The Reverend Lillie Mae Hicks, known to family, friends and colleagues as Mae, fulfilled her ministry and completed her earthly journey on April 19, 2023, at age 94.Born in 1929, in Hamilton, Ohio, the Presbyterian ministry was her second career. While creating a loving home for husband David E. Hicks and their three children, David, Marcia, and Laura, Mae became an award-winning realtor with Dick Bryant Realty in Hamilton. It was only after caring for her husband during his long sickness and death from cancer that she discovered her true calling. Although she had long been an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Hamilton, and assisted their pastor in guiding and comforting other families through sickness and bereavement, Mae lacked the college degree needed to attend Presbyterian seminary. But an exception was made after she proved herself fully capable of graduate school studies by taking independent courses at both Miami University of Ohio and Dayton University. In May of 1984, she became the first student without a Bachelor’s Degree to receive the Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The Rev. Mae had a long and varied career in the church, beginning as Chaplain in Notre Dame University Hospital and then at Children’s Hospital, both in Indiana. Chaplaincy put her in emergency rooms and children’s wards and on ethics committees. Through the years she pastored both rural and urban churches from Indiana to Connecticut to Arizona until very recent semi-retirement. Even in her late 80s and 90s, Mae continued as a volunteer assisting chaplains at the Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix where she made her home.
The Rev. Mae was preceded in death by her daughter Marcia Hicks. She is survived by her son The Reverend David C. Hicks and his wife, Starr Luteri; her daughter Laura Lee Imai and her husband Gayland Imai; as well as her grandchildren Suzanna Hicks Rea, Peter Hicks, and Gabbi Imai; and two great grandsons: William Hostetter, and Airman 1C Matthew Hostetter who is stationed at RAF Mildenhall, UK.
The Celebration of Life service will be held at Mission del Sol Presbyterian Church in Tempe at 2 pm on Saturday, May 27.Memorial gifts may be sent to Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.