Friday, December 6, 2013

Bruce Hix - 1946-2013

Since we received notice that our friend Bruce Hix passed away a few days ago, many have 
come forward with stories about Bruce that they want everyone to hear.  If I receive any 
more stories I will post them here.  

Over the last 15 years heading up the reunion committee the one question I heard over 
and over again at every event was "Is Bruce coming or has anyone heard from Bruce?".  
Bruce was larger than life and yet he was a very private person and requested no memorial 
service.  So this is our final tribute to our friend Bruce.  R.I.P. 
 From Dave Sholin

Certainly not an email I was looking forward to send but early this morning our classmate,
longtime friend and 
star athlete Bruce Hix lost his battle with ALS. As it turns out I was
fortunate to have a last conversation with him yesterday afternoon. Other than dealing
with a cold he was in fairly good spirits and we talked about the changes at Joes of
Westlake and Jim Fotenos' name came up and he said right away.."smartest guy I know
and a great linebacker!"  Still talking football.. and in fact he was watching the
Alabama/Auburn game.
It is sad but Bruce is in a much better place. What he had ahead of him was not good and 
even at this stage he was extremely weak. He went in his sleep and he is no longer in 
pain.  Luckily did not suffer in his final hours. 
Bruce made it clear (more than several times) that he did not want any sort of funeral or 
memorial so we can just honor his memory in our own way. R.I.P Bruce.   
Dave Sholin
---------------------------------------- 
From Jim Fotenos
Bruce Hix was the greatest athlete I've ever personally known.  As each of you know, he excelled in basketball, 
football, and of course baseball.  He would have been a fine track and field athlete if he had had the time.  But 
what made him truly great was that he was fiercely competitive and a leader.  We all knew that who played with
 him. (His competiveness is captured in a yearbook photo of him tearing away a ball from a competitor on the 
basketball court.)  I still remember his performance (and Marc Mallinger's) in the South City game.  He was 
Westmoor's Joe Montana.  But for the seductive but destructive attractions of the Sixties he very well might h
ave made it to the Bigs with the Giants.  And he had a great sense of humor.  Following practice the day before 
a game, as was his custom, Matisi gave us a pep talk on the side of the practice field.  He cautioned us to take 
it easy that night and get a good night's sleep. He specifically asked Bruce if he would behave.  Bruce answered 
he then worked nights at a gas station):  "Don't worry coach, I'll just be pumping ethyl."  (Those under a certain 
age won't get that joke.)  It was cruel fate that someone as physically gifted as Bruce would contract the 
harshest of physically debilitating deceases.  Almost Shakespearian.
Let Dylan sing our lament:  
"May your feet always be swift  
May you have a strong foundation  When the winds of changes shift  
May your heart always be joyful  And may your song  always be sung  
May you stay forever young  
Forever young, forever young  
May you stay forever young."  
Your song will always be sung by us,  Bruce.
It's unfortunate that there will no memorial.  There are many of us who would like to pay our respects. 
Jim Fotenos
------------------------------------------------------- 
From Jane White Zang

I was fortunate enough to have many phone conversations with Bruce and enjoyed hearing his voice. 
 He 
certainly kept his sense of humor. We had some great laughs. I knew how hard this was for Bruce being 
so active his whole life,  but did not hear a lot of complaints,  just his frustration    
Will miss him much. No need for a memorial as all those great memories cannot be erased.    

Jane White Zang
 
 
-------------------------------------------------------
 From Allen Miller 

I cannot express what a hero Bruce was to our entire school.  Though I did not hang in 
his large inner circle, He leaves me to this day with burning memories of his great 
athletic abilities and accomplishments on the sports field.  I would go to games just 
to see him do what he did best.  I personally looked forward to seeing him again at our 
next reunion. Death does not just affect the departed, but the hundreds of people who 
have him in their heart and memory.  He lives on in those memories.  He will not be 
forgotten for a very long time.  Over the years, I could always visualize his face in 
my mind.  Few people have that great of an impact.
Alan Miller
-----------------------------------------------------

Label Promo Ace Bruce Hix Passes
December 2, 2013 at 4:11 PM (PT)
Longtime music promotion executive and accomplished athlete BRUCE HIX passed away early 
yesterday morning from complications related to ALS. BRUCE excelled in many sports and in 
1967 played for the SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS.
Following his playing days he entered the music industry working for several labels, among them 
WARNER BROS., MOTOWN and POLYGRAM.
No services are planned.
-----------------------------------------------------
Bruce Randolph Hix  Bats: Right, Throws: Right   Height: 5' 8", Weight: 165 lb.
Born: August 27, 1946  (Age 67)

