Biddie Hileman

Every year around Christmas time, the ladies of the Port O’Connor Service Club go all out to present a holiday-themed luncheon as a gift to the senior citizens of the area. And for the past several years, they have used the occasion to honor those in the Port O’Connor community who they recognize as embodying the quality of “service”. This year the Club chose to honor Biddie Hileman and Robbie Hawes.

Like many residents of Port O’Connor, Biddie and her husband Marvin, moved here for the fishing. They previously resided in Cuero, but found they were spending so much time in Port O’Connor, they decided to relocate and build their home here. That was more than 20 years ago and they have never regretted it. “I love it here,” Biddie said. “I wouldn’t live anywhere else. There are a lot of good people here.”

It wasn’t long after settling in their new house that Biddie joined the Service Club. She has always taken an active part, including many years as chairman of the Club’s twice-yearly garage sales. “Everyone works with the garage sale, but it was my job to decide who did what and when, acquire all the needed supplies, make sure the sale is advertised well in advance, and find some one or some group to remove the leftover unsold goods from the sale,” she explained. Additionally, Biddie and Marvin accepted lots of donated goods and stored them in their shed until sale time.

Biddie also served as chairman of the Pecan sales, taking orders, picking up the nuts in Sequin and bagging and selling them, a job that is now in the capable hands of Club member, Sally Jones.

Although Biddie no longer chairs the garage sale or pecan sale, she is still the “go-to gal” when it comes to baking. There aren’t too many folks around here who haven’t tasted her famous cocoanut cakes. Biddie has baked for weeks at a time, freezing the cakes to be ready for the next bake sale or benefit. Her cakes have even been auctioned at the Children’s Hospital in Houston. This reporter remembers one local benefit where a cake baked by Biddie sold for $800.

Although she has slowed down a bit, this mother of three, grandmother/great grandmother of 20, still enjoys being a part of the Port O’Connor Service Club and a part of the Port O’Connor community. “I first thought I would be bored living here,” she said, “but there’s never a dull moment.”

Robbie Hawes

Port O’Connor native, Robbie Hawes, the Club’s other Citizen of the Year, doesn’t sit still long enough to be bored, either. The plaque he received says it all: “Thank you for always being available when needed and the many unselfish hours that you have given back to the Port O’Connor community.” Many of those hours were spent hauling garage sale items and doing other heavy lifting for the Club. His most visible contribution perhaps are the rows of American flags that he has been in charge of placing between the Community Center and Highway 1289 each year for Warrior’s Weekend. Precisely spacing the flags is a job Robbie takes pride in. Expressing his disdain for anyone who steals a flag, (Can you believe anyone would do such a thing?), he is quick to put the flag line back in order to greet our wounded heroes.

The owner, with his wife Marie, of Boat House Bait, he has also been generous in donating bait and ice for community events and for excellent product and service for his customers. Robbie, the father of three sons, has been a Port O’Connor shrimper for 46 years. His nickname among shrimper buddies is “Mr. Clean”. You may have seen Robbie dressed as his namesake winning the Halloween costume contest in October, much to the delight of his six grandchildren.

Leaving his Port O’Connor home only long enough to serve in the military, Robbie quickly returned. “There’s no place like home,” he says.

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