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John Hicks

John C. Hicks, Jr.

Tuesday, November 30th, 1948 - Monday, July 20th, 2020
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Obituary

November 30, 1948 – July 20, 2020 – John “Johnny” Clyde Hicks, Jr , 71, fought his last fire, losing the fight against COVID-19, and was called to his eternal home on Monday, July 20, 2020, at Lewis Gale Medical Center. Born on November 30, 1948, in Richlands, VA, Johnny was raised and reared in a loving home by the late Raymond and Nell Helmandollar in Tazewell, VA, and preceded in death by one sister and six brothers. The beloved husband leaves his wife of 45 years Nancy L. Hicks to mourn this tremendous loss.

As a devoted father, Johnny is survived by his daughter and her husband, Beth and Ryan Wells of Lynchburg, VA; and two sons, Tim Hicks of Salem, and Jason Hicks of Bluefield, WV. Also left to cherish the memory of their precious Papaw are his grandchildren Jordan and John Slade, Jayden Wells, and Jackson Wells of Lynchburg; and Caleb Landsdown and Gabrielle Hicks of Roanoke; and two great-grandchildren Forrest Hicks of Roanoke and Erin Slade of Lynchburg. Extended family also mourning the loss include Martha and Buford Nichols of Midlothian, VA, and Linda Leedy of Moneta, VA, along with several nephews and a niece also mourn his passing, along with countless friends.

John served the Salem community for 33 years, achieving the rank of Senior Firefighter, for Salem Fire and EMS and truly embraced the value of hard work. When not at the fire station, Johnny could be found behind the counter at O’Brien Meats, mowing lawns, and driving a school bus for Salem City Schools. After his retirement from the Salem Fire and EMS, Johnny worked and retired as a meat cutter from Kroger in Salem. Until his illness, Johnny proudly drove buses for Roanoke County Schools, serving the kids in Glenvar area.

Johnny’s greatest joy was his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He loved spending time with each, sharing in their interests, and worked to attend all of their sporting events. He loved sports, especially high school football, and enjoyed attending professional football and hockey games with his daughter and her family. Johnny also had a heart for kids – all kids. Under his watch, a child would never knowingly go without food or basic needs. He has been known to purchase items to fulfill a need and drop off at the doorstep of a family. This heart for kids drove his joy of safely transporting kids for the school systems over the years. Johnny, his story-telling, hearty laugh, and shy smile will be greatly missed!

The family will receive extended family and friends on Sunday, July 26, 2020, from 5:00 until 8:00 PM at Living Well Church of the Nazarene in Salem. Face masks, with the exception of medical restrictions, and social distancing will be required. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and to allow for larger accommodations for social distancing, Allen Lawrence has graciously offered to the family Haley Toyota Field, home of the Salem Red Sox, to honor and celebrate the life of Johnny. Funeral services, with full retiree firefighter ceremony provided by Salem Fire and EMS, will be officiated by Pastor Samuel Huntley and held on Monday, July 27, 2020, at 10:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Salem Fire and EMS to further their community service efforts. Contributions may be mailed to Salem Fire and EMS, c/o John Hicks Memorial, 105 S Market St, Salem, VA 24153.

John’s family wishes to sincerely thank the medical team at Lewis Gale Medical Center for providing compassionate care during his brief battle against COVID-19 and Salem Fire and EMS for their support. In addition, his family truly appreciates the outpouring of strength and prayer from extended family, friends, and strangers touched by John’s story during this difficult time.

Arrangements are being handled by John M Oakey and Son Funeral Home and Crematory in Salem. Online condolences may be expressed by visiting www.johnmoakey.com.

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, July 26th, 2020 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    When
    Sunday, July 26th, 2020 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Location
    Living Well Church of the Nazarene
    Address
    4335 West Main Street
    Salem, Virginia 24153
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Monday, July 27th, 2020 | 10:00am
    When
    Monday, July 27th, 2020 10:00am
    Location
    Haley Toyota Field - Home of the Salem Red Sox
    Address
    1008 Texas Street
    Salem, Virginia 24153
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    Huntley, Samuel J.

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Mike&Elizabeth Sarver, Tim&Kathy Sarver, Susan&Don and Sam, Terry and Family sent flowers to the family of John C. Hicks, Jr.
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PJ

Patty James

Posted at 01:21pm
Dear friend, Nancy! I'm so so sorry for your loss! Sure wish to speak with you soon! Please call me when you can... Patty James
KR

Kenneth Roberts

Posted at 04:34pm
I was 12 years old in the Spring of 1980 when I first met John at Station 3. I had just moved here from another state. I'd go to the station everyday delivering the evening Roanoke Times & World-News and it was many an afternoon we'd sit on the back of the truck joking and talking. As I recall John ran a "service station" of sorts for neighborhood kids, repairing flat tires on bicycles, checking air pressures etc. John has a great family and I know he will be greatly missed.
RS

Randy Smith

Posted at 08:39am
As a member of the rescue squad and City Mgr I knew John personally. He was a man that everyone looked up to and respected for being someone that always got the job done and never backed down from a challenge.

Sadly another hero gone too soon. Job well done John. God Speed.

Randy Smith

CK

Charlie Kirk

Posted at 04:17pm
I worked with Johnny at the Salem Fire & EMS Dept. for many years. He was a generous, kind friend who will be missed by many. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his entire family. Charlie Kirk
CA

Connie Azar

Posted at 12:12pm
Nancy, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Connie Azar
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