"A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur. This can be said of William Edward Hicks, III, born in Camden, NJ and raised in Haddonfield, NJ. His parents, William Edward and Amanda Schaarschmidt Hicks Jr., must have been so proud when in the mid 1940's he was named "Boy Mayor"...
"A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur. This can be said of William Edward Hicks, III, born in Camden, NJ and raised in Haddonfield, NJ. His parents, William Edward and Amanda Schaarschmidt Hicks Jr., must have been so proud when in the mid 1940's he was named "Boy Mayor" of Haddonfield. So began his lifetime of exemplary leadership.
Bill graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School in 1948. He was gifted with outstanding athletic ability in all sports and was named an all-state athlete. In 2005, he was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. His exceptional athletic performance and academic success earned him the Olin Scholarship to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where he excelled in football and baseball and earned his bachelor's degree in history in 1952. Sports consumed Bill's attention throughout his entire life. He was an avid Duke Basketball fan, much to the chagrin of his grandson, a UNC graduate.
After graduating from Wesleyan, he started his career in the flooring industry at Armstrong World Industries in Lancaster, PA. However, shortly thereafter was drafted into the US Army. He served as an Intelligence Officer during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in 1954. He returned to Lancaster and met his lifetime teammate, Virginia McGovern. They married in 1958 and these two extroverts became the center of the social circle wherever they lived and oh, could they throw a great party! "Ginner" was in charge of planning, while Bill's wild sense of humor provided entertainment. Together they raised one daughter, Martha. His work transferred the family to several cities on the east coast until eventually settling in Winchester on the Severn, Annapolis, MD in 1972.
Bill's successful career in the flooring industry was again proof of his leadership skills as he led numerous successful sales teams, while earning personal recognition as Sales Manager of the Year several times during his career. In 1998 he retired from Shaw Industries. Bill and Ginner looked forward to retirement but the love of his life passed away on February 14, 1993. In 2005, Bill moved to Greensboro to be near his daughter and made his home at Abbotswood at Irving Park for three years where he developed immediate friendships and became an integral part of the community. Thereafter, he resided with his daughter and her family for six years before moving to River Landing at Sandy Ridge in Colfax, NC. The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the skilled nursing staff of River Landing for the warmth, care and love for Bill and for lovingly enduring his friendly, ever-present greeting of "Hey Baby"!
Bill said what he meant and meant what he said. His charisma and enthusiasm drew people to him and he rewarded them with deep friendship and loyalty. He led people to become better at their jobs and in their personal lives. He was a fiercely loyal mentor, friend and family man. His animated and engaging conversation kept everyone attentive and always wondering what he might say next. He loved the competitiveness of sports and made friendly wagers with his pals on just about every sport at every level. "Papa Bill", as he was known to his grandchildren, was a proud grandfather and treasured his relationship with them.
He is survived by his daughter and son in law Martha and James Barry of Greensboro, NC; grandchildren, Virginia Barry, a junior at Sewanee-The University of the South in Sewanee, TN and James "Jake" Barry, a professional in Boston, MA; and two nieces, Brynn and Mark Gersmehl of Nashville, TN and Julie and Brad Hanson of Dallas, TX. In addition to his parents and wife he is preceded in death by his only sibling, Robert G. Hicks.
Bill passed away on October 31, 2016. The family invites you to celebrate Bill's life on Monday, November 7 at 11 AM at Hanes-Lineberry N. Elm. Afterward, the family will receive friends during a reception at the funeral home until 2 PM. Bill will be transported to Maryland for interment at a later date.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to Hospice of the Piedmont, 1801 Westchester Dr., High Point, NC 27262 or Gate City Kiwanis Club of Greensboro. PO Box 10331, Greensboro NC 27404. Online condolences may be made to www.haneslineberryfuneralhomes.com.