Oct. 22, 1948 ~ May 2, 2021
Gary was born in Kemmerer, Wyoming, to Gearld C. Hicken and Lillian (Brolien) Hicken. He was the oldest of four children although only he and younger sisters Susan and Barbara were born in Kemmerer. The family moved to Denver when Gary was six. His youngest sister Kristine was born six years later. He attended Edison Elementary, Skinner Junior High and North High schools, graduating in 1964.
Although only 17, Gerry and Lillian approved of his decision to volunteer for military service. Gary was inducted into the U.S. Navy in August 1964. After boot camp and attending Radarman A School on Treasure Island, Gary was stationed on an LST on which he saw service in the Orient. Before returning to the states, Gary also had the privilege of serving on the USS Enterprise for about a month. Gary was very proud of his three years in the Navy.
Upon being discharged, he attended Western State University, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in English literature and a teaching certificate. He also received a Master’s Degree from the University of Northern Colorado in literature. From 1973 thru 1997, he taught English first at Skinner Junior High and his last 15 years at East High School in Denver. Teaching was not only a joy to Gary, it was his calling. There are still many of his students with whom he kept in touch. It will sadden them to hear of his passing. Regretfully for future generations of children, Gary was forced to retire long before he wanted to.
He joined his sister Kristine in Meeker in 2002, both of them following in the footsteps of grandparents’ Hicken and Lindow who settled in the White River Valley in the early 1900s. Although a “city boy” all of his life, he took to our rural community like a duck to water. He found great satisfaction in learning how to take care of his four acres of meadow. He learned more about tractors and their implements than he probably ever thought possible. He did love his tractor. Sadly in recent years his health has not allowed him to do much of this work that he had learned to enjoy so much.
Those people who got to know this very private man will know how he loved books and movies. He also enjoyed watching the wildlife who visited, playing guitar, gazing at the stars and shooting. Another one of his callings was furniture making. While still in Denver, during the summers, he made beautiful bookshelves to hold his precious volumes, coffee tables, file cabinets and an outstanding audio/visual center.
A center pillar of Gary’s life was his admiration of Ayn Rand, particularly her seminal work Atlas Shrugged. He found in her writings a philosophy that shaped and guided his life.
Gary will be greatly missed by his sister Kristine.