By Laurie Stone
George Kizer was the oldest of eight children in his family. It was said of him by family members that he had a work ethic that was strongly unique.
Kizer was a cotton farmer for most of his life. His sister Lena Judah, said he loved to farm the sand.”
George W. Kizer died at the age of 98 in his home on Sept. 10, 2004.
He was born on May 23, 1906, near Hollis, Olka., to Phoebe Annie and John Strauther Kizer.
Kizer’s brother, Lee Kizer, introduced him to Bernie “Bill” Helmer whom he married on April 15, 1933, in Portales. They lived in Oklahoma for a year before moving to Lingo, where they farmed until the mid-1950’s. They then moved to a farm southwest of Portales, where he worked for 15 years on a farm for Robert Skinner. He retired in 1977.
After retiring from his farm in the 60s, Kizer began working for Robert Skinner on his farm. Sans Skinner, Robert Skinner’s son, said he remembered how hard Kizer worked.
“He was in his mid-70s and was doing more work than the younger guys were doing, which really left an impression on me,” said Skinner.
His siblings said he was the strength of the family in many different ways. His brother, Lee Kizer, referred to him as being a big stout man.
“He was a nice guy to have around because he was always ready to help.” said Lee.
“He was a good brother,” said Judah. “Of the siblings, one of our brothers always tried to whoop us as kids, but George always took up for us. He looked out for us even as he got older,” she said.
Kizer was said to have been a private person, but was very friendly.
“He enjoyed people, but was comfortable enough with himself that he didn’t mind being alone,” said Twanda Johnson, his care giver and friend.
Todd Moorison, a friend of Kizer’s, said he and Kizer used to talk about the good days and the not so good days of Kizer’s past. Moorison explained that Kizer went to California during the depression period in the 1930s because he had a job interview with Goodyear Tires.
“For the interview, they asked to see Kizer’s hands,” said Moorison. “When they saw that he had calluses on his hands they knew he was a worker. Therefore, they hired him.”
Kizer enjoyed yard work and playing dominoes with friends and family and had a deep love for the Lord.
Johnson said that Kizer’s life motto was to owe no man anything except to love him.