George Pixley died peacefully on July 17, 2023 at the age of 86.
George was born on March 29, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois while his mother was visiting her parents at the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. He grew up in Nicaragua, where his American Baptist missionary parents directed the Baptist Hospital in Managua.
In the fall of 1942 George’s father joined the U.S. Army and his mother and the three children (George, Robert, and Elsie) moved to Wheaton, Illinois. In August of 1945 George was baptized at First Baptist, Wheaton. From the fall of 1945 to 1955 the family lived mostly in Managua where George received his High School education at Colegio Bautista. After a year of study at Wheaton College in Illinois, George transferred to the University of Kalamazoo in Michigan, where he earned a B.A. in History.
While in Kalamazoo, George joined the First Baptist Church Choir, and it was there that he met Janyce Babcock. During the summer of 1957 Janyce went to Europe with The Experiment in International Living, and when she returned home, George was ready with a marriage proposal. They were married on June 14, 1958.
Chicago was home for five years while George was studying for his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biblical Studies at the University of Chicago. Janyce taught music at an elementary school and sang in the University of Chicago Choir. Their daughter Rebecca was born in 1959 and their son, Kevin was born in 1962. George and Janyce were involved with the Woodlawn Baptist Church, where they helped with the Sunday school, the Vacation Bible School, and the choirs. In 1963 George was ordained by the Woodlawn Baptist Church, Chicago Baptist Association.
In 1963 the Pixley family moved to Puerto Rico, where for 12 years George served as Professor of Old Testament at the Evangelical Seminary. Janyce studied music, took courses in Library Science, and gave piano, organ, and voice lessons. During this time in Puerto Rico, their son, Mark, was born in San Juan in 1967.
In 1975, the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (ABFMS), also known as American Baptist International Ministries, appointed the Pixleys for missionary service in Mexico. George served as professor and Dean at the Theological Seminary in Mexico City. Concern for the poor and the disenfranchised continued to be the core of George’s ministry, and he put great effort into working with indigenous churches and establishing educational and Bible study programs. Janyce worked as a librarian in the seminary library and was involved in educational work with children.
The Pixleys were assigned to Nicaragua in 1986 to serve at the Baptist Seminary in Managua. Aside from teaching biblical courses there, and in local universities and churches, George taught and led workshops in other Latin American countries. He served on the editorial boards for several theological journals and wrote several textbooks and award-winning commentaries on Exodus and Job. Janyce served in the seminary library. She remained active in her music ministry at the seminary, as well as at the First Baptist Church in Managua.
After a period of 27 years of committed service as missionaries for the Lord Jesus Christ, George and Janyce retired from the ABFMS on July 31, 2002 and settled at Pilgrim Place in Claremont, California. Both George and Janyce were members of the Executive Board of the First Baptist Church. They were both also involved in the activities of Pilgrim Place. George continued to write books and articles in Spanish and English. He was also involved with the Society of Biblical Literature.
George was preceded in death by his wife, Janyce, his parents, John and Phebe (Rice) Pixley, and his brother Robert Pixley.
He is survived by his children: Rebecca (Pixley) Adams (Larry), Kevin Pixley (Natalia Palacios), and Mark Pixley (Lisa Mehlmann); grandchildren: Monica Alegria, Cristina Adams, Daniel (Lissy Woodward), Stephanie, and Andy Pixley; Karla and Mark Tiessen Palacios; and great grandchildren: Noah and Lilly Pixley. George is also survived by his sister Elsie Cole and sister-in-law Gayle Pierce.
A Celebration of Life for George will be held at Decker Hall, Pilgrim Place, Claremont, California at 3pm on July 29th.
Those wishing to join virtually can connect via Zoom (link below). Messages can be sent to Rebecca (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Kevin (email@example.com) or Mark (Mark.Pixley@comcast.net) and will be read, time permitting, during the memorial.
Meeting ID: 845 4739 6486
Or dial on a phone: 1-669-900-6833 US (San Jose)
Zoom link for the memorial on July 29, 2023: