James "Jim" Hix
Whiteland - After 64 years in the wrecker and towing business, The Legend has gone to meet his loving God.
James "Jim" Hix married Ova (Trobaugh) Hix in 1948 and came to Indiana from Tennessee with ten cents in his pocket to start a new life. He walked the streets of Indianapolis looking for work of any kind.
He worked for Wake-Up Oil Company, Blue Bonnet Margarine Company, and then went to work for West Baking Company.
While working for the West Baking Company he met a man that owned a wrecker and decided to try his hand at that kind of work. He gave the man his car and his paycheck of $290.00 to purchase the tow truck. He worked for the bakery by night and towed vehicles for insurance companies by day, bringing them back from the surrounding states. After some time of many hours and little sleep, he went into the wrecker business full time. His wife quit her job at RCA and together they built the largest wrecker service in the Midwest during the 70's and 80's.
He purchased several local and distant wrecker services such as Blue & White, Arch & Howards, Martins, Pollys, Hunters, and Recovery One.
He first started out at 2530 East Werges Street with a wrecker service and a body shop. They outgrew the property and purchased 3200 Bluff Road in the late 1980's where the home office is still located. He also owns Greenwood Wrecker Service, Franklin Wrecker Service, Recovery One and just added a new location at 30 South Post Road.
He owned Westside Auto Parts, and an auto parts in Greenfield, Indiana. His largest auto parts store is still open at 3200 Bluff Road in Indianapolis.
He owned an auto crushing unit and crushed his own cars and took them to the scrap yards. He traveled all around Indiana to different auto parts yards and crushed cars for other people. He enjoyed his loaders and his car crusher.
He enjoyed driving race cars in the late 50's and early 60's at the Kitley Speedrome. He would drive in the figure 8 features.
He worked for Indianapolis Motor Speedway for many years. He worked the Indy 500, the Brickyard 400, Formula One and Raceway Park. He was a member of the Old Timers Club at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He attended other tracks just to watch the races.
He drove a tractor trailer filled with band equipment in 1991 for the Center Grove Marching Band Trojans to compete in Tempe, Arizona competition and his grandson marched in the Fiesta Bowl.
He loved watching his grandson and great-grandsons play baseball.
He watched fireworks every 4th of July either downtown Indianapolis, Greenwood, or his own yard.
He loved to go fishing in Canada and deer hunting in Tennessee on his property.
In the 1950's he enjoyed Big Time Wrestling every Saturday night.
He was born June 21, 1931 in Whitleyville, Tennessee to George Dewey and Bonnie Margaret Hix. They preceded him in death. His mother passed two weeks after his birth due to complications. He loved living with his grandparents and called them Mammy and Pappy. They were the love of his life when he was young.
His wonderful wife passed on April 6, 2020 and now they will be able to celebrate their 72nd anniversary together in Heaven on March 19th.
He leaves behind his daughter, Patricia Gail (Hix) Neal; son-in-law, Thomas Neal; grandson, James Neal and his wife, Jennifer Neal; great-grandsons, Cory and Joshua, and great-granddaughter, Jessica. He also has one great-great grandson, Lincoln.
He was also preceded in death by his sister, Ovell Kinnard.
His father remarried Odell Warden and she preceded him in death along with his half-sisters, Helen Browning, Jeweldean Carrico, and half-brother, Larry Hix.
Half-brothers and sisters surviving include, Charlie (Pat) Hix, Bobby Hix, Gary (Veda) Hix, Edna Sue Smith, Barbara (Harding) Smith, Donna (Bobby) Poteet, Deborah (Terry) Holman and several nieces and nephews, relatives, loved ones and friends.
Thank you to Jewel Hatton for the help and care of him while he was at home.
He was a Special Deputy for the Marion County Sheriff's Department, Beech Grove Department, Johnson County Sheriff's Department and the Perry Township Constable's Office.
He was a very loving, giving, and caring person. He would take his clothes and shoes off his own person and give to his employees if he saw them in need. He would bring strangers home for holiday dinners if they were stranded at the wrecker lots so they would not be alone. He would help anyone that would ask of him, even those that were too proud to ask. He was always there.
He loved to tell stories of his childhood and about all the wrecker runs and accidents that he worked during his lifetime, and about how things are very different between then and now.
He ate breakfast with his buddies at Hardees on Tracy Road in Whiteland every morning just talking about life and having fun and making friends.
Sometimes, on Sunday afternoons, people remember him from Mr. Fuel where he would purchase bubble gum and share it with everyone in there and talk for hours.
He loved his ice cream, Dove Milk Chocolate ice cream bars, as well as anything sweet, especially cream pies and candy.
His hard work has accomplished much in his short life span on this earth.
He attended Southport Church of the Nazarene where he sponsored southern gospel singing groups. His favorite was the McCamey's.
A special thanks to all that have sent us their condolences and for all the hard work that has gone into the special service Saturday night from each of the towing services from all over the country.
May God Bless each and everyone.
Visitation will be from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday, March 22, 2021 at G. H. Herrmann Madison Avenue Funeral Home, 5141 Madison Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana. Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at the funeral home, with visitation from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service. He will be laid to rest at The Gardens at Olive Branch Cemetery and Mausoleum Park, Greenwood, Indiana.
In an effort to keep everyone safe and healthy, we are adhering to all the governor's mandates. We encourage you to share your condolences, photographs and memories with the family at www.ghherrmann.com
Published by The Indianapolis Star from Mar. 19 to Mar. 22, 2021.