Family Login:

George C. Hixon

Obituary for George C. Hixon

April 8, 1937 - July 18, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 81

Tim's 81 years were power packed from beginning to end.

Obituary

George C. "Tim" Hixon, prominent local business man, conservationist, philanthropist, champion of education, loving husband, proud father, and beaming grandfather passed away Wednesday, July 18th at the age of 81. Tim was born in Jacksonville, FL, April 8, 1937 to George C. and Sarah Hall Hixon, the second of four brothers. He is survived by his wife of 43 years Karen Johnson Hixon, his sons; George S. ("Timo") Hixon and wife Ashley Solcher Hixon and their children Foster and Clayton of San Antonio, and Bryan S. Hixon of San Antonio, and his three brothers; Joseph M. Hixon III and wife Renate of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Bryan Simpson Jr. and wife Page of Jacksonville, FL and John H. Simpson and wife Elaine of Jacksonville, FL.

Tim's 81 years were power packed from beginning to end. He touched countless lives, promoted many causes, shook the hand of seven Presidents, conferred with three in the oval office, shot a Boone and Crockett "Book" whitetail in his 79th year, was a loyal friend and boss, a benefactor to many, saw the world, and promoted causes that have truly left the world a better place for his having been here. Tim and Karen, his wife, best friend, and partner in conservation, have left a profound mark on the landscape of America, most specifically, Texas and Idaho. His loss will be felt by the many family, friends, and beneficiaries he touched, though we take comfort in the fact that he had a full and complete life, that it was a life well lived, and that he can pass the mantle as a standard bearer for conservation on to his children and grandchildren, of whom he was tremendously proud.

Always willing to speak up, Tim was truly in the mix, never afraid to be contrarian, detested political correctness, and had a natural ease seeing complicated issues in black and white. He could be tough but tempered his toughness with a generosity that knew no bounds. Tim was a true gentleman, could be quick with a compliment, and was always grateful for the opportunity to be generous. Not merely a force of nature, Tim and Karen forged an alliance to be a force for nature.
Raised by his stepfather Judge Bryan Simpson (for whom the Federal Courthouse in Jacksonville is named), Tim spent his early days fishing and exploring on the St. Johns River with his brother Joe. It was here, and at the family retreat at Plum Lake, WI, that his love of the wild was initiated, sparking the recognition of the importance of its conservation and the desire to work for its preservation.

At the age of 14, Tim went to the The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT, graduating in 1955. Three years at Washington & Lee University culminated with a stint in the army from 1959-1962. Tim credited the army, where his meteoric rise from Private First Class to Specialist First Class went largely unrecognized, as the best thing that ever happened to him. Leaving the army in 1962 he moved to San Antonio to work with his uncle, Frederick C. ("Colonel") Hixon, in the family business and complete his undergraduate studies at Trinity University, graduating with a B.S. in economics in 1964.

San Antonio would become Tim's home for the rest of his life and he worked for various Hixon Family companies, including Hixon Properties, where he was a board member from 1975 to 2006 and served as Chairman from 1998 to 2006, and Hixon Land and Cattle from 1964 until his death. In 1974 he married Karen, who he not only adored, but admired greatly, creating a partnership, as parents and conservationists, and spurring one another on to innumerable accomplishments. Education was a lifelong passion of Tim's and he lent his energy to his almae matres, Hotchkiss and Trinity, as well as St. Mary's Hall, serving as Trustee at each. Hotchkiss recognized him as its "Man of the Year" in 2000 and at Trinity he served as Chairman of the Board and was recognized as its Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 1998. Tim also promoted education through his advocacy for the Texas Biomedical Research Institute where he served as Director and Chairman and was a patron of the arts, serving as Trustee Emeritus of the McNay Art Museum.

In addition to promoting education in the classic sense, Tim was a voracious reader and an avid book collector. To look at his bookshelves, filled with first editions, captivating titles, and interspersed with various trophies and awards, is to be transported through a museum of Tim's life. He amassed a library of exploration, hunting, fishing, and travel literature, with an emphasis on Africa, that is truly second to none. His love of Africa began with a photo safari in 1955 and continued for the rest of his life. He was among the first to hunt bongo, and became a founder, and Trustee Emeritus, of the African Wildlife Foundation. Tim was most at home in the outdoors, loved to spend time in a deer blind and considered the greatest job he ever had to be "cowboy" at his ranch in Idaho. When not outdoors, Tim could often be found reading or commanding an audience from a well-worn chair at his home or one of his beloved ranches in Cotulla, TX and Idaho.

