William Bixby - West Melbourne - William K. "Bill" Bixby II, 86, died peacefully at home on Sunday, March 21, 2010, surrounded by his loving family. Bill Bixby was born in St. Louis, MO, on March 6, 1924. He served in the Army Air Corp in the Mighty 8th Airborne during World War II, and flew 24 missions as a P-51 Mustang pilot. After the war, he met the love of his life, Barbara "BJ" Evans. Bill graduated from Princeton University and he and Barbara were married on June 24, 1948. They moved from St. Louis to Clewiston, FL, where Bill developed 640 acres of raw land into a successful dairy business. In 1959, they moved to Melbourne, FL. Bill owned Bixby Farm and Garden Supply and later worked in real estate. Bill was an active member of the Presbyterian Church of the Good Shepherd for over 50 years and was active in civic volunteer work. He and Barbara raised their family in Melbourne and Indialantic, and recently moved to Buena Vida Estates in Melbourne. He was dedicated to his family, and returned every summer to a family farm at Lake George, NY, birth place of his great-grandmother, and home of a large extended family. Bill was preceded in his death by his son, Peter. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, his children, Lucy Bixby (Paul Farrell), Jenny Bixby (Ken Rosenfeld), Ethan (Trudy) Bixby, and Will (Stacey) Bixby; his be loved grandchildren, John, Ethan, Henry, Emily, Claire, Dylan, Elise, Whitney, Caroline, and Julia, and his sisters, Lucy Bertelson of Merritt Island, FL and Sally Defty, Bolton Landing, NY. Calling hours are on Wednesday, March 24th, 12 p.m. 1:30 p.m. with a Celebration of his Life following at 1:30 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of the Good Shepherd, 810 W. Florida Ave., Melbourne. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity.
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Published in FLORIDA TODAY on Mar. 23, 2010