Kenneth Kirk Hicks, Jr.

June 8, 1924 - February 9, 2022

Kenneth Kirk Hicks, Jr., age 97, of Cape Coral, Florida, formerly of East Grand Rapids, Michigan, passed away in the presence of his daughter Robin Lommel, at Coral Trace Healthcare, on February 9, 2022. He is survived by his son, Robert Hicks (Deborah Dantuma), daughters Robin Lommel and Stacy (Anthony) Mosel. He is further survived by seven Grandchildren, eight Great-Grandchildren, and sister-in-law, Lee Hicks.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Hazel Hicks; his wife of 67 years, Virginia Hicks in 2014; his brother, Albert and Jan Hicks, brother, Robert Hicks; and son-in-law, John Lommel. After graduating from East Grand Rapids High School in 1942, Ken enrolled at Michigan State University summer school. In the fall, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corp., graduating in the class of 43-C as a heavy bomber pilot with the rank of 2nd Lt. He served in the 8th Air Force out of Rattlesden Air Force Station, England, flying a B-17G bomber successfully completing a tour of 35 missions. He was then reassigned a new crew, but only flew one more mission before WWII ended. It is quite possible that he was the youngest person at age 20, to obtain the full rank of Captain. Ken returned home after the war to join his family business, Dean-Hicks Printing Co, until sold in 1967. He then moved to Ann Arbor, joining Litho-crafters, Inc. In 1978, Ken and Virginia returned to East Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1979, Ken partnered with his son, Robert, to form R and R Sales and Engineering Co. In 1982, he assisted the beginnings of Circa Gallery, an antique business in East Grand Rapids started by his wife Virginia, and her sister Marge Busch. He devoted his entire life to taking pictures of his family and their celebrations, be holidays, birthdays, graduations or weddings. Ken was an avid

follower of economic conditions, and employed his beliefs as a day trader in the markets. His entire extended family appreciate his teaching lessons that continue on to this day and beyond. Ken was the last surviving member of histen-man B-17G crew, as well as his High School class of 1942. His family used to kid him by saying, “Pop, isn’t this how it’s supposed to be? The Captain is always the last man off the ship! 

No formal services are planned at this time.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.

Guestbook

  1. Robert Hicks Feb 13, 2022 at 12:21 pm

    Well, Pop, it looks like the angel on your shoulder decided it was time to call you home to the Lord. It is with sadness I’ll never be able to speak to you daily about the market, or the family. Thanks for all you did during your lifetime to enrich others. Your lessons shared have meant so much to your family. We love you so much. Your appreciative son, Robert.

  2. Lee hicks Feb 13, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    Ken was surely one of a kind in every way. He did love to share his thoughts and did so with all who would listen. And, those who listened usually learned something. Someone said to me ” now the boys are together ” and that made my heart happy. Fly high Ken.

  3. Greg Hicks Feb 14, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    To My Beloved Grandfather,

    I carry so many great memories of you and the many good times we have shared.

    You taught me, and all of us, so many worthwhile lessons in life such as frugality in saving money, growing money as in earning interest, how to pick out a life partner (which you said straight-faced but was the material of a stand-up comedian), aiming for the middle of the road and not being tempted to go to the extremes, etc.

    I reminisce on our earlier days of going to auctions with you and Grandma, building model airplanes and working on other school projects in your basement, taking us to banks to compare interest rates on savings accounts and CDs, bartering with the TV sales representative at Fredder’s appliance store, etc.

    Today marks the 26th-year anniversary when I left Grand Rapids for San Francisco on a one way plane ticket in which you drove me to the airport that day to see me off. We’ll always have that memory.

    What a blessing to have overlapped so many years (we are ~50 years difference in age) and to have had you here to guide me, and all of us, through so many different chapters of life.

    I’m so proud to tell people of your accomplishments in serving in the air force during WWII.

    I will miss our talks.

    No disrespect to those I have loved and lost before you, but your passing has affected me in a way that has taken some little part of me with you. The world is no longer the same for me without you. Of course, I shall carry on. That is what we all must do.

    I love you, Grandpa.

    Until we meet again, your loving grandson,
    Greg

  4. Rob Hicks Feb 14, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    Grandpa, final mission complete, and congrats on a successful tour of duty! Job well done. You meant the world to your family. Your grandchildren will never forget the pearls of wisdom you imparted on us from your proverbial podium. We are so lucky to have you as long we did, but now it’s time to be with grandma, your brothers, and your parents. We love you!

  5. Rebecca Elles Feb 15, 2022 at 9:57 am

    Sadly, the very end of the greatest generation in our family. I remember so many great family get togethers on holidays when we all had so much fun. My thoughts are with the Hicks family at this time. So hard to see a parent go.

  6. Andy Hicks Feb 22, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    Grandpa, one thing you taught us was to never take yourself too seriously. We all got to witness firsthand a balanced person that always had his eyes set on his goals, but also never forgot to laugh along the way and treat people with respect. We will all miss the countless stories, the advice, and the friendship and love you provided to this family. No doubt the circumstances and situations we will all face going forward will be met with a reassuring, “What would Grandpa or Dad or Ken have done?”. We thank you for that eternal guiding light – with exception to your love for vans/minivans. That ain’t happening!

    Love, Andy

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