If you ever met Bill Hixon, you probably know his life story. Instead of a simple introduction with a hand shake, he would make sure to talk your ear off, according to his family.
“I mean if you said hello to him, you would end up being there with him for an hour. He would talk to anybody. He met people so easily,” said his only son, Bill Hixon Jr.
Hixon Jr. said his father loved to talk, and could out talk anyone he knew.
Hixon’s favorite topics of discussion were his volunteer work around town and his time in the U. S. Navy, from 1952 to 1954. His duty in the Navy was to drive boats that carried sailors from sea to land, said Hixon Jr.
On June 6, Hixon Jr. remembers having a conversation with his father about the maintenance of their family van. Little did Hixon Jr. know that this would be the very last time he would hear his father’s voice as he suddenly passed away at the age of 78. He would have celebrated his 79th birthday four days later.
One of Hixon Jr.’s fondest memories of his father was running errands with him around Imperial Beach, only to bump into strangers and engage in a whole conversation with them.
“He could talk about anything,” Hixon Jr. said.
Hixon was born in South Weymouth, MA, and raised in Shrewsbury. But home to him was always Imperial Beach, where he resided for 28 years. He arrived to the beach town as a restaurant businessman where his job was to take care of struggling restaurants and bring them back up.
Once that work brought him to Imperial Beach, he never left.
“It was his home. It was his life. He knew everybody. He loved this place,” Hixon Jr. said.
As a resident of the city, Hixon engaged in many volunteer activities.
For the last 15 years, Hixon organized . Hixon Jr. was also involved.
He also volunteered for 20 years with the U.S. Open Sandcastle Committee and was a 20-year member of the Imperial Beach-South County Kiwanis Club.
“Anything he could do to help with the community or kids or anything like that he would do,” Hixon Jr. said. “He was very giving.”
Although Hixon has passed away, Hixon Jr. said, “I sit in the living room sometimes and I think he is calling me. I hear it sometimes and it's not there.”
Hixon is survived by his wife of 51 years, Harriet, and their five children, Cheryl, Judy, Bill Jr., Lisa and Cindy.
A memorial service is planned for July 6 at 6 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of Imperial Beach. His funeral will be held at 11 a.m. July 7 at the Miramar National Cemetery.