Robert Ashley Hicks

Robert Ashley Hicks passed away peacefully on October 9, 2021, at 8:30 pm, in Cape Coral, Florida, after an admirable and long battle with cancer.  He was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on April 8, 1949, the son of Arthur and Mary Jane (Hayes) Hicks.  He leaves his wife Carol A. Avard-Hicks of Cape Coral, Florida, his sister Christina (Hicks) Edgar, Phoebe (Hicks) Hickin (predeceased), his brother-in-law Clement B. Edgar, II, and several nieces and nephews, including Timothy H. Edgar, James H. Edgar, Clement B. Edgar, III, Benjamin C. Hickin, and Laura E. (Hickin) Babineau.    He received a BA degree, cum laude, from Harvard University in 1971, and studied lizards in Jamaica with R.L. Trivers.   Their work was published as:  The Social Behavior of Anolis Valencienni, R. A. Hicks, R. L. Trivers, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.  He followed the evolutionary biology from Irven Devore, Robert Trivers and Ernest E. Williams. In 1989, Robert and his wife, Carol A. Avard-Hicks, moved from Ipswich, Massachusetts to Cape Coral, where he served as the business & IT manager of Avard Law Offices, P.A.

Robert found spirituality in hiking trails, especially in Utah and Sequoia Nat’l Park, and in music.  He liked it all, from Punjabi music to Gregorian chants; from the Classics to Opera and Rock.  He was a director of Classic Chamber Concerts in Naples, Fl.; past director, trustee, and treasurer of the SW Florida Symphony in Ft. Myers; past director of the ArtsNaples, World Festival; Director of Stay In May Arts Festival, Naples; a supporter of The Bower School of Music, Gulf Coast University, Ft. Myers; and, Director of Grand Piano Series in Naples.  He had fun filming and photographing performances given by these organizations.    

Robert was Director of the Harvard Alumni Association of SW Florida; President of the Harvard Club of Lee County; Board Member of the Schools Committee for the Harvard Club; and Director of the Cape Coral Municipal Charter School Foundation. 

Memorial Service will be held from 12:30 PM – 5:00 PM Sunday, November 7, 2021 at Rotary Park, 5505 Rose Garden Road, Cape Coral, FL 33914.

Memorial contributions in memory of Robert A. Hicks, may be made to a charity of your choice.

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


  1. Craig Polhemus Oct 12, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    So sorry to hear about Robert. He was a special person, and a fighter.

  2. Debbie Wainey Oct 12, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Robert was a kind, interesting and intelligent man. His presence in the office will be sorely missed. I imagine his influence will live on for many years to come through the lives of those he has touched throughout his lifetime.

  3. Michael Sexton Oct 12, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Getting to know Robert was a pleasure. He was a unique guy with a generous heart and we are all going to miss him a lot.

  4. Haley Oct 12, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Robert was a very generous person who always wanted to see the best in everyone. He will be missed by so many people and I am very grateful that our paths crossed.

  5. Tina (Hicks) Edgar Oct 12, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    My brother, Robert, was the most dynamic, interesting, and unforgettable person I ever knew. He was also unpredictability frustrating. I will miss him terribly.

    Thank you Carol, for your tender and loving care and massive amounts of research on his illness.

  6. Mary-Jo Strong Oct 12, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Rest in peace, Robert. You will be missed.

  7. Anik Avard Oct 12, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    We loved our visits with Uncle Robert and Aunt Carol. He was an entertaining storyteller and wildly enthusiastic about his grand niece and nephews. Robert will truly be missed and we hope he is at peace. He was so strong and fought until the end. All our love, Anik, Livian, & Samuel

  8. Carla Avard Oct 12, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    Robert: A lover of the arts, music, and nature; may he rest In peace. Sending you love Carol. Love, Carla & Dick

  9. Susan Polhemus Oct 12, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Robert was very special and kind. I wish I had the right words, just know I care.

  10. AJ & Kayla Oct 12, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    Our deepest condolences. We enjoyed getting to know Robert over the past 5 years. He will be missed.

  11. Susie K Oct 13, 2021 at 11:30 am

    I’m so sorry Carol. He did so much for us. I hope there will be a way to include musicians in his memorial service.

  12. Danut and Erica Muresan Oct 13, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Dear Carol, I’m so sorry to hear about Robert passing! Both you and him have been such a positive influence for me and I will always be grateful for all your help and guidance throughout the years. Without you guys, I would have never met my beautiful wife, Erica. Not only you hired us both, but you guys also hired and sponsored and helped countless musicians and artists, and we are all very grateful for your generosity.

    I will fondly remember Robert as one of the wisest, most thoughtful and altruistic person I met. Seeing you and Robert at hundreds of our concerts in the past 20+ years was always a pleasure. In fact, the first time I met you guys was at your house, when you generously opened your doors to host a handful of musicians. I remember being fascinated by the boat you guys had, and the beautiful water in the backyard, and Robert promptly offered to take us on a boat ride. On another occasion, you and Robert gave us a ride from Naples after a concert, and I will never forget Robert’s impassioned rant about fish, how sometimes at restaurants they put all kinds of butter and herbs and many other “sacrilegious” spices, when all it is needed is salt and pepper. 🙂

    Erica and I are thinking of you during these difficult times and wish you all the best! We will miss Robert!

  13. C. Avard Oct 13, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    Really wish I got a chance to say good-bye to a great uncle who gave so much to all of us. He was a consummate storyteller. Every time we’d go down to Cape Coral, he’d always talk about going to OzzFest, LOL. He really did like all music … and he was “so” generous

    So much to say, so hard to get the words out. Really miss Robert already.

