Sometimes the most matter-of-fact individuals are in truth, the most remarkable. Such is the case with Dick ‘Hux’ Huxtable. The resident of Eastcastle Place retirement community casually rattles off snippets of what he’s done in his almost 90 years including his 40+ year coaching and teaching career, his brief cameo appearance in a major film and his stint as the author of children’s books…to name only a few.
Hux is well known and much beloved for his long prestigious career at Nicolet High School in Glendale, where he was a math teacher and a coach of track and field and baseball. Considered to be one of Nicolet’s most successful coaches, he took his teams to many conference championships. In 1983, he was inducted into the Wisconsin High School Association Hall of Fame, and in 2011 into Nicolet’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
When Hux was newly retired from Nicolet in 1989 he recalled, “My wife Lavona sent me out of the house so I went to Milwaukee County Stadium where they were filming Major League. When I was about ready to leave, they got on a megaphone and asked everyone in the stands to huddle together at third base to look like a crowd. Then, someone asked me if I could act as the third base coach. I’d been doing that professionally for almost 40 years, so I said ‘sure.’ Apparently, the person who’d auditioned for the part hadn’t shown up. If you watch the movie and put it on pause, you’ll see me. It was a thrill!” he said.
Not happy with all the free time on his hands in the wake of his retirement, Hux worked part- time at Mequon Golf Course and also taught a math class at UWM.
“Another thing that happened after I retired,” he said, “is that I was introduced to a senior softball league on the south side of Milwaukee. I played on that for ten years, all of which were a real joy. We traveled all over the country. We had a good team with good people. It was a lot of fun. In 1997, we went to the Senior Olympic Nationals in Tucson and we ended up winning the gold!”
One of Hux’s daughters recently published two stories that he had told his kids and grandkid when they were little. “She had me record them, had them illustrated, and then surprised me with printed copies,” he said. “They’re called Fredrico the Dinosaur and Tom the Little Leaguer. They‘re sold on Amazon. That’s really been fun.”
Hux admits that he and his wife visited retirement communities as prospective residents for years before moving to Eastcastle Place. “It was a lot of fun to see the different places and all they had to offer. We were living at Porticos apartments in Fox Point and really liked it and had pretty much decided we weren’t going to move anywhere. That changed about five years ago though when we heard a woman talking about not wanting her kids to ever have to take care of her the way she herself had to take care of her own parents as they aged. That stuck. We decided that maybe we really should think about moving to a retirement community,” Hux said adding that Eastcastle Place was an easy decision. “The location is great; the people here are wonderful. They showed us an apartment that was just perfect and it just felt right. It’s warm and beautiful and very personal. It’s been a really good move. We’ve loved it. There’s always something to do but you don’t have to if you don’t want to,” he said.
Hux’s own personal preference is to stay busy. “This morning, I went to exercise class and then lifted weights for 30 minutes. I then swam for half an hour, and had lunch,” he said. Hux is also active in Eastcastle Place’s writers club and is composing his memoir.
When asked to describe himself, Hux said “I’m an extrovert. I love people.” The sentiment is apparently mutual as he is well known and loved at Eastcastle Place and still hears from his students from as many as 40 years ago. “I hope that I inspired them with my positive attitude,” he said.
Eastcastle Place is a Life Plan Community located on Milwaukee’s vibrant East Side. Eastcastle Place offers independent living, promoting an active and engaging lifestyle for seniors. The Health Center at Eastcastle Place offers assisted living, memory support, rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, thus providing complete continuing care for seniors. Eastcastle Place is managed by Life Care Services®. For additional information call 414-219-1398 or visit www.EastcastlePlace.com.