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