Marlene Hixenbaugh, 89, of Centralia passed away Sunday, March 14, 2021 at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia. She was born on July 24, 1931 the daughter of Laurel William and Hester Pearl (Alvis) Turner in Centralia at her grandmother’s house. Her second marriage was T.M. Pruett, the owner of T.M. Pruett Drilling Company, on March 6, 1955 in Metropolis, and he preceded her in death in 1966. She married Ron Hixenbaugh on April 19, 1968 in Centralia and he survives her in Centralia.
Along with her husband, Ron, survivors that will remember Marlene’s way of caring for her family and others include her beloved family, her son, Thomas William Pruett, wife Kim K of Centralia; cherished grandchildren, Thomas Edward Pruett of Centralia, Brian William Pruett of Centralia, April Kristine Treakle, husband Bradley of Granite City, Clayton James Pruett, wife Tiffany of Murfreesboro, TN, and Austin Lee Alan Pruett of Centralia and Amanda Kay Taylor of Aurora, MO; precious great-grandchildren, Abby, Julie, Thomas Jackson, Thomas Edward, Jr., Jonathan, Tallon, Corbin, Daphne, Chloe, Vance, Ellie, Haley, Logan, Taylor, and Nathaniel; sister, Jackie Nelms of Walnut Hill; and a host of nieces, nephews, and extended family.
Along with her second husband, T.M. Pruett, Marlene was preceded in death by both her parents, Laurel and Hester Turner; her son, Clay Pruett; daughter, Rachel Worley; grandchildren, Kennadie, and baby Pruett; and brother-in-law, Lewis Nelms.
Marlene was an active, faithful member of Hickory Street Christian Church and Calumet Street Church in Centralia and then continued membership at Little Grove Church. She was destined to be a part of the restaurant business and got her first taste of the joy of serving others working as a carhop in Florida. She was a loyal employee at Jim and Jan’s restaurant. She gathered all she learned while working in other restaurants and became a savvy business owner of her own restaurant when she bought what was previously called The Sheridon in Centralia and renamed it The Country Girl. The Country Girl was sold, and Marlene bought another restaurant and called it The Pantry, a Centralia landmark, where grateful customers enjoyed good food and conversation for 25 plus years, making it over 40 years in the restaurant business. Never one to let grass grow under her feet, Marlene also played an intricate role, as secretary, in the continued success of her husband’s oil business, as they worked side by side. She broke the glass ceiling once again when she became owner of PH Trucking, one of the first to have a woman as owner. Marlene and her husband, T.M. raised race- horses and had an amazing run with Talahan, their million-dollar purse winner. When she ever found a quiet moment, she was a whizz at crocheting and doing puzzles. She had a true green thumb, and everyone was thankful to enjoy the fresh tastes from her vegetable garden she raised every year. She also enjoyed antiquing and passed that passion down to other family members. Marlene loved to travel to beautiful destinations and make lasting memories. She had a childhood dream to be a movie star and see her face on the big screen. Marlene was generous to everyone and would give you the shirt off her back if you were in need, especially those less fortunate would get a complimentary meal at her restaurant. Known as MawMaw to her beautiful grandchildren, she shared her wisdom of life and spoiled them whenever she could. Marlene leaves behind a legacy of hard work, generosity, never giving up, and loving family with all your heart that each generation will benefit from. Marlene will be deeply missed and never forgotten.
Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia is privileged to be assisting the family of Marlene Hixenbaugh with arrangements. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at Hillcrest Memorial Park in rural Sandoval with John Willis officiating. A visitation time to offer condolences to the family will be held from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at the Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia, where those in attendance will be asked to wear a mask and the number of people in the funeral home at one time will be limited. Memorials may be made in Marlene’s honor to Little Grove Church and/or Calumet Street Christian Church. Online condolences and memories of Marlene may be shared with the family at www.maczfuneralhomes.com and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.
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