Jill Hixon Harden passed away peacefully at home on May 22, 2021. Born in Perote, Alabama, to John Roy Hixon and Gertrude Mildred Green Hixon, Jill’s youth was filled with fun on the farm, school dances, cane squeezings at the Dykes farm, and local dances with Hank Williams, Sr. on guitar.
Jill graduated from Inverness High School in 1951, where she was valedictorian of her class. She married George L. “Bubba” Harden, III that summer. In just eight years, the two had six children, and their life together was roaring forward. Jill’s husband trained bird dogs and worked for the Maytag Family at Sedgefields Plantation. Jill’s natural cooking talent got refined and more experienced as the staff at Sedgefields Plantation called upon her to help with meals at the main house.
As time evolved, Jill’s expertise in the kitchen became unforgettable to all who knew her: her very well-fed children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, co-workers, friends, and neighbors. Anywhere Jill Harden showed up with a covered dish, people in the know served from her dish first. Jill’s determination got her a long way in life.
When the Union Springs Herald held a subscription drive, she made sure she sold the most subscriptions to the paper and won that new car for her family. In 1969 when her husband was offered a management position at Horseshoe Plantation in Tallahassee, Florida, Jill rose to the occasion to relocate her family and adapt to the change.
Her husband’s new job included handling payroll and bookkeeping, which he quickly handed off to his astute wife. Jill stepped in, took charge, and a lifelong career and love of bookkeeping was born.
For decades, Jill worked as a bookkeeper in the Tallahassee area, finally spending many years at the Tallahassee Leon Country Civic Center, where she retired as the Director of Finance. Jill is survived by four children: Mary Elizabeth Elsheimer of Ocala, Florida, Cathy Webster of Key West, Florida, David Harden (Tammy) of Monticello, Florida, and Millye Harden of Tallahassee, Florida; 11 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.
She is predeceased by her husband: George. L. “Bubba” Harden, III; daughter, Deborah Carol “Debbie” Harden; son, George L. “Lee” Harden, IV, and grandson, George L. “George” Harden V, and brother, Jack Hixon.
A celebration of life will be held June 16, 2021, 1:00 p.m. CST from Gray Funeral Home Chapel, Union Springs, Alabama with Rev. David Stewart officiating. The family will receive friends from 12:00 noon until service time.