In Memory of Gary Hicks, My Brother
Gary Hicks was born June 20, 1949 to Aubrey and Ouida Hicks. He was their first born son and he would jokingly remind me many times in life that he was "the number one, son".
Gary had a child like enthusiasm as a youngster that never left him as he physically matured. The enthusiasm, passion, drive, or whatever you want to call it is demonstrated in his life. He dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and joined the Navy. While in the Navy he met and married his "soul mate" (his words, if I remember correctly). Her name is Linda and she has stuck with him through the good times and the bad. Gary knew that he was blessed to have her.
He completed his G.E.D. while in the Navy, I believe and then started the journey of being a responsible married citizen following through his 4 year term in the Navy. On his honorable discharge his rank was Seaman First Class.
Gary's quest to provide for his family and to realize some of the dreams he had for his family, led him to Community Colleges and later to institutions of higher learning. He got his Bachelor's degree and then later his Master's degree and in recent years obtained a Project Manager Certification as well. Along this journey, with his wife Linda, he raised two daughters, Michelle and Kathleen. Michelle and her husband Matt made sure that Gary and Linda became Grandparents with the addition of 2 daughters and 1 son.
After obtaining his Master's degree, he reenlisted in the Navy Reserves for a time as a Chief Petty Officer and worked with computer organization for the government.
One of his hobbies including racing motorcycles in the desert in the early 70s. Below left Gary stands beside a Honda 450 while in Hawaii during his 4 year stint in the Navy. Below right is a picture of Gary in the desert on his Yamaha 360 race bike either before or after a race.
Gary was very competitive and enjoyed laughing and having fun. He always enjoyed racing anything on wheels. He recently had begun restoration on his 1972 Mustang. He had plans for putting another engine and transmission in it for higher performance.
He held a few different sales positions over the years and eventually ended up working around computer environments. His last job was with IBM where his education, experience, and drive gave him an edge in working with higher level management decisions. He worked out of his home over the last few years, so his family got to see him a lot.
Another of his hobbies was SCUBA diving. I had tried for many years to get him interested in this hobby and was finally successful about 6 to 8 years ago. Below left is a picture of the first time that Gary breathed underwater with SCUBA gear on. As with anything Gary did, he excelled at diving by getting multiple diving certifications. He believed that he was the first person in the United States to have a 'solo diving certificate'. He had advanced diving, wreck diving, rescue diving, master diving, etc. certificates. Kathleen got to dive with her daddy a few times and I was blessed to dive with them as well. The picture to the right is of Gary on one of his charters that he coordinated for the Cooper River Black Water dive. To see a 5 minute video of him diving in Truk Lagoon, click here.
In May of 1997, my brother Gary and I enjoyed watching a SuperCross race in Las Vegas. While on the way there we talked a lot about our upbringing and why we had the type of personalities that we have. This was a strong step in bonding that we both needed to grow closer as brothers. During this trip to Vegas, we did the bungee jump at a local Vegas spot. This typified our personalities as we both enjoyed the adrenalin rush of jumping off the 18 story tower. This gave us more time together and helped with our bonding as well. After the first jump we called it a day and came back the next day for me since Gary's back was bothering him a little. We were both given videos of our jumps. Here is the 3 minute video of his jump and you can tell that we were having fun. Katie and Gary enjoyed a similar ride in Branson and you can see the 2 and a half minute video by clicking here.
In the last years of his life, Gary had developed an increasing closeness to Jesus his Lord. This was demonstrated by his involvement within his church and outside his church in other ministries. It also showed up in how Gary responded to others. He had a burning desire to share Jesus with anyone that he felt he might be led to talk to. This final part of Gary provided more bonding than I as a brother can explain. For Gary is my blood brother from birth and he is also my brother in Christ. God had answered my prayers by using Gary and blessing him as he did.
After battling cancer for about 3 years, the Lord called Gary home on August 22, 2006. The Bible tells us with respect to believers, that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. After the thief on the cross acknowledged Jesus as Lord, Jesus told him that he would be in paradise with him that day. In like manner, Gary is now there in paradise with Jesus as well. The sting of death now has less potency for those that remain with Gary's memory and there is no sting of death for Gary as he is now experiencing eternal life in the presence of Jesus himself. In memory of Gary, I will share the following with you as I know that he would whole heartedly approve:
If you would like to know with certainty that when you die that you too will spend eternity with Jesus, you can by praying this prayer:
I am a sinner as you have stated in Romans 3:10. I accept on faith that you came to earth in the humble person of Jesus, that you lived a perfect sinless life, and that you lovingly died for me. Believing your word found in Romans 10:9, I confess to you with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead. Thank you for the gift of eternal life with you.
In the name of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit,
If you have sincerely prayed this prayer in faith of Jesus as Lord, you have begun an earthly journey leading to everlasting life with God. For some it will be a long earthly journey, for others a very short earthly journey, but either of these earthly journeys are very short when compared to eternity.
If you have not prayed this prayer and do not know Jesus, it is my prayer that you would continue to have every opportunity to turn to God before your time expires.
If you are a believer, seek the company of other believers as stated in Hebrews 10:25. Trust in our Creator who hung the stars and built our world, and go find a Bible believing church to regularly attend. Beware of churches that claim to be Christian, but are not. A true Christian church will guide you with the essential Christian doctrine found in the Bible.
This page is in honor of my brother Gary Hicks. I love you Gary and look forward to seeing you again in the not to distant future.