Renowned equine artist Orren Marion Mixer, 87, died Tuesday evening, April 29, at the home of Elaine Hall, Weatherford, TX. Mixer, who had a history of heart problems, had just delivered a portrait that Hall had commissioned of her mare Royal Blue Boon, the all-time leading dam of Quarter Horse performers.

“He couldn’t have depicted it better,” said Frank Merrill, past president of the American Quarter Horse Association and longtime friend of Mixer’s, referring to the artist’s sudden passing at one of many fulfilling moments in his life.

Mixer was born in Oklahoma City in 1920 to Florence Motter and Orren Marion Mixer Sr. After attending public schools, he graduated from Central High School and through the efforts of his high school art teacher, Grace Chadwick, he obtained a scholarship to attend the Kansas City Art Institute from 1938-40.

Mixer worked in graphic arts in New York, Oklahoma City, and Fort Worth, Texas, before moving to San Diego to work in an aircraft manufacturing plant. He returned to Fort Worth in 1943 and joined the US Navy. Stationed in Chicago, he was a visual aids graphic artist.

In his personal time, Mixer painted Western scenes, and his first sales came through a Chicago sporting goods store. Discharged from the service in 1946, he brought his wife, Evelyn Leonard, whom hed married in 1941, back to Oklahoma, where he built a house and studio near Arcadia/Edmond.

Mixer became a well-known local Western artist during the 1950s and 1960s. Livestock, particularly horses, became his specialty, and his work graced the covers of Western Horseman, The Quarter Horse Journal, Cattleman, and Oklahoma Today. In 1968, the American Quarter Horse Association commissioned Mixer to paint “the ideal American Quarter Horse,” and six other breed associations followed suit. He depicted the ideal Pinto, Paint, Palomino, Appaloosa, Buckskin, and Pony of the Americas.

Briefly retired during the 1980s, Mixer resumed his artistic productions in the mid-1990s, still working from a studio near Arcadia. He was inducted in the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1993.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 5 at 2:00 pm, at the First Baptist Church, 1300 SE 33rd Street, Edmund, OK. Visitation anytime after 12:00 noon, Matthews Funeral Home, 601 S. Kelly, Edmund, OK, 405-341-2787. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations for the benefit of Boys Ranch Town, in care of the First Baptist Church of Edmund.