CHERRY VALLEY – William Aris Mixon Jr., 81, of Cherry Valley, a high-end retailer in New York City and hotelier in the Bahamas, passed away due to complications from a head injury on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, at Albany Medical Center.
Known familiarly as Aris Mixon, he was born on Jan. 27, 1939, in Cairo, Georgia.
An active, creative man, he attended Florida State University, where he performed trapeze acts with the FSU Circus.
Following graduation, he served in the Army and worked in his family feed and grain business in Cairo, Ga.
He moved to New York City in 1973 to attend Bloomingdale’s management training program. He later established two Upper West Side stores, Sherman & Mixon (1977 to 1983) and the exquisite Aris Mixon & Co. (1984 to 1997), where his beautiful window displays and unique gifts drew lines down the block at Amsterdam and 78th Street.
He owned and ran the lavishly appointed Rock House Hotel on Harbour Island in the Bahamas from 1989 to 1999, where he showcased his culinary skills and warm hospitality. He briefly reopened a seasonal Aris Mixon & Co. in Cherry Valley. A man with an impeccable work ethic, Aris worked at The Otesega in 2015-19.
Mr. Mixon is survived by his husband and life partner of 30 years, John T. Smith; sister, June MacIvor of Granville, Ohio; niece, Mary (Mike) Anderson of Thornville, Ohio; grandnephew, Mac Anderson of Los Angeles; and grandnieces, Kelly Anderson of Los Angles and Jenna Anderson of Irvine, Calif.
A celebration of his life is planned at 11 a.m. June 6, at Cherry Valley Artworks Theatre, Cherry Valley.
Donations in honor of Aris may be made to Human Rights Campaign Fund, 1640 Rhode Island Ave., Washington, DC, 20036 or Roddenbery Memorial Library, 320 N. Broad St., Cairo, GA 39828.
Condolences may be shared at www.ottmanfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements were entrusted to Ottman Funeral Home, Cherry Valley.