Roger John Hicks passed November 22, 2019 (Thanksgiving Day) in Chandler, Arizona. A Memorial Service will be held February 2, 2019 2:00pm at Grace Point Church 3794W. Ann Rd. North Las Vegas, Nevada 89031. He is survived by his spouse, Cindy Hicks-Hurst; daughter, Jenny Hicks of Lakewood, Ohio; son, Eric Hicks of Columbus, Ohio; stepdaughter and son-in-law, Monica and Paul Rodriguez; stepson, Aaron Hurst; brother, Gary Hicks of Ohio; and brother, Ray Hicks of Naples Florida. He is preceded in death by his parent’s Harry and Mary Hicks of East Liverpool, Ohio.
Roger was born February 2, 1946 (Groundhog Day) and grew up East Liverpool, Ohio. He graduated in 1964 from East Liverpool High school, where he was active in student council, Jr. Class president and Band Mascot. Roger enjoyed performing antics at football games, climbing the goal post to just “clown around”. He was also active in Scouts and DeMolay.
Roger attended Bowling Green University, receiving his undergraduate in English and was accepted into the Sociology graduate program. Before he could begin the graduate program, he was drafted into the US Army, which changed the trajectory of his life. Roger served in Vietnam and was honorably discharged December 1970. He returned home to Lakewood, Ohio with no visible wounds but with the scars of a war that made no sense to anyone, including Roger. He reunited with his wife, Sandra Webster, and son, Eric to begin putting his life back together. Roger and Sandy were blessed with another child, Jenny. She has his twinkling blue eyes.
Roger worked for Bessam-Aire-co. for over 30 years to support his family. He always put others first, lifting them up to achieve their highest potential. Roger attended the local community college and received two associate degrees, one in business and the other in accounting. As life goes sometimes, Roger and Sandy parted ways after seventeen years of marriage.
New Chapter…Roger and Cindy’s excellent adventure!
I met Roger in the fall of 1990 in a church basement. A dear friend introduced me to a man wearing a hunter green jacket with a red cap, and blue eyes that twinkled when he smiled. Roger was busy handing out flyers for a hike at the Cleveland Metro Nature Park. It was the last hike of the season. And that’s how it all started….
On a cold November day, I met up with Roger at the Metro Park for the hike. Much to our surprise, we were the only two who showed up. After a polite greeting and debate to forgo the hike, because it was so cold, we decided to journey out. Walking and talking for hours we shared stories about our lives. I never felt more comfortable with anyone in my life. The hike came to an end and we bid each other good-bey with a hug. As I walked away, I heard a voice very clearly, “you will marry Roger”. So, I set out to do just that.
Those of you who know me, understand my tenacious nature. Roger took a lot of convincing, he was slow on the uptake. One of the things Roger shared on the hike was that he built his own computer. I used that as a ruse to open the door for the next 28 years. Our first “date” was shopping for a computer for my children, which he had not met yet. Roger had no idea he was on a date, but that didn’t matter, because I was on a mission from God.
The first time Roger met my children, Monica and Aaron, he brought them a hand-crafted straw shooter. Well that sold them both on this guy Roger, who became their “dad” guiding their lives from rebellious teenagers into mature adults, who later blessed us with four beautiful grandchildren. Braedon and Carter Hurst, and Zoe and Lucy Rodriguez.
Roger and I married October 12th 1991 and bought a home together in Lakewood where we lived for 20 years. During that time, Roger set a wonderful example for my children. There are many memorable moments, too many to mention. However, I will share two. Both Monica and Aaron are strong willed and determined. Aaron was disrespecting me, just like a teenager, and Roger stepped in. He let Aaron know that was not okay…Aaron learned that lesson wrestling off the front porch onto the lawn. Aaron chose his words carefully after that. Monica, determined as she is, did not believe dogs should be fed at the table. She voiced her opinion adamantly. Roger warned her to stop, as he held a spoon full of mayonnaise ready to flip it at a moment’s notice. Anyone who knows Monica knows she won’t back down from what she believes to be a worthy cause. And, that’s the mayonnaise in the face story. Roger’s ability to inject absurd humor into real life situations was a gift. We have laughed many times over these pointed lessons.
My favorite story to share about Roger speaks to his persistence and compassion. Roger disclosed the desire to become a nurse and so he did. At the age of 56 he began that pursuit. He graduated with an associate degree, then went on for his Bachelor’s in Nursing. Roger was diagnosed with cancer shortly after graduation, he was 63 years old. He endured surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Following short recovery periods, he returned to work each time. Who does that? Roger, an amazingly strong and compassionate man. Roger began his nursing career at the county hospital, Cleveland Metro Health Medical Center, then moved onto the Cleveland VA. It wasn’t a “job”, he genuinely felt privileged to be a nurse and serve others. His humor, much like “Patch Adams”, was engaging and healing to his patients.
Everyone who encountered him got a story or a joke of some sort. God gifts each of us uniquely. Roger’s was his sense of humor. God knew what he was doing when he paired us. Roger was my rock, my best friend, confidant, and protector for 28 years. We rode bikes, hiked, camped, went to movies and ate popcorn together. The memories are too many and wonderful to mention. He is forever in my heart until my Jesus joins us in heaven.
Roger, a cancer survivor of 9 years, was a Humorous, Compassionate, Gentle Spirited man. He lived his life with integrity and Honor. He liked to spend his free time volunteering with his therapy dog, Rigley at Compassion Care Hospice in Las Vegas Nevada. He belonged to multiple Organizations; Compassion International, American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and the ASPCA. In remembrance of Roger, bless these organizations with your time and prayer for a better life.