken had a lust for life and adventure. He lived his life to the fullest. He belonged to the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and local chapter. He has kept his Jabiru sport airplane at the Guntersville Airport where he flew as often as the weather permitted.

When he was 77, he wrote the book “The Cobra Hold, Alaska Tough” which is compiled of many short stories about events in his life.

He is sorely missed by his wife, Nancy; son David (Gabrielle) Nix of Guntersville; daughter Pamela Shackleford of McEwen, TN and daughter Ruthann Tummins of McEwen, TN; and son, Brandon (Kary) Galbreath of Guntersville; 2 brothers, Gerald Nix and Terry Nix, both of Guntersville; sister Nelta (Bill) Richardson of Brooksville, MS. He leaves 8 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren and his beloved Border collie, Kaydee.

He left us on January 31, 2023 at the age of 88. There will be a celebration of Ken’s life at a later time when we have healed to the place that we can get together and enjoy who he was rather than mourn our loss.