By Lanier Laney
I was fortunate to have firsthand experience of Steve Mix’s kind heart by watching him in an emergency medical situation. He’s truly a Good Samaritan, and he and his wife Vicki have been great contributors to what is “Best about Beaufort.” It was an honor for me to do this interview.
What do you do in Beaufort?
Steve Mix works part time at Beaufort Memorial Hospital in the Rehabilitation Services Department, and also manages several real estate properties downtown.
Where were you born and raised?
“I was born in Chicago, but raised in Beverly, Mass.; Charlotte, NC; and even the small town of Bethune, SC. My wife and I lived in Rocky Mount, NC, before moving to Beaufort 21 years ago.”
Who are your parents?
“My parents are Joe and Lin Mix. Many people know my dad as he owned and worked at Island Outfitters on Lady’s Island. Many locals enjoyed coming to the store to buy hunting and fishing supplies, or just stopping in to talk about such. My mom could be found playing tennis down on the city courts while dad operated the store!”
Where did you go to school?
“I went to Duke University (Go Devils!) and graduated in 1980. My wife, Vicki, is a graduate of UNC-Wilmington.”
Where did you meet your wife?
“I have been very happily married since 1983 to the former Vicki Landing of Rocky Mount, NC. We met at an apartment complex, two doors from each other, when she was teaching school and I was working for Planters National Bank.
My wife is currently not teaching, but is a teacher and media specialist and has taught Pre-K though the eighth grades.”
What made you decide to move to Beaufort?
“My parents moved here in 1976. I was entering college, so I never officially lived here until my wife and I moved here in 1993.”
Do you have any children?
“We have three children. Our oldest, Caroline, is married and practices law in Washington, DC. Our middle daughter, Gracyn, lives in NYC and is an actress. Our youngest is Austin Mix, a senior at Beaufort High School. All the children enjoyed growing up here in Beaufort and the two oldest come back as often as they can to visit.”
What other businesses have you worked for?
Steve ran the Beaufort Butterfly Shop downtown for more than 17 years. He said, “I enjoyed all the locals and tourists who would stop by the shop. I have collected butterflies and moths since I was a young child, and although I don’t collect much anymore, I still speak to garden clubs and school groups on occasion about my hobby, and I remain a member of the Southern Lepidopterists Society.”
What led to your current occupation?
“Several years ago I decided it was time to close the Butterfly Shop. I have always enjoyed working with people and helping people out when I could. I decided to try out something new. I got my EMT license and found I enjoyed working with people with medical needs. I was fortunate enough that this has lead me to be currently working with the rehab department at Beaufort Memorial Hospital.”
What do you like about your job and area of work?
“I have always enjoyed working with people. I like making people laugh and feel good about life.
Beaufort Memorial Hospital provides quality health care with a heavy dose of smiles. Many of our patients come back just to visit and some even bring food!”
How would you describe your spouse?
“Vicki is the rock of our family. She makes sure the kids work to their potential and has tried to teach them to think about people other than themselves. She is very involved with family and friends, and is quick with a laugh or a sympathetic ear. Vicki is a leader too, and very good with children in the classroom. Students remember her teachings and personality through the years, often stopping her around town to catch her up on their lives.”
How would your spouse describe you?
Says his wife Vicki, “Steve is a wonderful person and lots of fun! He is well known in the community due to his fun-loving nature and his ability to wash dishes! He had a job in college as a dining hall dishwasher, and ever since then, he has washed the dishes at home and many a dinner party, too. We always laugh that we get invited to dinner parties due to his expertise at dish washing!
He is also a great father and has been very involved in the children’s lives. When the girls were young, he started the father/daughter club “The Indian Princess’” through the YMCA. Steve’s Indian name was Chief Royal Walnut (after the Royal Walnut moth) but all the club members just called him ‘Chief Nut’ — he always liked that! If you need a smile or a favor, Steve is there to help you out. He is a great husband, father and friend.”
What do you like most about Beaufortonians?
“I think Beaufort is a very friendly place. I find that people living here are very accepting of newcomers.”
What is one of your favorite hobbies?
“Butterfly collecting! In the warmer months our house has Tupperware containers full of caterpillars munching on leaves.” (Now that is a new use for old Tupperware!)
What charities or nonprofit organizations are you involved with?
“I have been involved in leadership roles in the Boys & Girls Club, the YMCA, the Sea Island Rotary Club, AMIkids Beaufort, and First Presbyterian Church. My wife is a past board member with the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation, and we have been actively involved with the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Valentine Ball, co-chairing and hosting dinner parties, and well as dancing on the dance floor each year!”
What are your favorite sports?
“I enjoy watching all sports, especially Duke basketball, and, as of this year, Duke football, too!”
Vicki and Steve Mix are honorary chairs of this year’s Duke Symphony Orchestra Fundraiser, which will be held Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m. at USCB Center for the Arts. Proceeds will support BMH’s Healing Arts Program at the Keyserling Cancer Center and the main hospital. General admission tickets are $35. To purchase tickets, visit www.bmhsc.org or call 843-522-5774.