Minors Batting

Year
Age
Tm
Lg
Lev
Aff
G
PA
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
SB
CS
BB
SO
BA
OBP
SLG
OPS
TB
GDP
HBP
SH
SF
IBB
1965
18
DecaturMIDWASFG
121
443
121
19
5
12
.273
.420
186
1966
19
2 Teams2 LgsA-WRkSFG
132
493
156
27
5
10
.316
.452
223
1966
19
GiantsAZILWRkSFG
1966
19
FresnoCALLASFG
132
493
156
27
5
10
.316
.452
223
1967
20
WaterburyELAASFG
52
198
170
25
42
3
1
3
22
0
1
28
22
.247
.354
.329
.683
56
1968
21
FresnoCALLASFG
81
285
86
15
2
1
.302
.379
108
4 Seasons
386
1419
1391
25
405
64
13
26
22
0
1
28
22
.291
.305
.412
.717
573
WRk (1 season)WRk
A (3 seasons)A
334
1221
1221
363
61
12
23
.297
.297
.423
.721
517
AA (1 season)AA
52
198
170
25
42
3
1
3
22
0
1
28
22
.247
.354
.329
.683
56

Minors Fielding 

Year
Age
Tm
Lg
Lev
Aff
G
CG
Ch
PO
A
E
DP
Fld%
RF/G
lgCS%
PO
1965
18
DecaturMIDWASFG3B
121
355
92
234
29
.918
2.69
1967
20
WaterburyELAASFG3B
52
148
37
100
11
8
.926
2.63
2 Seasons
173
503
129
334
40
8
.920
2.68

Teams Played For

 Year
Age
Tm
Lg
Lev
Aff
1965
18
Decatur CommodoresMidwest LeagueASFG
1966
19
AIL GiantsArizona Instructional LeagueWRkSFG
1966
19
Fresno GiantsCalifornia LeagueASFG
1967
20
Waterbury GiantsEastern LeagueAASFG
1968
21
Fresno GiantsCalifornia LeagueASFG

-----------------------------------------------------

From Ken Liss - 1966 WHS

Subject: Bruce Hix passed away yesterday
Some of you might already know and some might not. Bruce had AlS. I've
known Jeff Trager since the 60's and knew he and Bruce were in the music
biz. I asked him to write a little about Bruce for a Westmoor/Daly City
Facebook page for all those people who only knew Bruce a little or
practically not at all. If anyone has any Bruce Hix stories I'd love to
hear them and pass them on to the Facebook group, if you're ok with it.

-----------------------------------------------------

From Jeff Trager

Thank you Kenny for the email. I knew Bruce in very special way. He really
was like a younger brother. Bigger, stronger, maybe not as quick, and
definitely couldn't jump as high as I could, we were attached at the hip in
many ways. Same high school, same passion for sports and music, and women.
Both stayed single and had a plethora of the same group of friends. I don't
know if you know this, but I got Bruce not only his first job in the record
business, but his second also. He later got my old job when I got fired
from Polygram. I taught him a lot of the ways I thought he should be as a
promotion man. He was a great student and turned out to be one of the best
promo guys I ever knew. He was tenacious. Every music artist and group
should have had Bruce promote their record. He actually took it personal
when radio station wouldn't play the records he thought were hits. We
traveled a lot. Hawaii, Mexico. It seemed everywhere I would go to run
away from a girl friend or lost my job, Bruce would show up. We shared a
suite at a house in Puerto Vallarta, and I think even shared a few
Senorita's too. We had a lot in common. Rascals to the bone, we ran hard,
and we ALWAYS seemed to have a great time. Playing volleyball against the
locals in Mexico, with our old friends Jerry Nunnemann and Rodger the
annoying Silver was an everyday event for Bruce and I. I remember that
Happy Rockefellers' Finnochio son, just loved Bruce and would spend
thousands of dollars on us at a local hot spot in Vallarta. He would say
"Brucie, you should join our team". Bruce, being a man's man,
diplomatically declined of course. Bruce had no fear. He even asked Liz
Taylor to dance right in front of Richard Burton at the City Dump Club
there. God, we had some great times. If I said I had almost a million
stories about our relationship and adventures, I might be close to being
right. He was quite frankly the most stubborn son of a bitch I ever met, God
love him. When Bruce felt he was right, look the hell out. I loved his
passion, I loved his laughter, I loved his zest for life. He was a unique
human being. he was one of a kind. I know he is in a better place now. I
am so blessed to have been able to see him on Thanksgiving. I know he told
me he didn't want to see anyone, but maybe the Good Lord had a plan for me
to just drop in on him. We talked about the old days, and we laughed, and
yes physically, it wasn't the Bruce I remembered, but it certainly was the
old crusty, opinionated, feisty friend that I will miss. Some day I will
write a book, and there will be a whole chapter about the "Stump" as I would
call him. "Hixie", you touched a lot of lives. That to me is a true essence
of what this man was all about. You know the son of bitch said to me when I
left him the other day. He said "You never could hit!" That was his
parting words. You know what? He was right. Not even the great Hix could
help me. Maybe I should put that on my tombstone. Jeff Trager could never
hit! So say, Bruce Hix

Jeff Trager

-----------------------------------------------------
From Ed Perry

Class of 64-Growing up in Westlake I played little league baseball for Les Richies 
Flying A. Our nemeses and the team we could never beat was from Broadmoor. 
Coached by Mr Hix and with two outstanding players his son Bruce and 
Gary Mendoza that team won every year. Some things just stick. 

