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The Villages
Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Ralph Thomas Bixler

Ralph Thomas Bixler
Ralph Thomas Bixler

Ralph Thomas Bixler, aged 90, of Wildwood, Florida, formerly of Holland, Ohio, passed away peacefully at home on July 3, 2024. Born on August 6, 1933, in Toledo, Ohio, he was the son of the late Joseph and Nettie (Lambert) Bixler. Tom was preceded in death by his sisters, Helen Bixler, Eleanor (Bixler) McQuade and Mary (Bixler) Liggett, and son, Donald Andrew Bixler.

Tom served honorably in the US Navy from 1952 to 1956, during which time he was stationed on the USS Lake Champlain. After his military service, he began a long career at Libbey-Owens-Ford (now Pilkington) as a mold-maker, retiring in 1995 after nearly four decades. He was a proud member of the United Steel Workers Union, Local 9. Additionally, he drove a concrete truck for Nicholson Concrete for over a decade to supplementally support his large family.

Tom married his beloved wife, Joanne Carol (Keisser), and together they shared 67 years of marriage. He is survived by Joanne, daughter Carol Ann Speaks, sons: Thomas Allen (Shannon), Timothy Albert (Lisa Omlor), Charles Arthur (Martha McCollum), and Dennis Adam (Phyllis Smith), daughter-in-law Roxanne (Mallory) Bixler, 15 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and his faithful pup, Taffy. Tom also leaves behind many nieces and nephews, friends, and past and present honorary family members.

An avid “joiner,” Tom introduced his children and grandchildren to a variety of activities that became lifelong passions, including camping, scuba diving, motorcycle journeys, and DisneyWorld vacations. When Tom and Joanne joined clubs, they jumped in with both feet and it quickly became a massive part of their life. One way Tom will live through his grandchildren and great-grandchildren is via the beautiful legacy to enjoy life fully and completely which he instilled in his family thanks to the lifelong passions provided to his six children. Over the years he also enjoyed hobbies such as boats, barbershop quartet, auto mechanics, fishing, and attending car shows, particularly those featuring 56 Dodges. One of Tom’s proudest accomplishments beyond his family was an independent movie production in which he made his acting debut and co-starred with one of his cars.

Tom was a devout parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes in Holland, Ohio and volunteered in their Hospitality Kitchen with his friend, Frank Przepiora before retiring to Florida. Known for his friendly demeanor within his retirement community, Tom never met a stranger and cherished his daily chats with neighbors.

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