Joseph Hicks

Published 9:31 am Monday, September 9, 2013

GREENVILLE – Joseph E.M. Hicks, 92, died peacefully on Tuesday, September 4, 2013 at Cypress Glen Retirement Community, Greenville, N.C. where he and his wife of 70 years, Connie, have lived since 2001. A memorial service will be held at a later date at Cypress Glen.

Joe was born in 1921 in Franklinton and grew up there as the fourth of twelve children of Donald Cade and Mattie Irwin Magee Hicks. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two children, David Holland Hicks of Norfolk, VA, and Rebecca Hammond (Chip) of Charlotte; five grandchildren: Erin (David Twombley) of Durham, Emily (Brent Myers) of Hollywood, FL, David Hammond (Maureen) of Clayton, Mary Grace Hammond of Wilmington, and April Hicks of Sylva; five great-granddaughters; one brother, John Hicks of Murfreesboro; and one sister, Bettie (Ken) Pate of Ahoskie.

After serving as a U.S. Marine in WWII, Joe received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, and was a life-long Tar Heel fan. Following graduation, his first position was at Clayton High School from 1950-56 as assistant principal and coach of both boys and girls basketball and 6-man football. The 1952 football team won the state championship.

In 1956, Joe and Connie moved to Cullowhee where he accepted a position as teacher and coach at the McKee Laboratory School of Western Carolina College (now University). He was named three times as Coach of the Year for the Smoky Mountains Conference, and in 2000 was inducted into the Jackson County Sports Hall of Fame. He retired in 1983.

In 1991, Joe and Connie moved to Murfreesboro where several of his siblings were located in retirement. He and Connie were very active in community service and the Murfreesboro United Methodist Church while there until for health reasons they moved to Cypress Glen in 2001.

At Cypress Glen, Joe continued his long-time love of gardening. There is a plaque by the Cypress Glen garden gate acknowledging his many contributions to the beauty of the surroundings at Cypress Glen. Joe Hicks was respected and much loved by all who knew him.