Ed Perry

-----------------------------------------------------
From Paul Biancalana

That was a very sad email received this morning regarding Bruce. Allen Miller's email to you 
regarding Bruce was expressed perfectly for those of us who were not in Bruce's large inner 
circle. He was our "rock" and "foundation" during our high school years athletics. I grew up 
knowing Bruce playing little league baseball and playing sandlot ball during high school. After 
graduation, I was fortunate to meet Bruce in Arizona during the Giants spring training games. 
I was stationed in the Air Force in Az and the times I was able to meet and chat with Bruce 
was fun, he would leave me tickets in Phoenix and Tucson for the spring training games and 
it was thrilling to see our high school hero almost making it to the majors. I'm not sure what 
happened to his career after the 1968 season but that is the last time I saw Bruce. It 
definitely brings tears to my eyes knowing he is gone.

Paul Biancalana
-----------------------------------------------------
From Rob Van Tassell 
I just read the email about Bruce. I have a short story I want to include. I wasn't a part of 
Bruce's inner circle, but I really looked forward to game day to be a part of his magic. He was 
everything the others have already said. One event still sticks in my mind though. During one 
game (forgot which one), I was playing offensive guard, and he called for a pass play. As he
 dropped back to pass, two defensive players were charging him, trying for that big hit on the 
star quarterback. My side of the line was holding up well, so I had no one to block. I turned 
toward Bruce and saw he was going to get really creamed. Fortunately, he saw the two 
attackers, and he started to roll out to his left. I decided "No way Jose", so I charged towards 
the rushers and wiped them both out with one block. Bruce completed the pass, and life was
 good again. Bruce looked me right in the eye and said "Thank You." To this day, in my years 
of playing football and rugby, not one team leader or super star has ever said thank you for 
something I did during a game, and I had several major contributions to my teams. Bruce 
was a true leader. He was My Man. 
Rob Van Tassell
----------------------------------------------------- 
From Ron Johnson
As early as grammar school, Bruce and I were friends and rivals on the athletic field. 
It seemed we were always the two guys choosing up teams at lunchtime for baseball, 
football, basketball, or kickball. We started playing together in Cub Scout softball,
moved on to midget baseball (little league today), and eventually junior baseball (ages 
13-14). In 1960, our last year together before high school, Bruce's dad coached 
Bruce and me, along with Gary Mendoza, Al Contrares, and Ed Perry to 3 league
championships and 2 or 3 tournament championships. For our effort, Van Amburg 
of KGO TV, channel 7, recognized our team as the best team in Northern California.

As Freshmen, things changed. The Frosh/Soph team was a pretty good team. But I 
didn't get a chance to pitch a lot that year, as Coach Carr said he had to get our 
Sophomore pitchers ready to pitch at the varsity level the next year. As a result, we 
ended up losing a lot of games 11-9, or 13-10. In the last game of the year, Coach 
Carr finally let me start against Capuchino, a team that was 13-0, and had already 
clinched the league championship. In the bottom of the 7th, we were leading 3-0. 
With 2 outs, I gave up a single, and on the first pitch to the next hitter, the base runner 
steals second. On the next pitch, Bruce, who is playing shortstop, calls for a pick off. I 
turn and fire a strike to Bruce and we get the 3rd out. Only, the runner, sliding back into
second, spikes Bruce in the left hand and the ball rolls away.......the runner is safe. After 
attending to Bruce's cuts, Bruce calls for a second pickoff attempt. This time we get the 
runner and the game is over. In the post game celebration, Bruce and I shook hands, 
and Bruce said "This is the way the whole year should have been."

That was the last game of baseball Bruce and I played together. The next year, Bruce 
moved up to Varsity and I had a major falling out with Coach Carr and moved on to 
play golf. As competitive and cocky as Bruce was, I always found Bruce supportive,
with an ability to recognize the contribution of others.
Thanks to Dave Sholin, I was able to visit Bruce early in 2012. As you would expect, 
we talked a lot about sports and the old days. I began to realize that he too cherished 
those early years when we were learning to be "jocks". This really hit home when, as 
I was getting ready to leave, he gave to me several pictures and press clippings from 
our early baseball years. I will cherish them for as long as I live.

Ron Johnson

----------------------------------------------------
From Larry Siegel


Of course Bruce was just a remarkable athlete.
I remember he came down to the track & in
Heavy sweats easily cleared the high jump
bar.... But more memorable was he was just
a good human....

Sad day for all of us

Larry Siegel

----------------------------------------------------

For those of you that didn't see the Broadmoor Facebook page: Pam, Bruce's sister, released his ashes on Dec.28th at Lake Merced with his dog Sadie. It was at the site where his brother Bill's ashes were released earlier. The day was glorious and the sun shined on the spot the whole time. Bruce is now free of pain and can run, hit, throw and make baskets as we remember him in the old days!
 
Charlotte Bond
char.bond@aol.com

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