Mildred Joyce (Barnes) NixonJanuary 23, 1928 ~ March 29, 2017 (age 89)
Mildred Nixon of West Friendship passed at Howard County General Hospital after a sudden illness on March 29. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 15, at Full Gospel Baptist Church, 14350 Frederick Rd.. Cooksville, MD 21723. The repast will follow at 12:30 at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2400 MD Rt. 97, Cooksville, MD 21723.
Mildred was born on January 23, 1928 in Charlotte, North Carolina to Ophelia Willoughby Barnes and Aaron Barnes. She attended high school in Charlotte, where she learned to be a barber. Mildred worked in Charlotte and later moved north to Baltimore with three of her siblings, and established her business there. She met Roosevelt “Nick” Nixon while cutting his hair in 1950: three months later, they were married.
They had two sons: Reginald, born in 1952, and Randall,, born in 1956.
The couple was highly entrepreneurial, quickly establishing businesses in small-scale real estate, such as apartment buildings, and grocery stores. They purchased a small farm in Cooksville in 1953, and purchased a much larger farm in 1956 in West Friendship.
Mildred was very active in New Shiloh Baptist Church on Fayette Street in Baltimore, leading the Women's Committee and assisting the children's ministry.
Mildred was instrumental in using a country club concept as a legal vehicle to develop the farm into a community center, which became “Glenwood Country Club”. This center a social and recreational refuge for African Americans and other minorities during the Civil Rights era. Working with Nick, Mildred converted the barn to a clubhouse, built a kitchen, pavilions, and renovated the outbuildings, and built a pool, driving range, tennis courts, and other amenities. She worked with an architect to build a private home of advanced contemporary design that was later pictured in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
Nick and Mildred were also quietly active in the civil rights movement, financing desegregation efforts in Baltimore and central Maryland.
In 1972, Nick was killed in a liquor story robbery, and Mildred took over the operation of Glenwood Country Club, converting its use to Nixon's Farm, Inc., offering catering and group outings.
A lifelong and passionate gardener, she also developed a commercially successful model for growing organic vegetables and raising hybrid striped bass.
Mildred was always a dedicated and devoted mother. She enrolled her children in a Baltimore-area private school with what she believed had the highest reputation of that time. She the went to great lengths to insure that Reginald and Randall were among the best students in their classes. She later lavished love and attention on her grandchildren, Blair “Nick” Nixon and Spencer Nixon.
Mildred's final years were spent at Lorien Nursing Home in Columbia and Pfeffercorn Assisted Living Home in West Friendship, just a few miles from Nixon's Farm.
She is predeceased by her brother Albert Barnes, and her sisters Mary “Bonnie” McCray, Virginia “Jennie” Horton, and Margaret Holmes.
In accordance with her wishes, Mildred's ashes will be incorporated into a tree to be planted at Nixon Farm during the Willoughby Family Reunion later this year.