John Riley Hicks, 77, of Larwill, passed away at 11 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at his daughter’s home in Warsaw. He departed this life to be with the Lord and his beloved deceased wife, Wilma. Born Sept. 29, 1935, in Prestonburg, Ky., he was the oldest son of Ell and Allie (Shepard) Hicks.
He moved from Prestonburg in 1944 to Kosciusko County, and in 1971 he moved to his present home in Larwill. He graduated from Sidney High School with the Class of 1954. John served with the U.S. Army. On Oct. 29, 1954, he married his high school sweetheart Wilma Jean Albertson in Warsaw. He worked at General Electric for 25 years and Lockheed Martin for 5 years before retiring in 2000. He was a past volunteer fireman of the Claypool Fire Department. John was a farmer in his early years and his favorite hobby was bee keeping. He said it was there that he felt the closest to God, working with the Honey Bees and being one with nature. After John retired, it was a dream of his and his wife Wilma to have a snowbird home in Florida, so they bought a house and spent their winters there.
Surviving relatives include his son, Gene (Mariann) Hicks of Columbia City; daughters, Jenny (Leon) Warner and Katrina Reynolds, both of Warsaw; mother, Allie Hicks of Sebring, Fla.; brothers, Tom B. (Jewell) Hicks of Warsaw, William C.(Cora) Hicks of Sebring, Fla. and Jack M. (Joyce) Hicks of Pierceton; and sister, Dorothy Pyle of Sebring, Fla.
The pride and joy of John’s life were his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Two of John’s 12 grandchildren, John Michael (Tiffany) and Krystal Tennant, he helped raise. He played such a big part in raising them that they called him Dad with pride. John was so proud of that fact and them. The other 10 grandchildren are Riley Reynolds, Camryn Reynolds, Gena Hicks, Miriah Hicks, Kira Hicks, Becca (Mike) Timmrick, Michael (Kelly) Warner, Jacob Warner, Nicole (David) Taylor and Aaron (Angie) Hill. He was also survived by seven great-grandchildren, Nathan Tennant, Nikolas Tennant, Aubrie Timmrick, Abel Hicks, Brice Taylor, Syndney Taylor and Sean Hill; and friend Pat Costella.
He was preceded in death and welcomed into Heaven by his father, Ell; wife, Wilma Jean Hicks; daughter, Teresa Hicks and granddaughter, Kaylee Jo Hicks.
Visitation will be Friday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Dr., Columbia City. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home with Pastor Randall Brashear of Silver Lake officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery, Pierceton with graveside military rites conducted by the Whitley County Korean War Veteran’s Honor Guard. Memorial gifts may be given in Mr. Hicks’ memory to Kosciusko Home Care and Hospice. Please visit www.demoneygrimes.com  to send family condolences or sign the guest register book.