After a long, well-lived life, James Thomas Hicks (Tom) died at his home on August 30, 2023. Tom was from Alabama, the son of James L. Hicks and Pauline Cooper Hicks, both deceased. Raised in Prattville, AL, Tom was an only child, but there are many relatives to mourn his passing, including his devoted wife of 48 years Mabel Ressseau Hicks; his surviving first cousins from the Hicks and Cooper families, Avon Wilson, M.E. Sherwood, Mike Jones (Tina), Kay Jones (Luther), and Rich Gardner (Pat), Diane Bieham, Roddy Cooper (Cindy), Wyatt Cooper, and Melanie Lee. Mabel’s family will also grieve is loss, including his brother-in-law William (Billy) Resseau (Sandra Hill); sisters-in-law Mary Ann Resseau Pharr (Neal), and Carol Resseau Scott (Gene); as well as Grace Resseau, currently his only surviving aunt, his niece Katherine Smith (Jarrett), great niece Olivia Smith, and godchild Jinny Luke. His helpfulness, wide interests, and enthusiasm for life will be missed by all who knew him - other relatives, colleagues and friends.
Tom earned his bachelor's degree from Auburn University, where he was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho, an agricultural fraternity. This education prepared him for his career as a wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division. His occupation complimented his lifelong interest in conservation, environmental protection, and animal welfare.
Tom was also interested in and very knowledgeable about history. He was an active member of the Putnam County Historical Society; Sons of Confederate Veterans; Audubon Society of Macon (past president); and M&M's, a social club of First Baptist Church (served as president for many years).
Tom collected old and unusual bottles all his life and was an active participant in the Jim Hagenbuch Bottle Group. This interest led to buying, selling, and collecting antiques, including pottery, books, and furniture. This hobby eventually turned into a business, including a shop in Eatonton, as well as stalls in antique malls in Eatonton, Madison, and Warner Robins. But, the business part never took the fun out of the search for old and handmade items that had an interesting story to tell.
Participation in the Bottle Group also led to many travel adventures for Tom and his ever-ready partner Mabel. They started by traveling to bottle shows in England, then expanded to countries on the continent. They joined other tour groups to see other parts of the world, including China and Egypt, where they had many adventures. Tom spent his 70th birthday staring up at the Great Wall of China (Mabel climbed the Wall, much to his delight).
Tom enjoyed visiting other places, but Putnam County, especially Kinderhook, was home and where he wanted to be. He and Mabel restored an old farmhouse, modernized it for comfort, and enjoyed a happy life there together.
Tom’s well-lived life was rooted in his Christian faith. He was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Eatonton, teaching adult Sunday school classes for some years. His faith gave him joy in God’s gifts and sustained him in life's difficult moments. This firm foundation was the bedrock of his well-lived life.
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