American Veteran 04


June 15, 1949 ~ November 17, 2023 (age 74) 74 Years Old


     Francis Bryant Hicks, affectionately known to many as “Frank” or “Frankie,” a 36-year resident of the Vincentown Village of Southampton Township, NJ, was called Home by our Lord and Savior on Friday, November 17, 2023, at Virtua Voorhees Hospital, surrounded by his immediate family. He was 74.

     Frank was born in Mobile, AL, to the late James Tryant Hicks, Sr. and the late MaybeD Davis Hicks. He graduated from Satsuma High School (Satsuma, AL), Class of 1968. In September 1968, Frank enlisted in the United States Air Force and served a year in Vietnam as an Air Cargo Specialist. He was wounded in combat. After 3 years and 8 months of dedicated service to his country, Frank was honorably discharged at McGuire AFB in June 1972 at the rank of Sergeant.

     In March 1972, Frank met his future wife, Grace Cliver, at the McGuire AFB Airmen’s Club. They later married on Saturday, January 6, 1973, at the historic Vincentown United Methodist Church officiated by the late Rev. Robert L. Reasner. God blessed them with 50 years of love, marriage, and laughter.

     Immediately after their wedding, Frank and Grace moved to Mobile, AL. Capitalizing on the GI Bill, Frank earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Alabama in December 1977. He would later achieve his Professional Engineer (PE) license from the State of Texas.

     Upon securing his first electrical engineering job with Brown & Root, Frank and Grace relocated to Houston, TX, in January 1978. The highlights of his work experience there encompassed offshore oil drilling and the construction of the Dubai Airport in the United Arab Emirates. It was in Houston where Frank and Grace were blessed with both of their children, Jeff, and Jodie.

     According to Frank, “Grace had the Jersey hots,” so the family returned to South Jersey in 1985, after 12 years away, setting up residence in Tabernacle. Upon learning that a house two doors down from Grace’s parents was for sale, the family moved to Main Street of Vincentown in June 1987.

     Over the span of Frank’s 40 years of employment as an Electrical, Instrumentation, and Controls Engineer, he worked for Allstates Engineering & Design, BE&K Engineering & Construction, JBEK, and Kellogg, Brown, and Root with locations in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Delaware. Some of the clients that Frank serviced over the years included DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Dow Chemical Company, Valero Energy, and Sunoco. Frank happily retired in June 2019.

     A perk to Frank’s work experience allowed him to travel the world to places like Dubai, Mumbai (India), Thailand, and Brunei. During the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Frank along with several colleagues were on a work assignment in Mumbai. Due to the grounding of air traffic in the days that followed, Frank was stranded in India for about a week, uncertain as to his return home. Thankfully, he made it home safely on the first international flight to re-enter the United States airspace.

     In his spare time, Frank enjoyed giving back to his community. In the late 1980s, he served as President of the Sally Stretch Keen Memorial Library Board of Trustees in Vincentown. He was a 25-year charter member of The American Legion, Guy W. Doron, Sr. & Jr., Post No. 526 of Southampton, NJ, where he served in various roles, that culminated as Post Commander. Frank was instrumental in the planning and implementation of Southampton Township’s annual Memorial Day observances, which included planting geraniums on local veterans' graves. For several years he served as the Master of Ceremonies and in 2015 was bestowed the honor of Grand Marshal of the Memorial Day Parade.

     Although Frank grew up Baptist, he became a devoted 36-year member of the Vincentown United Methodist Church, where he sang in the Senior Choir, served as chairman of the Finance Committee, chairman of the Church Council, a longtime cook at the annual Thanksgiving Day Breakfast, and a member of the New Building Committee that provided oversight of the design and construction of the new sanctuary, consecrated in 1989.

