Preston Bixby Hotchkis, 88, died Nov. 18 in Santa Barbara with his family, including his wife of 65 years, Maurine, by his side.

Hotchkis was born in Los Angeles on May 27, 1929. 

He received his B.S. from Cal (University of California, Berkeley) in 1951. He served as an officer in the Strategic Air Command and was assigned to Texas, Nebraska, New York and England, where he lived with Maurine.  He returned to Cal to earn his law degree from Boalt Hall, Class of `56.

Hotchkis practiced law for seven years before deciding to join the family business, becoming president and CEO of Bixby Ranch Company in 1964. He remained with the firm as chairman of the board until the company liquidated in 2007.

He contributed his time and/or support to Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch & Gardens, Elizabeth Bixby Janeway Foundation, Pacific Legal Foundation, Hoover Institution, Metropolitan Water District, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley Foundation and many more nonprofits.

Hotchkis is survived by his wife Maurine, son Brian, three grandsons Ryan Frisby (Christie), Remington Hotchkis (Jennifer), Cameron Hotchkis and three great-grandchildren.  A service is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 14 in Santa Barbara.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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