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Dr. James R. Hickey

October 14, 1933 April 1, 2019
Dr. James R. Hickey
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Obituary for Dr. James R. Hickey

Dr. James R. Hickey, 85, of Chandler, AZ, formerly of Sparta, WI, passed away April 1, 2019 from kidney complications.

He was born in rural Meade County, KS, October 14, 1933, the son of a wheat farmer who became an itinerant construction worker. Unable to follow his father’s many relocations, Dr. Hickey dropped out of school to work as a ranch hand, a carpenter and a laborer before enlisting in the regular army at age 17.

He served in Korea as a rifleman with the 31st infantry regiment and with the UN Prisoner of War command, earning several military decorations and four Korea War battle stars.

Discharged as a sergeant, he returned to school, graduating Bachelor of Journalism, with Honors, from the University of Texas.

He later took time out of journalism to serve in the U.S. Navy where he sailed in several ships with various deck and navigation duties, including a stint as a flag journalist. During his naval experience he completed a circumnavigation in a T-2 tanker.

He had served during his undergraduate years in the Air Force Reserve and in later life as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. He held commercial, multi-engine and instrument pilot credentials and was a rated flight instructor, logging several thousand cockpit hours in a variety of aircraft.

While in the Navy he married Rosemary Ann Kress of Sparta, WI, a television continuity director. In 2014 they celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary.

Following his naval service he interspersed a Master of Science degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree—both awarded by the University of Wisconsin where he was a Vilas Honor Fellow—with two years as a public relations executive for the International Credit Union Association. His doctoral specialty was psycholinguistics.

After his doctorate he lectured in communications theory and research at the University of Colorado and the University of Oklahoma until leaving fulltime faculty life to operate a cattle farm in Monroe County, WI. He continued to teach for several colleges and universities as adjunct faculty and to moonlight as a FAA Part 135 pilot and flight instructor until he retired.

He had been a semi-active partner in a wheel-alignment equipment marketing company and was once co-publisher of a community newspaper in Madison, WI.

His other editorial experience included work as a newspaper reporter and editor in Texas, Montana and Wyoming.

Among his published work are many scholarly and popular articles as well as one of the few novels of the Korean War, Chrysanthemum in the Snow, published by Crown Publishers, New York. That novel, one of the several he has written, won a national literary award.

He was a member of Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society, the journalism equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa, and was a life member of the 31st Infantry Regimental Association and Korean War Veterans Association and professional academic and journalism organizations.

He had served on the Monroe County, WI, Board, as Little Falls (WI) Township chairman and on the Sparta (WI) Area Schools board.

He was preceded in death by his beloved Rosemary, his parents, two sister and two brothers.

Surviving are a daughter, Cecily (Dr. Kevin Broaddrick) of Chandler, AZ, a brother, Gary of Hardin, MT, two grandchildren, two great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.

A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, April 27, 2019, 11:00 A.M. at the Torkelson Page-Smith Funeral Home in Sparta, WI. Burial with full military honors will follow in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Tomah, WI. Family and friends are invited for visitation Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be offered at www.torkelsonfuneralhome.com.


Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

27

Apr

9:00 AM 4/27/2019 9:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 4/27/2019 11:00:00 AM
Sparta - Torkelson Page-Smith Funeral Home

211 W Oak Street
Sparta, WI 54656

Sparta - Torkelson Page-Smith Funeral Home
211 W Oak Street Sparta 54656 WI
United States

Service

Saturday

27

Apr

11:00 AM 4/27/2019 11:00:00 AM - 11:30 AM 4/27/2019 11:30:00 AM
Sparta - Torkelson Page-Smith Funeral Home

211 W Oak Street
Sparta, WI 54656

Sparta - Torkelson Page-Smith Funeral Home
211 W Oak Street Sparta 54656 WI
United States

Graveside

Saturday

27

Apr

12:00 PM 4/27/2019 12:00:00 PM - 12:15 PM 4/27/2019 12:15:00 PM
St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery

2409 Superior Avenue
Tomah, WI 54660

St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery
2409 Superior Avenue Tomah 54660 WI
United States
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