    Christian, Forrester, and Hayden Avard

  14. Waneta Truckey Oct 13, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    Robert was a generous, compassionate person. He was always so kind and considerate when we visited Florida. I will always be very grateful for his help with Joe on their African trip. In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Death ends a life; Not A Relationship.”

  15. Dina Fanora & family Oct 13, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss Carol. Robert will will always be remembered for the special man he was. He always went above & beyond for everyone. Anyone that crossed his path was better for knowing him. My condolences to all.

  16. joyce leigh bowden Oct 13, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Robert will surely be missed by all whose paths he crossed. With his wit and kindness he made the world more alive.

  17. Jeanie S Oct 14, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    It is difficult to loose someone you love and I hope you find comfort in knowing that Robert is no longer suffering. My deepest condolences.

  18. Craig Perrin Oct 14, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Carol, I will truly miss Robert. Though I spent time with him on only three or four occasions, I considered him my friend.

  19. James Edgar Oct 14, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    Uncle Robert made quite an impression on my young mind. I will never forget his devotion to music and musicians, his wide ranging intellectual interests and unconventional approach to his own life. His focus was so intense that when you were talking to him about anything, you felt like you were the most important person in the world to him and that conversation was all that mattered. And for that moment, you probably were, and it probably was.

  20. Diane turner Oct 14, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    Oh no …. oh wow I’m
    So sorry … we enjoyed him so much on this farm … I don’t even know what to say .. we really loved him … what a guy ….

  21. Bernadette McNee Oct 15, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    You have my deepest sympathies. You both fought a long hard battle. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  22. Patty Noble Oct 15, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    I remember him well. Lots of wonderful summers in Bethany Beach.

  23. Robin Huffer Oct 15, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Robert was my mentor and our advocate. I loved him and will miss his presence very very much. I will never forget you!

  24. Carmen Russo Oct 17, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    My heart hurts right now. I’m feeling serious guilt about not seeing either of you for a long time and now Robert is gone. Lots of love to you, Carol.

  25. karen nixon Oct 18, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    A kind and generous man. So sorry to hear of his passing.

  26. Sara Lewis Oct 18, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Carol – Jim just forwarded me the news about Robert. One of my fondest memories is hanging out with Robert, talking politics, while you played the piano or were busy making an insane pre-concert feast. He was such a unique, generous, funny and intelligent human being. Deepest sympathies to you and his loved ones. I am so sorry for your loss.

  27. Robbin Sandlin Oct 20, 2021 at 7:42 am

    I am so sorry to hear of Robert’s passing. I never really got to know him well, but the little I knew, he was really kind. I am so sorry, Carol, and my deepest condolences to you and your family.

  28. Emma and Ilya ZELDES Oct 21, 2021 at 8:34 am

    Rest in peace, Robert. We miss you.

  29. joan simon faulkner Oct 22, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    My deepest condolences to you Carol. It’s always tough even in the face of much suffering and illness. My condolences as well to Robert’s family and friends. Take care. Joan

  30. mike & Jackie Mendelsohn Oct 24, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    I write these words with tears in my eyes., and shocked to learn of Roberts passing- yet another of our desr friends. . For many years of involvement with Classic chamber concerts and on the past committee , it was always a joy to converse as well as.sharing his delightful company . We are shortly returning back to Naples from our home in England but with the sadness of our missing friend
    Mike and Jackie Mendelsohn

  31. Kristie Hornsby and family Oct 26, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Robert was truly a special, unique, and intelligent individual. Among all the years I got to know him, he was always patient and kind. I really enjoyed his presence within the office, as he always wanted to make sure that each and every employee was well taken care of. The impact he had in my life was truly a blessing. My condolence’s to his family members through this sad time, and just know that we all will miss him greatly.

  32. Bob Fisher Haverford 67 Oct 29, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    Robert was a memorable influence when we went to Haverford School during the 1960’s. I was fortunate to stay in touch going to Tufts and often saw him during the tumultuous late 60;s early 70;s in Cambridge Mass. His insights and wry observations were always appreciated, not that we always agreed. Meeting up at recent Haverford School reunions was always a highlight of the event. for me. My sympathy to his family. I know he leaves a vacuum . He was unique..

  33. Janet Quinn Oct 31, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    I had the pleasure of making Robert’s acquaintance many years ago at a noon gathering where we discussed my total lack of formal spirituality and he taught me, over the years, about true spirituality as it relates to altruism and humility. I knew nothing of his astute educational history, but why would I? He never mentioned it. He counted on me occasionally to help him help someone else. That’s all. I sure never knew about the lizards!
    He spoke so fondly of his family. He knew how lucky he was and was grateful for everyday. I was shocked today, to learn of his passing. I’ll miss him.
    Janet Quinn
    Ft Myers

  34. Raymond Boucher Nov 2, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    Our deepest condolences to our cousin Carol Avard and to the Hicks family on the news of Robert’s passing . Positive thoughts and prayers your way!

    George & Raymond Boucher

  35. Sally Denk Hoey Jan 4, 2022 at 12:31 am

    We were just talking about Robert in the Conestoga ’67 Zoom tonight.
    So very sad to learn that he has passed all too soon.
    He was in my kindergarten class at Strafford School and lived just a few doors up from us on Steeplechase Road in Devon, PA. My sister and I spent many a play day at the Hicks’ house. We lost track of him when he left Conestoga for Haverford but knew he had gone on to Harvard. My sister Pat baby-sat for his nephew “CB”.
    My sincerest sympathies to Carol and the Hicks families.
    Robert was energetic and always had a great attitude. So sad the world has lost his spirit and talent.

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