     Frank was also a faithful 26-year member of Central Lodge No. 44, Free & Accepted Masons, of Vincentown. He was the 2001 Past Master and appointed a 2004-05 Grand Chaplain of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the State of New Jersey by then Grand Master of Masons, Most Worshipful Brother Daniel M. Wilson. As appendant bodies of Freemasonry, Frank belonged to the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Southern New Jersey, in West Collingswood, where he was a Past Most Wise Master (2012-13) of the Excelsior Chapter of Rose Croix and was conferred the Meritorious Service Award (MSA) in 2014. He was also a member of Crescent Shrine in Westampton, NJ.

     Furthermore, Frank was a Past Councilor of the Vincentown Junior Order of United American Mechanics, Council No. 17, and a Past State Councilor of New Jersey.

Lastly, Frank enjoyed many hobbies and pastimes. These included making people laugh, songwriting, golfing, bowling, throwing horseshoes, hunting, working in the yard, watching and attending the University of Alabama and Philadelphia Eagles football games, Philadelphia Phillies baseball games, home remodeling, listening to Elvis and country music, playing card games, walking around Vincentown and escapes to the Jersey Shore. But most importantly, Frank loved to host family picnics in the backyard (down back), especially the night of the fireworks. And he immensely enjoyed traveling to LA (Lower Alabama) to visit with his southern roots, Crimson Tide!

‚Äč     Frank was predeceased by his father and mother-in-law, Edward and Beaulah Cliver, his sisters Maudie Hicks, Jesse (Maxine) Griffin, and Judy Messer; his brothers-in-law Joe Messer and Gary Schreiner.

     He is survived by his wife, Grace Cliver Hicks, son, Jeffrey E. Hicks, daughter, Jodie L. (Eric) Gross, and grandchildren, Brody and Paisley Gross; brothers Jimmy (Florence) Hicks, Lamar Hicks, and Michael (Rhonda) Hicks; sisters Janice (Jerry) Jones, Terri (Jack) Munday, Rita Hicks, and Vickie Schreiner; sisters-in-law Linda (Jack) Traino, Susan (Ted) Steinmetz, and Jenny Morrow; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.

     Although we were deeply saddened to lose Frank, the Hicks family takes great comfort to know that he is now at peace, resting comfortably in paradise with dearly departed loved ones and friends, who warmly greeted him in Heaven. Godspeed, Frank, Dad, Peppy. Roll Tide, Roll!

     Final arrangements have been entrusted to Lankenau Funeral Homes of Pemberton, NJ. There will be a Viewing/Visitation on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Vincentown United Methodist Church, 97 Main Street, Southampton, NJ, and again on Thursday, November 30, 2023, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Funeral service officiated by the Rev. Connie Squire to follow at the church at 11:00 AM. Burial with USAF military honors immediately after the funeral at Vincentown United Methodist Cemetery, Brown’s Alley.

     There will be a Post Everlasting Service conducted by The American Legion Family on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at 7:00 PM at the church, followed by a Masonic Funeral Service at 7:30 PM. Brethren should arrive by 7:00 PM.

     In lieu of flowers, the Hicks family respectfully requests that donations be given in Frank’s memory to one of the following organizations: Vincentown United Methodist Church, 97 Main Street, Southampton, NJ 08088 | The American Legion, Post No. 526, Attn: Finance Officer Russell S. Thomas, Jr., 480 Red Lion Rd., Southampton, NJ 08088 | Central Lodge No. 44, F&AM, Attn: Lodge Secretary Jeffrey E. Hicks, 152 Main Street, Southampton, NJ 08088 | Vincent Fire Company No. 1, 16 Race Street, Southampton, NJ 08088. Thank you.

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November 29, 2023

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Vincentown United Methodist Church
97 Main Street
Vincentown, NJ 08088

November 30, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Vincentown United Methodist Church
97 Main Street
Vincentown, NJ 08088

Funeral Service
November 30, 2023

11:00 AM
Vincentown United Methodist Church
97 Main Street
Vincentown, NJ 08088

Military Honors
November 30, 2023

12:00 PM
Vincentown Methodist Church Cemetery
Church Street
Vincentown, NJ 08088


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