Lillian Estell Hicks “Nana” passed away at home peacefully surrounded by her loving family on March 10, 2015. She was born on Tuesday, December 22, 1936 to the late Reverend John Henry and Willie Mae Ford in Savannah, Georgia.
Lillian attended Maple Street Elementary, Chuyler Junior High School as a child growing up in Savannah, GA where she spent her young life. She joined the family Church Bethlehem Baptist where she was baptized.
Lillian’s first marriage was to Army Sargent Glenn C. Hightower and from this union one child was born, the late Glendalyn Nadine then they moved to Ohio.
Later she returned to Savannah where she met and married her second husband Air Force Airmen Freddie Louis Hicks who was stationed in Savannah, GA in 1957. From this union six children were born. Robin Denise who was born in Savannah, Georgia. After migrating to Jersey City, NJ the family grew including Freddie Michael, David Bernard, Christopher Kevin, Kenneth Brian and Kelly Ann.
Once the grands came along she was affectionately called “Nana” by family and friends. She had many nicknames: Ms. Halladay, Diva, Lady Queen, Diamond Lill, just to name a few. The Matriarch had many titles.
Lillian became a member of Little Rock Baptist Church under the leadership of founder Reverend John Henry (Dad) where she served as a Willing Worker, on the Usher Board and member of the Senior Choir. She remained very active in the House of God.
After the loss of her husband in 1979, she continued to raise her children and maintain her career in the work force. Lillian was employed at Corning Glass for 20 years until the company folded and relocated out of the state in 1987.
Lillian enjoyed her time off until she decided to get her drivers license for the first time at the age of 50 years old. She then purchased a new car. She was so excited driving on cruise control. Robin asked one day “Nana, can you drive faster than people walking on the sidewalk?” (LOL).
Since nothing could stop her Nana decided to go back to school to further her education through the Health Care Institute of New Jersey. She excelled well and graduated head of her class and perfect attendance in 1989.
She enjoyed her second career in health care for the love of her patients. Nana retired from the medical field in 1998. She later worked part time in Child Care Development programs until retiring permanently in 2000.
Nana really devoted more time to her family. She was a natural caregiver. Family was always first. She enjoyed family gatherings, cooking large meals, singing and dancing around the house. She was an amazing wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, cousin and friend. When her sister passed she jumped in as the caregiver for her nephews without questions.
During her retirement she loved her leisure time doing just what she enjoyed which included activities with the seniors, boat rides up the Hudson, gardening, puzzling, crosswords, solitaire, watching her favorite shows Matlock, Heat of the Night, Highway to Heaven, Touched By An Angel. Let’s not forget sitting in her swing talking to all her neighbors. Last but not least going to Family Dollar or the Dollar Store to get off the block.
Lillian later began attending Monumental Baptist Church services where she later joined under the leadership of the Reverend Joseph L. Jones Sr. and Reverend Annie Rea Jones where she became an active member of the Willing Workers until her health would not allow her to attend church as regularly as she normally did.
Nana was the last of the Matriarch’s in the Hicks Family. We could have gone on forever with her life.
Lillian was predeceased by her husband Freddie Louis Hicks in 1979, daughter Glendalyn Nadine, three sons David Bernard Christopher Kevin, Kenneth Brian, her parents, two sisters Johnnie Mae, Olivia DeHavilland and one brother Furman Henry.
Lillian is survived by one sister Barbara Ann Hughes of Seattle, WA; three children – Robin Denise Hicks (John Jefferson) of Jersey City NJ; Freddie Michael Hicks of Jersey City, NJ, Kelly Ann Hicks Gilyard (Rodney H. Gilyard) of Hillside, NJ, daughter-in-law Alfreda Renae Hicks (late David) of Hillside, NJ, nieces & nephews - Dennis and David of Jersey City, Tracy and Shelli of Seattle, WA, Furman Wynn of Jersey City, Wilbert, Cornell, Johnny of Elizabeth, NJ, Barbara Jean, Wilma, Patrica of Elizabeth, NJ, Diane, Peggy Ann, Jacqueline and Valerie of Jersey City; grandchildren – Mark Avonti, Joy Eulanda, David Solomon, Christina Rene, Jacqueline Fredrica, Lakya Danielle, Dawnee’ Nicole, Freddie Michael Jr., David Eugene, Jamal Francis, Tanisha Danye, Alexa LaVera, Rodney Harold, Jr., Samir Bernard, Damali Patrice and Josiah Christopher; greatgrandchildren - Rasheria Justin, Demetrius, India, Davion, Zy’Aira, Given, Zy’Aire, J’Kyrah, Savannah, Shymier, Nylah, Morgan, Cherish, Kyla, Saniyah, Faith, Hope, Autumn, Cadien, Serenity, Reggie Jr.
Her heart was gold, her spirit was genuine, her love was real and she shared it with everyone.