Harry LeRoy Hix Jr., 1939-2023

Jun 1, 2023


Harry LeRoy Hix Jr. of Stillwater, Oklahoma, known by his nickname of Roy through high school, was a retired journalist and university professor. He was born February 5, 1939, in Houston to Harry and Jane Hix, and died March 24, 2023, at age 84.

Hix married his sweetheart, Carol Elizabeth Helt, daughter of Roy and Helen Helt of Stillwater, on April 19, 1957. He graduated from Stillwater High School in May of that year, then served two years in the U.S. Navy before returning home to attend Oklahoma State University, earning a degree in journalism. Later, he earned a master's degree at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and completed additional graduate work.

During his career, Hix worked as a newspaper reporter, photographer, managing editor of a Tennessee daily, and publisher of two weeklies in Alabama. He and Carol were owners of the weekly Millington Star in Millington, Tennessee, for 16 years. After selling The Star, he moved to Norman, Oklahoma, and was the first Engleman/Livermore Professor of Community Journalism at the University of Oklahoma. After 10 years there, he taught three years at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

Throughout his life, Hix received many honors and awards. At SIU, Hix was managing editor of the campus newspaper, The Daily Egyptian, which in May 1970 covered the closing of SIU during an unrest about Vietnam, and its coverage received a national award from the Sigma Delta Chi national journalism fraternity. In Tennessee, The Millington Star won a variety of first place and other Tennessee Press Association awards, and Hix was the only person to win both the Meeman single editorial award for dailies and the weekly award for editorials. In Millington, Hix served as Chamber of Commerce president, was elected Man of the Year and received several Tennessee Education Association awards. At OU, Hix won the JayMac Teaching Award. He became a member of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors and served several years on its board. In 2006, he served as ISWNE president and hosted the organization's annual meeting. In recent years, he served as a member of the judging staff for the National Newspaper Association in its yearly contest.

In his free time, Hix enjoyed tennis and participated in the United States Tennis Association, playing on state championship teams in Oklahoma and Tennessee and four times going to the regional tournament.

After retiring, Hix returned to Stillwater, where he became an active member of Bible Baptist Church and for several years was editing director of the Baptist Times.

Hix was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Carol, of the home; his children, Cindy and Art Kittler of Gardner, Kansas, Harvey Hix and Kate Northrop of Laramie, Wyoming, and Donna and Mark Brunner of West Mansfield, Ohio; grandchildren, Warren and Casie Kittler of Lincoln, Nebraska, Charity Kittler of New York, New York, Matt and Hannah Brunner of Howell, Michigan, Jason and Hannah Bingham Brunner of The Village, Oklahoma, and Elise and Joel Wiley of Bellefontaine, Ohio; nine great-grandchildren: Laysia, Marcus, Christopher, Joey and Roger Kittler, Micah, Silas and Nicolas Brunner, and Jonathan Wiley; siblings: Sue Wheeler of Osage City, Kansas, Nancy Duncan of Bloomingdale, New York, Anna Bridgewater of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Harold and Kathy Hix of Union, Washington, and Hubert and Julie Hix of Minneapolis; brother- and sisters-in-law Ken and Nelda Helt and Ruth Brown, all of Stillwater, Oklahoma; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held Thursday, March 30, 2023, at Bible Baptist Church, 115 N. Young St., Stillwater. Visitation preceded the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Bible Baptist Church, PO Box 1985, Stillwater, OK 74076.