2 entries
  • "She and her husband Bob knew my parents who lived down the..."
    - Brad Low
  • "Wonderful lady with a wonderful family."
    - Jeff Marcum
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JEANETTE MIES BIXLER "JENNY" Einan's at Sunset Jeanette Mies Bixler, "Jenny", a resident of Richland, Washington since 1944, passed away peacefully on May 29, 2016. Jenny lived a full and active life and will be remembered for her unconditional love of family and friends, joyous demeanor, kindness, playful energy and wit, as well as community outreach that enriched the lives of many in Richland and the surrounding area. Jenny was born on August 5, 1918, to Henry Joseph and Elsie Wheaton Mies on the family homestead, Saunemin Township, Livingston County, Illinois, the third of four children. The family doctor noted if they named the baby Jeanette he would give them a baby buggy. Jenny's childhood was spent turning somersaults and cartwheels. This was great practice for her because the Pontiac High School athletic coach had a passion for the circus. When she arrived in 1932-34 Jenny performed on the trapeze and rings to the song "Girl on the flying trapeze". Her parents were active in the local and state Farm Bureau with her mother holding the National President of the Women's Farm Bureau during 1941-45. Her mother was also active in the Illinois Agricultural Association along with Henry who was one of the founders of IAA. Jenny attended the University of Illinois, graduating in Physical Education and Sociology. She pledged Gamma Phi Beta as a "town girl." Jenny bought her first car for $265 and shared it with her sister. Her first job was teaching High School P.E. and Sociology at Staunton, Illinois. It was there that she met "a good looking math teacher, Bob Bixler" and claimed "she stole him away from another gal". A whirlwind romance followed and they were married within three months at the Christian Church in Champaign, IL, December 22, 1940. Bob was recruited by E.I. DuPont to work as a chemist so two weeks after their marriage they moved to New Jersey, and then to Indiana (Louisville, Ky.), and in 1943 to University of Chicago where Bob worked "under the bleachers" (Manhattan Project) and finally found their home in Richland, WA., 1944. Jenny noted that Hanford's mission was so secretive that when anyone asked about Bob's job she replied "He sharpens pencils". She also noted that dust storms were quite awful with sand piles developing in the living room, blowing in from under the doors. In the early Hanford days they were community "builders" helping to prevent the Columbia River from flooding into the city by working day and night for 5 days building the first Dike in 1948 (it is now a walking/bike trail), Bob being elected to the first Richland City Council and Jenny supporting an infinite number of school, church, and ballet events with numerous neighborhood kids in and out of her house with no fences (Clark stadium), unlocked doors, and many goulash meals. They loved the outdoors and built a cabin on Chinook Pass, spending many week-ends away from the desert heat. At Bob's suggestion they became hobby ranchers with cattle on the Yakima River land near Van Giesen Street. Battling flood water and country life they moved back to their beloved house and put in a pool. Jenny was past president of Kadlec Hospital Auxillary, Trustee of Kadlec Medical Center Foundation, P.E.O. member, and member of Mid-Columbia Symphony Guild. Jenny and Bob were members of Central Church, Sham Na Pum Golf Course and Meadow Springs Country Club in the early days, and active in various political causes. They raised their family in the Richland community among friends and neighbors and enjoyed playing bridge, golf, cross country skiing, hiking, travel and family gatherings each summer. In 1980 they traveled the USA and spent time in Australia. At age 80, Jenny visited friends in the Netherlands after enjoying a Mediterranean cruise with dear friends Trudy and Frank (sleeping on the top bunk)! As her grandchildren arrived she stayed closer to home, continued to be an avid Bomber fan and sports fan, cheering them on at their many events. Jenny was selected to serve as the first Director of the Alcoholism Information and Referral Center in the Tri-City area in 1969. She was dedicated to her clients and grew the program from a one woman operation to a regional health program in Benton, Franklin and Adams County. After retiring during 1980 she continued to lecture at State meetings. Jenny developed her second career as a water aerobics teacher in 1980 at CBRC in Richland. Her students (many seniors) loved and adored her, laughing at her daily jokes and riddles, and participating in numerous pot luck events she provided at her house or the club. She finally retired from the active life she so enjoyed due to a fall while checking her pool at age 93. However, she still attended Sausage Fest that night! Jenny was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Robert "Bob" Bixler in 1996, a daughter Susan Pachniak (Ken), parents, two sisters and a brother, and daughter-in-law Sandra Bixler, and twin infant grand-daughters. She is survived by four children: Bill Bixler, of Ocean Isle Beach, NC, John Bixler (Elizabeth) of Seattle, WA, Jim Bixler (Sharon) of Richland, WA, Nancy Meinhardt (Cliff) of Houston, TX. Grandchildren include: David Bixler (Anne), Barb Gibbs, Sarah Bixler, Emma Bixler, Jason Arnette (Sarah), Teresa Pachniak (Pio de los Santos), Zach Bixler (Annie), Annie Jacobs (Kyle), Max Bixler, Lindsey Meinhardt, Kevin Meinhardt and five great grandchildren. A memorial service at Central Church will be on Thursday, June 9 at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Central Church, 1124 Stevens Drive, Richland WA, 99354. I know this is long, but "so be it". Express your thoughts and memories on our online Guestbook at
Funeral Home
Einan's Funeral Home, Inc.
915 By-Pass Highway
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 943-1114
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Published in Tri-City Herald on June 5, 2016
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