A saddened yet profoundly grateful family and friends said goodbye to John Kilburn Hicks on April 30, 2023, after an extended stay at the Kingman Regional Medical Center. John had lived a gregarious, loving, and fulfilling life, punctuated with travel adventures, friends, beautiful, loving children and grandchildren and a 47-year collaboration and love affair with his wife, Kathy.
John was born to Kilburn James and Mary Lorraine Hicks in Hot Springs, South Dakota, on July 27, 1953, and was the middle son of five boys. He spent his early youth living with his family in Igloo, South Dakota at the US Army base before they moved to Pleasant Hill, California where he attended College Park High School and met many life-long friends. John attended Arizona State University and graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. He was a proud Phi Delta Theta Fraternity member and was lovingly referred to as “Dad.” John was also a 30-year member of the Knights of Columbus organization, a defender of social justice issues, and a trusted and sage friend and confidant to many.
John was one-of-a-kind in many ways, but he was an extraordinary standout for being a stay-at-home dad in the 1980s-1990s, long before it was acceptable and trendy. He reveled in this position, and he was exceedingly good at it. Our family benefitted greatly from his loving care, prodding humor, coaching and teaching instincts. John was a high school, NCAA College, and Professional Sports Official/Referee. His size, voice and knowledge of baseball, football and basketball made him a commanding presence on the fields and courts. He could “shut it down” and never felt ill at ease in going toe to toe with unruly players, coaches or fans - his storied confidence was something to behold. John also taught at Black Mountain Elementary School and coached basketball and football teams at Kingman High School over the years.
John’s laser-quick wit and humor never failed to bring surprise and laughter, even in the most awkward situations. Simultaneously, he had a gift for being compassionate and empathetic with people and towards the general human condition. John enjoyed adventures with his family, Perry Mason, Barry White and all things sports - particularly watching his grandchildren play.
John was known as Grandpa, Dad, Daddio, Papa, Godfather, Uncle John, Brother John, The King, and a Pampered Pooch, among others. He was blessed in many ways, and he knew this. John will be tremendously missed.
He is survived by his loving wife, Kathy Tackett-Hicks; his three brilliant children, Jessica (Dutch), Anthony and John Nickolaus; and his outstanding and brave grandchildren, Mia, Diem, Adam, Aaron, Sarah Jane, Ethan, Scott, Hailey, Emmett and Big Ethan. Brothers and family also survive him: David, Michael, Thomas, Jim (Jaye), Glenda, Brian (Angela), and numerous nieces, nephews, godchildren and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Patrick.
A Celebration of Life for John Kilburn Hicks is set for June 3, 2023, at 2 p.m. at the Historic Elks Lodge in downtown Kingman, 301 N. 4th Street. There will be a reception immediately following the Celebration of Life.