Gene LeGrande Hickman Sr., 94, passed away Saturday, June 4, 2022. Gene was born Feb. 15, 1928, to William Albert Hickman and Sarah Ann Greene Hickman in Columbus County.
He was predeceased by his parents, five sisters and one brother.
After graduating from Bladenboro High School, Gene briefly studied engineering at N.C. State University before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He served in the Asiatic Pacific Campaign during WWII. After his honorable discharge, he returned to work on the family farm.
After marrying his life-long love, Virginia Pait Hickman, Gene continued to farm in Columbus County while also establishing Hickman Flying Service. Later he and Virginia were live-in volunteers on the N.C. Baptist Men’s Demonstration Farm in Buie’s Creek. After his family, agriculture, aviation, animal husbandry, bird watching, meteorology and tinkering with anything that had moving parts were the great loves of his life.
Services will be private.Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst is serving the family.
Gene is survived by his wife of 74 years; children Ginger (Peter) Whitlock, Kay (William) Beasley and Gene (Debbie) Hickman Jr.; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Heifer International, P.O. Box 6021, Albert Lea, Minn. 56007-9831 or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com.