Celebrating the life of Don C. Kizziar
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Donald Charles Kizziar, 75, passed away peacefully at Jackson County Memorial Hospital on the evening of April 3, 2011. Born April 5, 1935 in Altus, Oklahoma, Don was the son of Otis and Charlotte Kizziar. A graduate of Altus High School, class of 1952, Don attended Oklahoma A&M University. Returning home to Altus in 1955, Don joined his father to work in the family farming business. It was then that Don met the love of his life, Ruth Hoppe Kizziar. Soon after, they were united in marriage at First Baptist Church on March 31, 1956. Working alongside his father, Don grew to dearly love the farming business. Concentrating his efforts on advancing the cattle industry, Don engineered a completely original system of cattle feeding. Transforming what began as a conceptual design, Don created a one-of-a-kind feedlot and feed mill for his family"s property. Recognized as a pioneer in the cattle business, Don"s innovative idea paired with the collaborative effort of Joe Shell led to the creation of numerous feedlot computer programs. The success following this endeavor established Cattle Management System Inc., where Don partnered with lifelong friends, Paul Mock and John Mock and office manager, Ralph Goodin. This cattle management system paved the way to future feedlot programming systems sold around the country. Continuing many years in the business, Don later partnered with Bruce Rotan in Kizziar Feedlots.
A long-standing supporter of the business, Don was a member of Oklahoma Cattlemen"s Association and Texas Cattle Feeders Association. A member of numerous car clubs, Don cherished his extensive collection of antique cars and model trains, which he gathered from all over the nation and over a 25-year period. Don and Ruth loved to open their home to family and friends each Christmas for an annual train show, where one lucky boy or girl was chosen as the "chief engineer." Never letting a moment pass without a camera or video in hand, all who knew Don remembered him documenting every event in which friends or family gathered.
To celebrate his beloved grandchildren, Don had a Christmas card made, in which he, Ruth, and the grandchildren stood in front of one of his classic cars dressed in clothes dating from that era. Combining these two loves of family and antique cars in one photo memory, this event became a cherished family tradition over the next 26 years.
A longtime sponsor of Main Street events, Don dearly enjoyed the annual Christmas parade where each year he provided a classic car in which the grand marshal would ride. In his strong support for the Altus Alumni Association, Don loved to host the class reunions at his old car garage. Don was a collector of many things: antique cars, model trains, and countless home videos to name a few, but of greater significance than any of these material things, Don was a collector of friends.
Don is fondly remembered by his many friends for his charismatic personality, intelligent mind, and strong will " a will so strong that many times it found a way to motivate others to do just what he wanted. Don was never one to shy away from giving direction on how someone could do something in a better way. Don truly loved to share the things he cared about with others and loved when they shared his same enthusiasm. Those who knew him well knew there was never a dull moment with Don Kizziar. Remembered for his appreciation of beauty, innovation, and history, the greatest of all his loves were his dear "Ruthie," "Kimmy Lou," and "Bobcat." Shortly before his death, Don and "Ruthie" celebrated 55 years of devoted marriage.
Don is survived by his wife, Ruth Kizziar of the home, two daughters and their husbands, Kim and Jeff Wilmes of Altus and Barbara and Tripp Brown of Chattanooga, TN, grandchildren, Kirk Wilmes and wife Denise of Altus, Katie Wilmes of Columbia, SC, Catherine Choate, Connor Choate, and Huntley Brown of Chattanooga, TN, and caregivers, Amber Tinsley and Lisa LaGrand. He was preceded in death by his parents, Otis and Charlotte Kizziar of Altus and aunt and uncle, Nordie and Babs Kizziar of Altus.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 5th from 7:00-8:00 p.m. at Lowell-Tims Funeral Home. Funeral services have been scheduled for Wednesday, April 6th at 2:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Altus with Rev. David Player officiating. Interment will follow at the Altus Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made in memory of Don Charles Kizziar at First United Methodist Church of Altus.
On-lines tributes can be made to the family at www.lowell-tims.com
First United Methodist Church
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