After serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Gordon, Ga., Hicks returned to Wilmington where he entered practice at Babies’ Hospital, the famous pediatric clinic near Wrightsville Beach. In 1969, he and Dr. Wilbur P. Matthews partnered to found The Pediatric Center. Later, Dr. Hicks helped launch the neonatal intensive care unit at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
“He was level-headed and very pleasant to work with,” said Dr. Peter Zack, a longtime colleague, in an article in the Wilmington Star-News. “The mothers loved him, because he listened, and he explained things without using big words.” In an often-stressful environment, Hicks was a calming presence, Zack said.
Bonnie Brown, executive director of the New Hanover/Pender County Medical Society, told the Wilmington Star-News that Hicks’ kindness and magnanimity “surrounded him like a giant circle.”
After his retirement from practice in 2008, he operated Meadowsweet, a large horse farm outside Clarkton in Bladen County. Hicks remained active and was bedridden for only the last two days of his life, Brown said.
We extend our condolences to Dr. Hicks’ wife, three daughters and two grandchildren.