The lobby of the Nixon Wenger LLP firm in Vernon is overflowing with tributes to the company founder.
Paul Nixon died of cancer at Hospice House on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at the age of 72.
Nixon’s family moved to Vernon in 1950 where he lived all of his life save for the years he attended UBC law school.
His law career ran from 1974 to his retirement in 2015, starting in Vernon with Dantzer and Company, and eventually being named partner of his law firm, Nixon Wenger. In 2011, Nixon was instrumental in planning and constructing the current law offices on 30th Avenue.
He received a QC – Queen’s Counsel – designation in 2004 from the Lieutenant-Governor on the recommendation of the Attorney General, given to top lawyers to “recognized exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession.”
“Paul was one of the greatest mentors and one of the greatest men I’ve ever met,” said Nixon Wenger partner Michael Yawney. “He built this firm as a young lawyer and this firm follows his lead today. He was an outstanding businessman, outstanding partner, outstanding father, outstanding friend and an outstanding mentor.
“Even in retirement, he was always there to provide guidance for us. It’s hard to find someone like him these days.”
Away from the firm, Nixon was an avid ginseng farmer and enjoyed spending time on his John Deere tractor.
He was also a huge community booster in the North Okanagan, passing that on to his employees to recognize the importance of community spirit and contribution.
Nixon actively supported a variety of capital projects for charitable organizations as well as many non-profit organizations in the community, including the Boys and Girls Club, Community Futures, the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, North Okanagan Community Life Society and Kalamalka Rotary.
In 2012, Nixon received the Vocational Service Award from the Kalamalka Rotary Club, and in 2014, he was awarded Good Guy of the Year from North Okanagan Community Life Society (NOCLS), recognition for which he was honoured, stating NOCLS is an easy cause to get behind.
“It (NOCLS) is an organization in our community that makes a tremendous difference in the lives of our community who need, and certainly deserve assistance,” said Nixon whose biggest reward, he stated in a 2014 Morning Star interview, is just helping to make a difference in the lives of others.
Nixon was a loving and caring husband – he married his high school sweetheart, Darlene Bilinski, in 1972 – father, grandfather, son, brother and uncle. Nothing gave him more pleasure than having his family gather at their cabin on Okanagan Lake for a day of boating, swimming, conversation and laughter. In the winter, he enjoyed snowmobiling with family.
A private graveside service for Nixon will take place at the Coldstream Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date when it is safe to do so.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in Nixon’s name to BC Cancer Foundation (399 Royal Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 5L3).