Vernon James HixonAugust 19, 1936 ~ October 11, 2017 (age 81)
On October 11, 2017, Vernon James Hixon parted this world after an extensive life of learning, exploring, and sharing his knowledge with others. Born to Vernon and Cora Hixon in Weiser, Idaho, “Jimmy” was an active boy. He liked to tell stories of his childhood about being a newspa-per boy. He also recalled the day his sister Patricia was born, as they could no longer distribute a six pack of coke evenly among the family of four. As a youth, he loved the outdoors, especially spending time at the family cabin in McCall. He participated in band and was an avid swimmer, winning various state awards. He graduated from Weiser High School in 1954. He then at-tended the University of Idaho, before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in 1955.
In January 1957, he married Crystal Musgrove from Payette. She moved with him to the Air Force Base in Blytheville, Arkansas and then to Hampton, Virginia where he served at Langley Air Force Base. In June 1958, they welcomed a daughter Tamara. Upon leaving the Air Force in 1959, the family drove back to Idaho and moved to Pocatello to further their education. Vern or Jim, as some knew him, completed his Bachelor of Education at Idaho State University (ISU), and taught at Irving Junior High School, Pocatello. He also graduated from ISU with his Master of Arts in Education, Curriculum and Supervision. His thesis project was “A Study of Student Fees in Idaho Public Schools”.
Vernon had a long teaching career in Idaho beginning in 1963 and retiring in the spring of 1999. Initially teaching at Irving Junior High School, Pocatello, he then moved in 1967 to Weiser to teach at the high school for two years. In the summer of 1969, he accepted a teaching position in Boise. He taught for 30 years at East Junior High School, teaching 7th grade Geography, 9th grade Civics, and photography. He even taught his daughter in a Geography class; he always remembered the time that his daughter and three other students switched desks during a movie day thinking he wouldn’t notice. Of course, he did and offered to give an “A” for the day to stu-dents in their correct desk. The four of us were mortified. Until his final days, students and par-ents would tell Mr. Hixon and his daughter how much they enjoyed him as a teacher. Vernon re-viewed and edited various curriculum books. In 1983, Vernon and Crystal divorced.
He liked to tinker around the house, and was always busy. Vernon kept busy building items in his garage for his daughter, grandkids, and great grandkids. If he couldn’t fix it, we knew it wasn’t repairable. He cared for his apple trees and provided numerous apples each year to his family; he also enjoyed making apple juice, apple pie, and apple sauce. Like his granddaughter Kelly, the latest kitchen gadget was often acquired. Vernon always loved the mountains around McCall and Cascade and had a passion for camping, canoeing, fishing, especially fly fishing, and hiking into lakes. He loved to share these adventures with his family and friends, especially with his grandson Shain. Vernon’s storytelling was exemplified in his book “Grandpa’s Bear-Faced Lion Stories (Bare-Faced Lyin’ Stories), a compilation of stories from those he heard from his grandfather, and then embellishments or new stories from “Grandpa Jim”. He held a special place in his heart for Long Beach and Ilwaco, Washington, where he would fish for salmon and vacation with family.
In January 1995, Vernon married Luciel Vincent. Her determined and spunky ways kept Vernon busy and on the go. After retiring, he worked with Luciel at festivals and fairs to sell Quilt Magic. They participated in an Overs and Unders social group which continues to this date. They en-joyed summers at their trailer at McCall and Cascade, Idaho. He became a regular customer at Barnes and Noble cafe in Boise, where he met with friends to enjoy coffee and discuss general news, philosophy, and science ideas. He loved an intriguing conversation. Special thanks to the cafe staff who always welcomed him with a smile.
The family thanks the St. Lukes MSTI staff, especially Dr. Kreisle, Jill, and Mark for their thor-ough care of Vernon the past two years. In addition, Dr. Jason Bronner provided excellent care and coordination of the various doctors.
Vernon is survived by his wife, Luciel Vincent Hixon, daughter Tamara Hogg (Les), Luciel’s son and daughter Tony and Sherry Vincent; grandchildren: Kelly Hofstra (William), Shain Panzeri (Tursynay), BreAnna Sprague (Tory), Lucas Sprague (Elia), Tyler Sprague, and Anthony Vin-cent; great grandchildren: Adilet, Aidan, Alexis, Harley, Jackson, Jersey, Macyee, Merrei, Oak-ley, and Victoria; and nephew James Adams (Jennifer) and niece Kristine Wanneberg (Jeff and family). He is also survived by a friend of 48 years, Terry Elmore.
His parents and sister preceded him in death.
The family will plan a Celebration of Life for Saturday, October 28, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.