U.S. bankruptcy judge Mixon, 72, dies in his LR home

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge James G. Mixon died in his home early Monday, according to a Little Rock police report.

Mixon, 72, was found unresponsive by his wife,Robbie Mixon, 59, when she went to check on him Monday morning after getting up to use the bathroom, according to the report. The couple had been sleeping in separate rooms because James Mixon had bronchitis and said he didn’t want to “keep her upall night,” the report states.

Mixon was taking 10 medications for high blood pressure and diabetes and had just started medication for bronchitis, police said, adding that he had a blood disease.

Authorities were called to the Mixons’ Shenandoah Valley Drive home just after 4:45 a.m., and Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services workers attempted to resuscitate Mixon.

He was pronounced dead at 5:53 a.m., according to the Pulaski County coroner’s office. His body was taken to the state Crime Laboratory for an autopsy.

Officers did not see signs of criminal activity or foul play, police said.

Mixon was appointed to U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern and Western districts of Arkansas on March 24, 1984, and served as its chief judge from Feb. 1, 1993, to Dec. 31, 2002.

The Helena native graduated from the University of Central Arkansas before attending the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, according to The Daily Record, a legal newspaper. He graduated from law school in May 1968 and then served two years in the U.S. Navy, the Record states.

On Aug. 15, 1968, he was admitted to the state bar to practice law.

Between then and his judicial appointment, Mixon held various jobs, including a one-year stint as a law clerk to an Arkansas Supreme Court justice and a nearly four-year stint as an assistant U.S. attorney, according to his biography on the website of the W.H.Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

He also worked in private practice for Little, McCollum and Mixon in Bentonville. Right before his judicial appointment, Mixon was appointed to be a Chapter 7 Panel trustee, an administrative arm of bankruptcy, for four years.

As a judge, Mixon was a mentor and a friend to all on the bench, said Chief Bankruptcy Judge Rick Taylor.

“I think if you had to look at Jim Mixon’s legacy, he was an extremely kind man that tried to impress upon all of us that this was something that was important, that needed to be done with care and thoughtful consideration, with a very balanced attitude and complete honesty,” he said.

“I think that’s what he tried to do, and I think that’s what he tried to demonstrate to all of us by example.”

Mixon retired from his position in 2006, but was almost immediately recalled to help relieve heavy caseloads, Taylor said.

“It was recently extended to the end of 2015,” he said. “We were really looking forward to him being here this year and next.

Arkansas, Pages 9 on 03/11/2014