Harlan Dixon
(1926 - 2001)

Robert Cowdery
Wichita, Kansas
No Picture 

With the passing of Harlan Dixon, the industry lost one of those truly rare individuals who could function extremely well in both the field of geology and geophysics.

Harlan was a "Kansan" from his birth in April 1926 in Wellington, Kansas onward.  The family, in addition to Harlan, consisted of one brother, Bernard, who lives in Valley Falls, three sisters; Helen who died in February of 2001, Norma Jean who lives in Kerrville, Texas and Alice of Baton Rouge.  Harlan's family suffered the additional loss of their mother in March of 2001.

All of Harlan's early schooling was in Wellington where he graduated from high school in 1944.  Harlan joined the Marine Corp one month before his 18th Birthday and on his birthday departed for boot camp in San Diego, California.  After additional training, Harlan was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division to be a part of the landing force for the invasion of Okinawa.  After V-J Day he was a part of the first occupation troops to enter Nagasaki.  In July 1946 Harlan received his discharge in San Diego.

After his discharge he enrolled in geology at the Wichita University.  Numbering among his classmates were: Todd Aikins, Bill Owen, Howard Russell, Dean Jirrels, Milt Wilkerson, Buz Woods, Jay Dirks, Brick Wakefield, and Doug McGuiness.  Several of these individuals are also now deceased.  Harlan particularly enjoyed the geological field trips, which were a part of his education at the university.  As indicated in his profile of an earlier date, he would follow the same career path if he had it to do over.

While enrolled at Wichita University, Harlan married Phyllis Funderburk also of Wellington.  They had three sons; Kim, Kris, and Kary all of whom now reside in Wichita.  There are also four grandchildren and one great grandchild.  Phyllis says, "Since they had all boys that Harlan really enjoyed his granddaughters."

Following his graduation in 1950, Harlan was employed by Rayflex Exploration until 1956.  During that period as a computer and party chief he and Phyllis moved 47 times.  He worked in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and for a period in Cuba.

In 1956 he "switched hats" and worked for White and Ellis as a wellsite geologist.  For two years, 1961 to 1963, he was once again in the geophysical field as a contact representative for Seis-Tech.  From 1963-1968, he combined his talents to work for Mull Drilling as both a geologist and a geophysicist.  At Mull he had the opportunity to work with Delbert Costa, longtime KGS member now residing in Council Grove, Kansas.  Phyllis says that Delbert stopped by to visit Harlan shortly before his death.

From 1968 until 1971, He worked for Central Exploration as a geophysicist.  After a short period with Icer Addis as exploration manager, Harlan became a consulting geologist and geophysicist.  He enjoyed considerable success during this period, particularly in selecting prospects for Chief Drilling.  They drilled 10 prospects that he selected and set pipe on nine of them.

In 1979, Harlan joined Double Eagle Exploration as Vice-President and served in that capacity until 1984 when he once again became a consultant.  Harlan officially retired in 1996.  Although he enjoyed golf, travel, and other activities during his retirement years, indications are that he didn't feel completely fulfilled and missed the companionship and activity of the downtown area.

One of his greatest passions, which continued in his retirements years, was his love of "Shocker" baseball.  He attended every home game including those in the spring season of 2001 when he was quite ill.  It was very appropriate that at his funeral they played "Take Me Out To The Ballgame."  He also loved to take his children to the field with him where they would jointly locate the "fishing holes."

Harlan will be truly missed by all of those that knew him.

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