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Linn County News

Published March 6, 2024


Michael Barry Hixon, Sr., 71, passed away with his wife by his side on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, at North Point in Paola, Kan. Michael had been battling pancreatic cancer for the past several months.

Michael “Bear” Hixon, son of Harry and Marion (Boylan) Hixon, was born on Aug. 31, 1952 in Aberdeen, S. D. He graduated from Roncalli High School in the Class of 1970. On Oct. 10, 1970, Michael married Gail Ann Shorley, his high school sweetheart, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Aberdeen. They settled down in Aberdeen where Michael worked for Larson Construction and Tiegen Construction. During those years, they had two sons, Jake and Nathan. In 1978, he began working for Dominion Construction on highline work. This job moved the family to Cheyenne, Wyo., until 1984.

After the many years of traveling the country following the highline work, Michael wanted to be home more to help raise his young family. This decision took the Hixons to Denver, Colo. Michael joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in the beginning of his career but with the move to Denver, Michael became very active in Local 111 and worked for several companies (Sturgeon Electric, Par Electric, Henkles & McCoy, and Daniella Construction) from 1984 to 2008 as a Line Equipment Operator. His involvement in Local 111 gave him opportunities to serve as a Steward, Trainer for Operations Training Program, IBEW Executive Board Member and various other positions. In 2008, Michael began working at the IBEW Local 111 as a Senior Assistant Business Manager until he officially retired in August of 2014.

In Michael’s free time, he became very involved in youth baseball and helped reconstruct the baseball fields for Apache Youth Baseball of Littleton. He held many positions within that organization for several years. During this time, he was also a member of the Colorado American Amateur Baseball Congress, where he was the State Director of 9 and 10 year old age groups for over 15 years. Michael and his wife also owned a small business, Next Level Sports, for a couple of years. Michael loved watching children play baseball and spent many hours there whether he knew anyone on the team or not.

Michael also enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, riding his motorcycle and, in general, helping others. He was always making people laugh and was happy clowning around. It was no secret that Michael loved people.

Michael and Gail bought a beautiful motorhome and sold their Colorado home to explore the country together and enjoy retired life. In 2015, they relocated their residence to La Cygne, Kan., to be closer to their two sons. Winter months were spent in the warmer climates of Florida, Arizona and Texas embarking on many adventures and making lots of memories and new friends. They decided in June of 2022 that they were going to enjoy the summer months and more time at their home in Kansas.

If you knew Michael, you knew his pride and joy were his sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He never tired of telling anyone about them, no matter who it might be – friend or stranger. There wasn’t a free weekend that went by that you couldn’t find him attending one of many games (sometimes multiple sports in a day) of his grandchildren. There was nothing he loved more than watching them play and cheering them on at their baseball, softball, cheer and dance, basketball, volleyball and football games. No matter what it was, you could find him in the stands. If he couldn’t be there in person, you’d find him streaming their games on his iPad. He even got to watch his great-grandson start playing soccer.

Grateful for having shared Michael’s life is his wife, Gail; sons, Michael “Jake” Hixon, of Noble, Okla. and Nathan (Melissa) Hixon, of Olathe, Kan.; grandchildren, Jeffrey (Hannah) Hixon, Cash Hixon, and Hallee Hixon; great-grandsons Stetson Hixon and Beau Hixon; mother, Marion Hixon; siblings, Harry (Rene) Hixon, Candace Nesheim, Mary (Mike) Moyer, Camille (Brad) Van Voorst. He is survived by loving in-laws, nieces, nephews and a host of lifetime friends.

Michael was preceded in death by his father, Harry, brother David and daughter-in-law Jeanne.

There will be a “Celebrations of Life” honoring Michael held on April 5, 2024, at the Rivers Lodge and Hunt Club, 18103 East 2300 Lane, La Cygne, Kan., from 1-4 p.m.

To make a gift in honor of Michael, the family has chosen American Cancer Society for memorial donations at:


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