George Arthur Fix, son and grandson of Yuma County pioneers, died peacefully at his home in Wray early in the morning of February 6, 2014 at the age of 88. George was born to George Fix and Julia Shively Fix in Wray on November 28, 1925. He spent most of his childhood and youth on his parents’ farm north of Eckley, and graduated from Eckley High School in 1942. He joined the Army Air Corps at age 18, and served asa B-29 gunner in World War II. After a short stint at Colorado A & M, George returned to Yuma County, where he farmed near his parents’ home in the Pleasant Valley community. George married Betty Reed in 1947 and, together, they started their family. After Betty’s sudden death in 1957, George cared for their four children as a single parent. In June 1959, after a short courtship, George married Cleora Welp Witte, a young widow with four children of her own. Another child was added to this union. George and Cleora raised their nine children in Wray, where he resided until his death.
George was elected Yuma County Treasurer in 1958 and served in that capacity until 1970. He was elected President of the Colorado Association of County Treasurers in 1966. George and Cleora bought Yuma County Abstract Company in 1968; he acted as President of the company until his death. George loved title work and the title profession. He strived to do things the right way and developed exceptional expertise in his craft. His knowledge of Yuma County was unmatched, and he witnessed and embraced Yuma County’s abundant natural gas development. While active in the business he served as President of the Colorado Land Title Association in 1980-81, was named Title Person of the Year in 1983 and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the title industry. Wheat farming, however, remained his favorite occupation. He was always happy to escape from the office and drive a tractor south of Black Wolf Creek, watching the trucks drive by. George retired in 2012. In his later years, he loved playing cards and beating everyone at dominoes.
The community benefited from George’s many contributions. He was an active member of the Wray Lions Club, and was elected past District Governor and received the Melvin Jones Fellow award. George served on the Wray city council, and was co-founder and long-time officer of the Kitzmiller Grazing Association. He belonged to both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. George willingly expressed his strong political values and acted as Yuma County Democratic Party chairman for over 20 years. George contributed generously to many local projects, including the WRAC, Hospice of the Plains, Old Threshers, local child care centers, Baby Bear Hugs and the Wray Public Library expansion. The Wray Lions Amphitheater was a favorite project, and George (and his children) invested countless hours in building and maintaining the facility in the 1970’s and 80’s.
He was strong in his faith and faithfully led daily devotions at home. In his early adulthood, George was active in the Pleasant Valley Church. In 1959, George joined Calvary Lutheran Church in Wray, where he was an active member and held various offices. Family meals always began with George’s prayer special to the occasion.
Family history was a personal interest for George. He gathered church records from Illinois and Missouri, assembled family trees for his own and his wives’ families, visited cemeteries across the Midwest and arranged for necessary repairs to tombstones, and shared his information with any interested relative. For his 80th birthday, George presented the
Fix-Witte Family History book. His life story, “Been There, Done That,” was finished in 2012 (a copy is available at the Wray Public Library).
George was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Beverly Schafer, first wife Betty, daughter Amy Fix, granddaughters April and Jeneé Baucke, and sons-in-law Doug Anderson, David Seboldt and Richard Frihauf. He is survived by his wife of fifty-four years, Cleora Fix; eight children: Vikki Fix and husband Dean Spader of Vermillion, SD; Douglas Fix and wife Charlotte Lo of Portland, OR; Dixie Anderson, Margaret Fix Seboldt, James Witte and Shawn Hales, Curtis Fix and wife Julie, all of Wray; Nancy White and husband Alan, Jan Baucke and husband Dan, all of Yuma; 21 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and numerous nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Monday, February 10, 2014 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Wray. Burial was held at Grandview Cemetery in Wray.
Memorials may be made to the George A. Fix Memorial Fund ~ to be used for various Community Projects.
Spellman-Schmidt Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.