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Friday, January 15, 2021

Susan Nix: Longtime businesswoman, TCU champion dies

Susan Appleby Nix

Longtime Fort Worth business and civic leader and TCU champion Susan Appleby Nix died Thursday, Nov. 26 from complications of COVID-19. Nix, 72, was the founder of Susan Nix Consulting Group and recognized as one of the most tenured and respected civic and corporate professionals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She was involved in a wide range of projects and organizations, including the 2011 Super Bowl, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Colonial Country Club, TCU, the American Heart Association, Easter Seals and many others.

Susan was known for her big smile, boundless and infectious enthusiasm, a great sense of humor and also for her tough, clear-minded business sense. She shared the knowledge she had gleaned from a life well-lived freely and openly with her friends, family and business associates as well as with students.

“The TCU family is deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Susan, a beloved alumna and community leader,” said TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. “She dedicated her life to lifting up those around her and strengthened the community initiatives she supported. Susan was one of those people who was always thinking of others and was a true servant leader. Her impact on Fort Worth, and all those who had the pleasure of knowing and working with her, will not be forgotten.”

Business leaders recalled how they were impacted by their interactions with Susan.

“It is a sad day for Fort Worth and for those of us who were touched by Susan,” said Fort Worth entrepreneur Victoria Wise. “She made everyone she met feel special, and her enthusiasm, support, and love will be truly missed.” Nix was born in Germany and was raised in New Jersey before making the move to Fort Worth to attend Texas Christian University. She was Miss TCU her senior year and married Kent Nix, TCU’s star quarterback who also played in the NFL from 1966 to 1973.

TCU was a constant throughout her life. Susan Nix remained connected with TCU throughout her career and she supported her beloved Horned Frogs. She was a member of TCU’s National Alumni Board from 1980 to 1998.

“TCU and the TCU Alumni Association are deeply saddened to learn of Susan’s death,” said Amanda Stallings, TCU Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations. “Susan answered every call for help from friends, the University and the Alumni Association, then asked what more could she do. She led from her heart and from her deep faith in God. She gave her all to everything she believed in and served with fervent energy and love.”

Susan’s faith was important to her. The family’s social media post of her passing quoted 1 Peter 5:10:

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory In Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”

She was deeply involved in the Fort Worth business community, including working with the Fort Worth Business Press on several projects. “Many words describe Susan but the one that comes to mind is ‘irrepressible,’ ” said Richard L. Connor, publisher and owner of the Fort Worth Business Press. “You could add tenacious, entrepreneurial, charming, and then highlight beautiful, loyal, and kind. She loved Fort Worth, TCU, Dan and June Jenkins, and her star quarterback husband, Kent, along with her family. She had some devastating personal losses but never let the clouds block the sun. She was a one-person force who – when she put her mind and talents to a project – got it done.”

In 2008, Susan was named a Great Woman of Texas by the Fort Worth Business Press. Businesses large and small sought Susan’s advice. She was a longtime member of the BBVA USA Fort Worth Advisory Board.

“We cannot express how much of a loss this is for not only BBVA USA, but for our communities in general,” said Brian Happel, BBVA USA Fort Worth CEO. “Having Susan serve on our Fort Worth Advisory Board for the last five years was a great honor, and one that improved our organization immensely. She was a sweet person who

was always looking for opportunities to support us and our mission. Personally, she was also always very supportive of my professional success. For that, I am forever grateful. I speak for the bank when I say we will miss her and her kind-hearted spirit dearly.”

In the political realm, Susan Nix found was a frequent supporter of community causes.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Susan, as she was a dear friend of more than 40 years and a true champion for Fort Worth,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “You could feel the love and energy Susan had for Fort Worth in everything she did. Susan’s impact can be seen throughout our community and her dedicated volunteerism will be missed by all.”

Former Fort Worth Mayor Ken Barr said Susan Nix was one of the most effervescent people he ever knew.

“Always upbeat, a real people person, and possibly the best networker I’ve ever known. She never met a group or crowd that she didn’t enjoy,” he said.

Susan Nix was on many boards in Fort Worth, including several associated with Colonial Country Club’s PGA tournament. She served on the executive council of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl from 2002 to 2020 and on the Goodyear Cotton Bowl board from 2014 to 2017.

Susan’s work with nonprofits was another area where she proved successful, as a member of the American Heart Association board and as chairwoman of the Easter Seals “Hats Off to Women” event for several years.

“I was absolutely stunned to learn of the passing of our dear Susan,” said Leah King, president and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County. “Susan made everyone she

encountered feel like her favorite person in the world, and that is evidenced by the hundreds of comments and outpouring of love posted to her Facebook timeline. Our city, and certainly the Colonial Country Club and PGA tournament won’t be the same without her presence.”

A number of business leaders in Fort Worth recalled how Susan Nix was key to their business and personal success.

“Our company was formed because of her, because she told us to!,” said Serene Fletcher, of Pugnacious, recounting how a casual business lunch with Susan turned into a business plan for a branding and public relations firm Fletcher recently formed with Crystal Caldwell.

“We left that lunch and I looked at Crystal and said, ‘you know what just happened? We got spanked by Susan Nix.’ After that day she was Susan Sledgehammer “Sledge” – and she LOVED that nickname by the way,” said Fletcher.

Susan Nix is survived by husband Kent, daughter Kendall Nix Walton, son Kory Nix and four grandchildren. Her daughter Krista Nix Utley died in 2011.

