Cover photo for Jack R. Bixby's Obituary
Jack R. Bixby Profile Photo
1924 Jack 2020

Jack R. Bixby

May 1, 1924 — June 28, 2020

Jack Raymond Bixby, 96, died June 28, 2020 at the Good Samaritan Society in Grand Island, NE.

As per his wishes, cremation has taken place and there will be no services. Apfel Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements.

Jack had a full and sometimes exciting life growing up in rural Nebraska and later making his way and raising family in Hastings, Grand Island and Kearney.

Jack was born to Charles and Christine (Peterson) Bixby on May 1, 1924 in Thermopolis, WY. His sister Helen Bixby Hageman of La Mirada, CA was born two years earlier. Soon the family moved to Minatare, NE. Charles worked at the Great Western Sugar Company.

Jack grew up excelling in school sports of football, basketball and track. He also found great joy in walking the hills around Minatare finding Native American arrowheads and hunting ducks and geese and fishing which were frequent provisions for the dinner table. He and his best buds often hunted and fished before school by getting around on their bicycles. No cars for boys at that time. The Great Depression required help from all family members.

After graduating from high school in 1942 Jack and his best friends Vern Lewellan and Bill Sandeson each enlisted in the US Navy, US Army, and US Marines respectively, each going their own way. By November 1943 Jack began flight school at Corpus Christi, TX. Jack was commissioned and earned his wings there as a pilot of Gruman F4F Wildcats. His squadron was moved from there to Scottsdale, AZ, Norman, OK, Olrando, FL, Seattle, WA, Coos Bay, OR and San Diego, CA. More precision training occurred while waiting for an aircraft carrier. Shortly after finally shipping out, the war ended, and the carrier returned to San Diego.

Jack was soon decommissioned, and he headed for Hastings, NE where his parents had moved and Charles worked at the munitions factory during the war. Under the GI Bill, Jack, enrolled in Hastings College and attended for three years. He met and married Betty Jean Everett in 1948. They have two children, Linda born in 1949, now of Chandler, AZ and Tom born in 1950, now of Mitchell, NE. After moving to Grand Island in 1950 Jack worked for National Cash Register Company and then, until retirement, for Carpenter Paper Company. They were active with Trinity Methodist Church which Jack attended until he no longer could do so. After retirement Jack volunteered to drive non-drivers to Sunday church services.

Jack never really retired. He worked part time for Kep Harding Sporting Goods, Jack Rabbit Run Golf Course and drove cars for Enterprise Car Rental and when he wasn’t busy at work where he enjoyed talking to most anybody about most anything, you’d find him hunting ducks and geese, pheasant and quail, golfing and fishing. Birds and fish continued his childhood habit of providing Sunday dinner when Betty did a good job of making pheasant, mashed potatoes, and cream gravy. Jack specialized in cooking fresh caught fish.

Jack made several hunting and fishing trips to Canada’s Northwest Territory, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan (where he still had family) with Bill Culver and enjoyed a couple of trips deep-sea fishing to Costa Rica with brother-in-law Bob Hageman. He dedicated much time to his son, Tom, teaching him proper use of firearms, to hunt, and fish all around Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado. Sports were a big part of both of their lives together. Jack often took both Tom and Linda to American Legion baseball games and other activities that could be enjoyed together.

During that active time Jack participated in community activities, too. He was an active member of the G.I.J.C’s, VFW, American Legion, Sertoma Club and others. He enjoyed his barbershop signing groups. He supported Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited. He was an Admirial of the Nebraska Navy in later years. He continued to fish often and that brought him much satisfaction and more fish for the dinner table.

Jack and Betty were divorced in 1973 and jack married Beckie Kreiwald Barnes in 1975. They were married until her death in 2006. They continued with Jack’s love of travel and golf. He traveled with her whenever she had a conference with her National Legal Secretaries Association all over the United States. His goal was to visit capital of every state. And he made it to every state except Alaska and Hawaii.

Linda helped Jack achieve some of those capital visits. Long road trips to Montana, twice; once to attend a family reunion and once to see all the dams on the Missouri River. Together they traveled to Washington DC, to the Northeast, the Southwest and the Rocky Mountain states. They spent time seeing all parts of Nebraska. They caught a few ballgames along the way. But they never got to the Great Smoky Mountains. It was time well spent between a very good father-daughter team.

Jack leaves a son Tom (Leona) Bixby; daughter, Linda Everett; step son, Tom (Vera) Barnes; step daughter, Judi (Jerry) Kosmicki; niece, Christine Hageman-Sowma and two nephews, Chuck (Beckie) Hageman and Tim (Beckie) Hageman and their children and grandchildren all whom he loved dearly.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jack R. Bixby, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 4

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree