(Atlanta, GA, February 2, 2018) – In his groundbreaking book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell describes connectors as “people who link us up with the world. People with a special gift for bringing the world together.” Mrs. Eunice Mixon of Tifton, Georgia is such a connector, and next week, on February 8, the Georgia Council on Aging will honor her as the Distinguished Older Georgian for 2018. Both houses of the General Assembly will pass resolutions recognizing her contributions to the state and to South Georgia, and friends and family will join her for a reception in her honor at 2 p.m. in the capitol rotunda.
A life-long resident of Tift County, Miss Eunice, as she is called affectionally, was born to Robert and Carrie Lastinger and later married Albert Mixon. Together the couple started a farm where Miss Eunice was the top hand, cultivating the soil and feeding the farm workers. As technology replaced most of her efforts on the farm, Miss Eunice remembered her old ambition to teach. She started school at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and a few summers later had earned a master’s degree and a specialist in science education from the University of Georgia.
Mrs. Mixon’s first official foray into state politics came in 1974 when she became Tift County campaign chair for soon-to-be-Governor George Busbee. That’s when her experience feeding the farm hands really proved itself as she hosted dinner parties for large groups, either for fun or to get to know people from different parts of the state, a practice she continued for many years. Mrs. Mixon said her parents taught her one important lesson that has guided her life in politics – that intelligent, well meaning, loving people can disagree. A person is not "evil" just because they view things differently.” You don't vote against some body because they're an evil person,” she says. “You vote against somebody because in your opinion, their ideas are not as good as the others running."
Over the years Mrs. Mixon served on some 15 boards and commissions and volunteered for countless election campaigns for presidents, senators and governors, always with her trademark parasol. Among her many recognitions, she raised more than $25,000 for Alzheimer’s by dancing the waltz and was named one of 25 women for the 21st Century by the Georgia House (along with other distinguished Georgia women such as Coretta Scott King and Rosalyn Carter). She received the inaugural Eunice L. Mixon Award created by the State Bar of Georgia and was recognized as one of the 40 most influential South Georgians. Following the death of her husband in 1998, she spent 12 years working with the General Assembly as doorkeeper.
The Distinguished Older Georgian Award was created in January 2003 by the Georgia Council on Aging to honor a Georgian 80 years of age or older recognized as a role model for positive aging who has made significant contribution to society through occupational or volunteer efforts.
The Georgia Council on Aging (GCOA) was created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1977 to advise the governor, assembly, and state agencies on matters relating to Georgia’s seniors. Members of the 20-person council, drawn from every region of the state, also advocate for aging Georgians and their families and make recommendations to lawmakers and agencies on programs for seniors.