Col. Herman Louis Mixson, USMC, retired, received his heavenly wings Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010, at his home in Bonifay, Fla., surrounded by family and friends.
The third of seven children, he was born Feb. 12, 1923, on a farm in Williston, Fla., to Archibald James Mixson and Mary Heim Mixson. Upon graduation from Williston High School in 1941, he entered Florida Southern College at Lakeland where he had a job as a night watchman and attended school during the day.
In October 1942, he became a naval aviation cadet. Col. Mixson went on to receive his wings as a naval aviator and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in April 1944. Col. Mixson flew Corsair fighter planes in the Pacific during World War II and was at Okinawa when the war ended. He flew Corsair night fighters in the Korean War and subsequently had several tours in all-weather jet fighters. During his 32 years of active duty, Col. Mixson served as an instructor, and in command and staff assignments in the United States, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. His awards include two Distinguished Flying Crosses, five Air Medals, Meritorious Service Medal, two WWII Presidential Unit Citations, Korean Presidential Unit Commendation and various campaign medals and citations.
He received degrees from George Washington University. Upon his retirement in 1974 as the commanding officer of the USMC Marine Air Wing/Coastal Bend, Corpus Christi, Texas, he became a real estate broker in Fredericksburg, Va. He also became a charter member of the Rappahannock Chapter of Kiwanis in Fredericksburg. In 1983, he sold his share in his brokerage and moved with his wife to Bonifay, Fla.
Among others, Col. Mixson was a life member of the National Rifle Association, the National Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, the Retired Officers Association and the Marine Corps Aviation Association.
Col. Mixson was married to the late Betty Jean Steele of Pensacola, Fla.
He will be remembered as an officer, scholar, gentleman and out-doorsman. Throughout his life, he was an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman. Always focused on conservation and the great outdoors, Col. Mixson spent his later years surrounding himself with the joys of beautiful dawns, glowing sunsets, gentle breezes, passionately providing a well-stocked environment for deer, birds, turkeys and his fish.
He leaves to honor his memory two daughters, Linda Mixson Lyon of Greensboro, N.C., and Carol Denise Mixson of Bonifay, Fla.; son, James Augustus Mixson and wife, Annette Pelezo Mixson, of Pensacola, Fla.; three grandchildren, Allison Jean Zangari, Justin Louis Mixson and Marie Ann Mixson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to humbly thank the "angels" who made his life so tremendously happy during the past year: Frances Golden, Gloria Scott, Rachel Bruner, Dawn Earle, Vermell and Judy Hall, Chris Lauen, Century and countless friends and neighbors.
Funeral services will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, at First Baptist Church of Bonifay. Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon before the funeral services. Interment will begin at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010, at Barrancas National Cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial tributes be donated to the American Cancer Society
and/or to Covenant Hospice, 4440 Lafayette St., Suite C, Marianna, FL 32446, in his name. Sims Funeral Home
P.O. Box 686
Bonifay, Fla. 32425
Published by Panama City News Herald on Jan. 8, 2010.