It’s hard to put 100 years of a man’s life into 400 words,” mused Lois Starbuck, regarding her close friend of Bernie Wixon, who celebrated his 100th birthday (Nov. 24) with a party held in his honor at the First Presbyterian Church in Oak Park on Nov. 27.
More than 100 people attended, among them Bernie’s son, David; his daughter, Susie; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; a niece and nephew from California; and a nephew from France.
According to Scuffy Gross, who attended with his wife, Sue, and other friends from the Riverside Township Lions Club, “It was a wonderful party.”
Now a resident of Westchester, Wixon resided in Riverside for more than 50 years. He and his late wife, affectionately known as Billie, raised their daughter and son and enjoyed the company friends and playing bridge.
Bernie has led a very interesting life, and guests were enlightened as to some of the events in his long life such as how, at 17, he drove a delivery truck and sold ladies’ lingerie door-to-door (oh my!). He was a sports enthusiast with a 10 handicap in golf, played fast-pitch softball and did some surfing in Hawaii. He was also musically inclined, singing in a men’s quartet on radio. He installed car radios for Sears and designed the phonograph used by ET to phone home.
He had a long career in the field of consumer electronic, and for 38 years he was with Sears as a developer of new products. Bernie may have “retired” from Sears but he transitioned into another part of his life, working with his son David’s company, Wixon and Associates. Dad came in to help in the sales area but soon was lending his thoughts to all phases of the company.
Bernie Wixon, at age 100, still enjoys life and regularly attends meetings of the Riverside Township Lions Club with Lois Starbuck as his friend and companion, and I can tell you he is not always the first to leave the lunch or dinner meetings.
Bernie probably summed things up best with a quote that was included on his birthday invitation, “I’m thankful that the Lord has given me this century of life and precious family and friends so please join me in celebrating.”
Here’s to you Bernie, we all celebrate your birthday and wish you well. Happy Birthday, Bernie!