James's Story

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James Norman Hixson, the son of John (Joker) and Vida (Reese) Hixson, was born at home on April 24, 1928, in Laurens, Iowa. During his high school years, Jim played basketball and football and also had his eye on "the best looking girl in school" - Jeane Lorraine Ford. Jim graduated from Laurens High School in 1947. He then served in the United States Army, working as a surveyor, stationed in La Crosse, Wisconsin and Manheim, Germany. On August 1, 1953, Jim married his high school beauty in Onawa, Iowa. Jim had been working for Roth & Associates at Storm Lake, Iowa as a construction foreman and this work brought the couple to Pella, Iowa for a job at Central College (Graham Hall). They moved to Pella with a trailer house and intentions for a temporary stay, however, Roth continued to acquire jobs in Pella. The couple settled there and raised their three children: Kathe Gay, Dawn Renee and John Allen. During Jim's years with Roth, he built many structures in Pella and continued to work for Roth until 1984 at which time he started his own business - Hixson Construction. After going on his own he did a great deal of work for Pella Corporation, Pella Community Hospital and Central College, retiring at age 67. Starting in high school, Jim and Jeane learned to love dancing and enjoyed different types of dancing throughout their years together. Other interests were camping with friends and family, motorcycle riding, the Pella Golf & Country Club, eating out, traveling and adventures and coffee times with his buddies. Jim had a great love for animals and was forever bringing critters home to care for. Over his years he cared for chickens, raccoons, emu's, fainting goats, peacocks, llamas, and even had a pet squirrel. Jim and Jeane raised Miniature Schnauzers for a time and Jim found great joy in raising ducks and swans and putting them on the various Pella ponds. His "favorite child" and constant companion for the last several years has been his rescue dog "Sassy", a little black fluff of love. Jeane passed away December 15, 2015, after 62 years of marriage. Jim continued to enjoy spending time with his family and many friends until he became ill on January 17, 2017. He entered the Hospice of Pella Comfort House on January 23rd and passed away peacefully January 27, 2017, at the age of 88 years from kidney failure, with his family near his side.
Those who will cherish his memory are his three children and spouses, seven grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.
Kathe and Harley Van Roekel of Pella, IA and their children, Jason and Rian Van Roekel and their children Hailey, Derek and Braden of Fort Myers, FL, and Tomi and Keith Nelson with their children Lucas, Collin and Paityn of Grimes, IA.
Dawn and Bob Owens of Pella, IA and their children, Karri and Owen McConville with their children Annmarie and Owen Paul V of Clive, IA, and Shawn and Randi Owens with their children Darrien, Skyler and Kylie of Baltimore, MD.
John and Mary Hixson of Pleasantville, IA and their children, Jeremy and Sarah Hartson with their children Taylor, Jake, Hope, Judah and Selah of Leighton, IA, Josh and Christy Hixson with their children Lily, Jaiden, Ember and Jace of Carlisle, IA, and Danielle and Lee Beukelman with their children Japheth and Samantha of Sioux City, IA.
Jim leaves behind several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Vida Hixson; a brother, Will Hixson, three sisters and their husbands: Esther and Pirl Woodin, Maxine and Pat Wright, Betty and Jim Spencer; and his parents-in-law, Roy and Theresa (Kleinjan) Ford. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, February 1, at the First Baptist Church in Pella. Van Dyk - Duven Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Published on February 2, 2017
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