Always engaging and a friend to many, Tim loved to award nicknames, which were rarely flattering (except in the case of his "perfect" grandchildren), to gain the upper hand at the outset of any conversation. Tim had great range; he was equally at home with Presidents and politicians, in a tuxedo driving up the prices of auction items at a charity benefit (of which he was often a sponsor), eating burgers, debating the Spurs' chances of getting to the finals, casting a fly, or shooting dove and quail with his favorite 28-gauge Purdy, though the field was far and away his favorite. Tim was an excellent shot and believed that there were at least 20 birds in a box of shells and had little patience for those who couldn't keep time with his skills.

Above all, conservation was his cause and he delighted in promoting it through countless channels and a passion shared by Karen. An avid hunter, Tim loved the outdoors, most specifically the wild outdoors, and firmly believed that it was those closest to the land that had the most strongly vested interest in its preservation. Tim's travel was guided by a belief that "trout live in really nice places". His friends considered him a pioneer in the fishing world, chasing giant sea run brown trout in Tierra del Fuego, record tarpon in Islamorada, and discovering the "secret" to fishing in Mongolia was to focus on the whiskey.

Great success in business afforded Tim a bully pulpit and a charge which he took seriously: to leave the world a better place for his children and grandchildren and to teach them to do the same in turn. As his hero Teddy Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena", he did not shrink from this obligation, championing causes of conservation and education throughout his life, and leaving a mark on countless lives that he touched, as well as the maps of Texas and Idaho where his efforts resulted in the conservation and protection of a considerable amount of territory. Among the accomplishments of which he was most proud is the establishment of the Government Canyon State Natural Area, a now 12,000 acre protected area in Northwest San Antonio. It required fierce advocacy on Tim's part to persuade the state to spend the necessary funds to acquire the land, which in turn preserved a valuable part of the Edward's Aquifer Recharge Zone. In Idaho, Tim put together a large-scale conservation easement, working with his brother, Joe, to protect cherished land on the Wildhorse River.

As a conservationist, Tim served on the Board and as Vice Chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission from 1989 to 1995, and as Chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation from 1995 to 2002, where he was honored as a Trustee Emeritus and inducted in to the TPW Conservation Hall of Fame in 2010. He was also a Trustee and Director of the National Board of The Nature Conservancy as well as The Texas Nature Conservancy, President and Trustee (Emeritus) of the San Antonio Zoological Society, a Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (who recognized him with its Texas Legends Award in 2004), and on the Board of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. Tim also served as the President of the Boone and Crockett Club and as Director and Executive Vice President of Game Conservation International.

Throughout his life, Tim received numerous awards and honors, including: San Antonio Anglers Club - Conservationist of the Year (1984), Game Conservation International - Conservationist of the Year (1991), Alamo Area of Boy Scouts - Good Scout Award (1994), Rotary Club of Corpus Christi - Harvey Weil Sportsman Conservationist Award (1997), Chevron Conservation Award (1997), Boone & Crockett Club - Sagamore Hill Award (1998), South Texas Charity Weekends - South Texan of the Year (2015).

Always active and involved, Tim was a member of, and benefactor to, various business, political, social, and outdoors clubs, including: The Audubon Society, Bat Conservation International, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Ducks Unlimited, The Explorers Club, Florida Conservation Association, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, International Game Fish Association, National Coalition for Marine Conservation, National Rifle Association, Order of the Alamo, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, San Antonio German Club, Texas Order of St. Hubertus, Texas Bighorn Society, and Trout Unlimited. To put it succinctly, Tim was involved and was an active participant in life for all 81 of his years. Tim's departure leaves a void that will be filled by his children and grandchildren and the countless friends whose lives he touched promoting his interest in education and conservation. Tim truly left a mark and set a laudable example for posterity. The World, Africa, America, Texas, and Idaho are better for his having been here.

MEMORIAL SERVICE
MONDAY- JULY 23, 2018
3:00 P.M.
MARGARITE B. PARKER CHAPEL
TRINITY UNIVERSITY

The service will be followed by a reception at The Argyle. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to any of the organizations that Tim held dear including the: Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, The Texas Nature Conservancy, San Antonio Zoo, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, or the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

Recommended Local Florist

Message from the Family

The family asks that a donation be made to any of the organizations that Tim held dear.

Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
Map  | Profile

View Phone Number
Email Us

Resources