Walter “Barry” Nixon, 87

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Pearl A. Feldmesser

Beloved husband and father, Walter “Barry” Nixon, 87, of Lawrenceville, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at home surrounded by his loving family.
 
Born in Woodbury, NJ, Barry was a resident of Lawrenceville for 56 years. He received a B.E. degree with honors from Yale University in 1952 and his M.S.E. in Aeronautical Engineering from Princeton University in 1960. He spent his working career as a flight research pilot and corporate pilot/airport manager at the Flight Research Laboratory, Forrestal Airport, Princeton University, retiring in 1985, where his primary research efforts were devoted to aircraft handling qualities. He flight tested unique, experimental aircraft such as the Goodyear rubber airplane, a gyrocopter and a variety of air cushion vehicles also known as ground effect machines or GEMS. He also served as advisor to student airplane, glider, and hot air balloon clubs earning his commercial balloon pilot’s license in the mid-seventies. He concurrently served in the U.S. Navy, retiring after 30 years of active and reserve service as Captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He was also a small plane commercial airline pilot out of Princeton Airport. After retirement he took up hot air ballooning full time with his family and close friends travelling with them to many balloon rallies.
 
He was a member of the Naval Reserve Association, Association of Naval Aviation, Great Eastern Balloon Association (G.E.B.A), Balloon Federation of America, Tail Hook Association, American Legion Post 414, Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church and its Men’s breakfast group.  His first passion was all aspects of flight and flying followed by watching football and reading. He enjoyed and stayed physically active, being the handyman par excellence.  His favorite hour of the day was “Happy Hour” enjoying a drink while relaxing with his wife and family after a hard day’s work.  
 
Son of the late J. Hartley and Emma Nixon, brother of the late Jay Nixon; he is survived by his wife of 65 years Marian R. Nixon; three daughters and one son: Debra R. Nixon; Holly E. Nixon Brady and her husband John; Kimberly J. Nixon; and Todd B. Nixon; 5 grandchildren Benjamen, Daniel and Brenna Falley, Michelle and Colleen Brady, 6 great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and sisters/brothers-in-law. 
 
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 4PM at Poulson & Van Hise Funeral Directors, 650 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
 
Relatives and friends can call on Sunday afternoon from 2-4PM at the funeral home. 
 
A memorial service at Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church will be held for Barry at a later date.
 
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Barry’s memory to the Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
 
To send a condolence to the family or for directions, please visit www.poulsonvanhise