Gary Ray Hickman from Nephi, Utah, passed away peacefully on August 21st at the Utah Valley Hospital in Provo surrounded by his family. He was 79 years old.
Gary was born on June 17th, 1942 in Alhambra, California, but grew up in Benjamin, Utah. He was the second of six children born to Helen and Mont Hickman. He graduated from Spanish Fork High School where he played on the school's all star baseball team. After graduation he served in the United States Army and married Diana Kaye LeBaron, from Genola, Utah. They recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary. Early on in their marriage he worked for the RC Cola Company. During his tenure he was honored as employee of the year and TV personality, Art Linkletter, presented him with his award. He fancied himself a singer and tap dancer - both of which he did poorly. There were times when he would regale his children and grandchildren with a song and dance to Eddie Arnold's, 1955 hit, 'The Cattle Call.' As he got older, he traded in his tap shoes and ascended the throne as the undisputed king of the 'Dad Joke,' something we are all going to miss very much.
He loved doing anything outdoors. He was an award winning little league coach and he loved to garden. Gary could fix anything with twine, a teaspoon and tape. As an avid outdoorsman, he taught his children the love of camping, hunting and fishing. Favorite family vacations were fishing trips to Strawberry and Scofield reservoirs. He was known to family and friends as the man who would give you the shirt off his back - which he did on many occasions. He also had an incredible work ethic. He was a beloved employee and supervisor at every company he ever worked for. But, when it came to family gatherings you stayed out of his kitchen - that was his domain. You always left the Hickman household a little heavier than when you arrived.
He is survived by his wife Diana Kaye Hickman and his seven children Randy, Kyle, Tyler, Chad, Jared, Damon and Ericka Hickman. He was also a devoted Grandfather of 16 children and Great Grandfather to 11 children.
The family is holding a graveside service at Vine Bluff Cemetery on Thursday, August 26th at 11:00 am with a viewing at Anderson Funeral Home (94 West 300 North) from 10:00-10:45 am. Friends and family are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers the family would like you to donate to your favorite charity.