Private services will be on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at Greenwood Funeral Home. The family is planning a public memorial service at a later date when the time is appropriate. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Recovery Resource Council, Fort Worth LeaderXChange

or “something close to your heart,” as Susan would have loved that

Longtime Fort Worth business and civic leader and TCU champion Susan Appleby Nix died Thursday, Nov. 26 from complications of COVID-19. Nix, 72, was the founder of Susan Nix Consulting Group and recognized as one of the most tenured and respected civic and corporate professionals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She was involved in a wide range of projects and organizations, including the 2011 Super Bowl, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Colonial Country Club, TCU, the American Heart Association, Easter Seals and many others.

Susan was known for her big smile, boundless and infectious enthusiasm, a great sense of humor and also for her tough, clear-minded business sense. She shared the knowledge she had gleaned from a life well-lived freely and openly with her friends, family and business associates as well as with students.

“The TCU family is deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Susan, a beloved alumna and community leader,” said TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. “She dedicated her life to lifting up those around her and strengthened the community initiatives she supported. Susan was one of those people who was always thinking of others and was a true servant leader. Her impact on Fort Worth, and all those who had the pleasure of knowing and working with her, will not be forgotten.”

Business leaders recalled how they were impacted by their interactions with Susan.

“It is a sad day for Fort Worth and for those of us who were touched by Susan,” said Fort Worth entrepreneur Victoria Wise. “She made everyone she met feel special, and her enthusiasm, support, and love will be truly missed.” Nix was born in Germany and was raised in New Jersey before making the move to Fort Worth to attend Texas Christian University. She was Miss TCU her senior year and married Kent Nix, TCU’s star quarterback who also played in the NFL from 1966 to 1973.

TCU was a constant throughout her life. Susan Nix remained connected with TCU throughout her career and she supported her beloved Horned Frogs. She was a member of TCU’s National Alumni Board from 1980 to 1998.

“TCU and the TCU Alumni Association are deeply saddened to learn of Susan’s death,” said Amanda Stallings, TCU Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations. “Susan answered every call for help from friends, the University and the Alumni Association, then asked what more could she do. She led from her heart and from her deep faith in God. She gave her all to everything she believed in and served with fervent energy and love.”

Susan’s faith was important to her. The family’s social media post of her passing quoted 1 Peter 5:10:

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory In Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”

She was deeply involved in the Fort Worth business community, including working with the Fort Worth Business Press on several projects. “Many words describe Susan but the one that comes to mind is ‘irrepressible,’ ” said Richard L. Connor, publisher and owner of the Fort Worth Business Press. “You could add tenacious, entrepreneurial, charming, and then highlight beautiful, loyal, and kind. She loved Fort Worth, TCU, Dan and June Jenkins, and her star quarterback husband, Kent, along with her family. She had some devastating personal losses but never let the clouds block the sun. She was a one-person force who – when she put her mind and talents to a project – got it done.”

In 2008, Susan was named a Great Woman of Texas by the Fort Worth Business Press. Businesses large and small sought Susan’s advice. She was a longtime member of the BBVA USA Fort Worth Advisory Board.

“We cannot express how much of a loss this is for not only BBVA USA, but for our communities in general,” said Brian Happel, BBVA USA Fort Worth CEO. “Having Susan serve on our Fort Worth Advisory Board for the last five years was a great honor, and one that improved our organization immensely. She was a sweet person who

was always looking for opportunities to support us and our mission. Personally, she was also always very supportive of my professional success. For that, I am forever grateful. I speak for the bank when I say we will miss her and her kind-hearted spirit dearly.”

In the political realm, Susan Nix found was a frequent supporter of community causes.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Susan, as she was a dear friend of more than 40 years and a true champion for Fort Worth,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “You could feel the love and energy Susan had for Fort Worth in everything she did. Susan’s impact can be seen throughout our community and her dedicated volunteerism will be missed by all.”

Former Fort Worth Mayor Ken Barr said Susan Nix was one of the most effervescent people he ever knew.

“Always upbeat, a real people person, and possibly the best networker I’ve ever known. She never met a group or crowd that she didn’t enjoy,” he said.

Susan Nix was on many boards in Fort Worth, including several associated with Colonial Country Club’s PGA tournament. She served on the executive council of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl from 2002 to 2020 and on the Goodyear Cotton Bowl board from 2014 to 2017.

Susan’s work with nonprofits was another area where she proved successful, as a member of the American Heart Association board and as chairwoman of the Easter Seals “Hats Off to Women” event for several years.

“I was absolutely stunned to learn of the passing of our dear Susan,” said Leah King, president and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County. “Susan made everyone she

encountered feel like her favorite person in the world, and that is evidenced by the hundreds of comments and outpouring of love posted to her Facebook timeline. Our city, and certainly the Colonial Country Club and PGA tournament won’t be the same without her presence.”

A number of business leaders in Fort Worth recalled how Susan Nix was key to their business and personal success.

“Our company was formed because of her, because she told us to!,” said Serene Fletcher, of Pugnacious, recounting how a casual business lunch with Susan turned into a business plan for a branding and public relations firm Fletcher recently formed with Crystal Caldwell.

“We left that lunch and I looked at Crystal and said, ‘you know what just happened? We got spanked by Susan Nix.’ After that day she was Susan Sledgehammer “Sledge” – and she LOVED that nickname by the way,” said Fletcher.

Susan Nix is survived by husband Kent, daughter Kendall Nix Walton, son Kory Nix and four grandchildren. Her daughter Krista Nix Utley died in 2011.

Private services will be on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at Greenwood Funeral Home. The family is planning a public memorial service at a later date when the time is appropriate. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Recovery Resource Council, Fort Worth LeaderXChange

or “something close to your heart,” as Susan would have loved that

FWBP Staff contributed to this report.

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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