Former HSU Trustee, Staff Member, and Distinguished Alumnus, Claude A. Hicks, of Abilene, died this past Saturday, September 1, 2012, at a local hospital.
Hicks was an integral part of Hardin-Simmons University. He served on the Board of Trustees, the Board of Development, and the Alumni Board. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award during the 1979-1980 school year, and in December 2000, Hicks received an Honorary Doctorate degree from HSU.
Hicks was the fourth child of a Baptist minister, born in Hockley County, Texas, on August 2, 1932, to Alvis and Ethel Alice (Basham) Hicks. The family lived in various West Texas communities, moving from one pastorate to another, with Claude graduating from Brownfield High School in 1951.
He attended Decatur Baptist College after his high school graduation, transferring to Hardin-Simmons University in 1952. Hicks graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1955, and later received a master’s degree in education administration from Hardin-Simmons in 1964.
From 1955 to 1957, Claude served in the United States Army with his first assignment to the Presidio of San Francisco, California. During that time, he married Jenny Lind Cargile in Snyder, Texas, February 18, 1956. Claude and Jenny first met on a blind date; Jenny was also an HSU student at the time, living in Lange Hall.
After leaving the service, Hicks returned the Forty Acres where he began work on his master’s degree. While a post grad, Hicks served as the dorm director for Ferguson Hall, a men’s dorm at the time. He also served as director of placement, director of veterans’ affairs, director of financial aid, and director of Moody Center.
In 1966, he accepted the position of associate administrator of Hendrick Home for Children. He was named administrator and later president of the home in 1972 and continued in that position until his retirement in 1995. Hicks loved, influenced, and encouraged hundreds of lives during his decades of service at Hendrick Home.
Claude was a longtime member of First Baptist Church in Abilene, where he served as a deacon. He also served as director of Abilene Baptist Social Ministries, served on the Salvation Army Board, served as president of the Southwest Children's Home Association, and was a member of the Abilene Military Affairs Committee. Active in Abilene Rotary, Claude served as Rotary International District Governor in 1976 and was recognized as a Distinguished Citizen of Abilene. Hicks also served as president of the HSU Former Faculty and Staff Fellowship.
Claude was preceded in death by his parents, one sister, Marie Stockard. He is survived by his wife, Jenny L. Hicks of Abilene; two sisters, Alice Scarborough of Abilene, and Louise and husband Kenneth Street of Sherman; one brother-in-law, Joe Cargile and wife Milla Raye of Crosbyton; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 4, 2012, at the First Baptist Church Welcome Center, 1333 N. 3rd St. (the corner of N. 3rd and Hickory St.) A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 5, in the sanctuary at First Baptist Church with Dr. Phil Christopher and Palmer McCown officiating. Graveside services will be private. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.
Memorials may be sent in honor of Claude Hicks to Hardin-Simmons University, 2200 Hickory St., Abilene, TX 79698; Hendrick Home for Children, P.O. Box 5195, Abilene, TX 79608; or to Rescue the Animals, 4620 N. 1st St., Abilene, TX 79603.