Former Senator Charles Ray Nix has died tonight (Saturday), Panola County Coroner Gracie Grant-Gulledge said.
Nix served as state senator from 1972 through 1988 before being selected to serve as executive director of the South Panola Area Chamber of Commerce.
Nix served on many Senate committees during his tenure, but was especially close to the Conservation Committee where he served as chairman for two terms beginning in 1980.
During his service as chairman of the Conservation Committee, legislation was passed placing a moratorium on landfills, paraplegics were allowed to hunt with crossbows, hunter education courses were made a prerequisite for obtaining hunting licenses, check offs were authorized on income tax forms to help fund the Mississippi Natural Heritage Program, groundwater quality standards and monitoring was authorized and hunting from public roads was prohibited.
In 2008, Nix’s conservation service was recognized with the naming of the Charles Ray Nix Wildlife area on Davis Chapel Road in Panola County for him.
Nix also served three terms on the powerful appropriations committee and was chairman of the Military Affairs Committee in the term beginning in 1976 when Batesville attorney Cliff Finch was governor.
Nix retired from the senate in 1988 and returned to Batesville where he served as executive director of the South Panola Area Chamber of Commerce and the Panola County Development Foundation from 1984 through 1996 until his retirement. During his tenure in Batesville’s economic development arena, he helped bring Framed Picture Enterprise, Insituform Techonologies Inc., Crown Cork and Seal, and Batesville Casket Company to Batesville.
Survivors include his wife, Pat, to whom he was married for 60 years, three children and five grandchildren.
Dickins Funeral Home has charge. Details on arrangements may be found here.