July 7, 1932 – September 1, 2019
Billy Hix died peacefully on September 1, 2019. Born in Gallatin Tn. on July 7, 1932, he was the oldest son of Jay and Myrtle Hix.
A depression era child, Billy lifted himself up by the bootstraps. While working the farm, construction, harvest season caravans, and selling bibles, he excelled in school, sports, and in the community. A Korean War veteran, his specialized platoon quelled Chinese POW riots. Returning from Korea, he entered Middle Tennessee State on a football scholarship. Graduating in 1955, his family’s first college graduate, he was named a football Little All-American and drafted by the NFL. He also met Helen Joyce Wilson, who stole his heart.
After graduation, an intrepid professor lured Billy to more intriguing employment with the C.I.A. While with the U2 program, Billy engineered a trip home to elope with Helen, marrying her in 1956.
Billy’s 28-year career took him to Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Africa, often with his family. Retiring in 1984, he was known for responsiveness, resourcefulness, imagination, and instigating unwitting cooperation.
Characterizing his career as “holding hands with heroes,” he received the Career Intelligence Medal and three Certificates of Exceptional Service. Billy then began a second career as an internationally recognized security consultant.
Though an intimidating mountain of a man, Billy’s network of treasured friends appreciated him for his warmth, gentleness, good humor, character, judgment, and loyalty. If the saying "A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth,” rings true, then he left this life a wealthy man.
To his family, he was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. To his son, grandson, and their friends, Billy cast a giant shadow. Role model, coach, taskmaster, mentor, and confidant, he encouraged them to hustle, learn, and explore, in school, work, and life.
Billy is survived by his wife Helen, his brother Jim, his son Bill, a retired U.S. Army Major General, his daughter in law, Sharon, his grandson, Joe, his wife Megan and their daughter Adeline, Billy’s great joy.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Key Bridge Marriott, 1401 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22209 on Saturday, September 28th at 3:00 pm. Date for interment at Arlington National Cemetery is pending. Memories and condolences may be registered at dignitymemorial.com.
A Celebration of Life
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Monday, July 13, 2020
September 24, 2019
"Big Billy" Hix was a legend in his own time at the CIA Office of Security. Us junior officers looked up to him for his sage advice and mentorship. I used to love to see my hand disappear in his when we shook hands. He was a patriot who set the example for all of us and was respected by everyone who worked with him during his great career. I join all of my OS colleagues in saluting him. Sincerest condolences to his wife and family.
September 19, 2019
In 1959 on my senior trip to Washington with my class from Gallatin High school I meet Billy. Along with Hots Reynolds (who had played football with Billy at MTSU on football scholarship and was from Gallatin) Billy stopped by ,the hotel to invite us to a Washington Senators baseball game. My first pro game. Along with Hots and a friend we proceed to the game.Billy was driving and along the way he noticed someone breaking in a car He quickly stopped and ran over to put the person on the ground and called the police. They arrived and we made the game on time. Robert Parker.
John and Janis Walby
September 17, 2019
So sorry to hear of Bill's passing. The lovely obituary captures the essence of a loving man, good friend and neighbor. He will be missed by all.
Samantha & John Charlet
September 16, 2019
What a life! Such a beautifully written tribute. Bill's spirit surely lives on in the hearts of the many friends and family members who have loved him dearly and admired him greatly.
Mary Jo Collier/Murphy
September 15, 2019
Helen, I was saddened to read this morning in the Tennessean that Bill had died. I was reminded of the many good times we had together with the Dickersons. His obituary was beautifully written and certainly described a life well lived. Please accept my sympathy.
Marina & Jim Pflieger
September 15, 2019
Our heartfelt condolences go out to you and your Family. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to know Billy, a truly lovable and kind person.
Marina and Jim
September 13, 2019
Billy was a huge part of my career at Titan. Always a smile, joke or experience to share. He touched many lives and will be missed greatly. Rest well, my friend.
September 12, 2019
My deepest condolences, I remember so fondly Billy and Helen from our Udorn/Lao days. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
September 11, 2019
Billy was extremely well respected by all his colleagues and set a beautiful example for all who followed him. A lovely man who will be missed.
September 11, 2019
An exceptional officer, who gave me and others a magnificent example of courage, endurance, thoughtfulness in service to our nation. Well done, Billy.