Walter Jay Hicks, age 87, died peacefully at home in Lawrence, Kansas, surrounded by his family on Saturday, February 25, 2017. Walter was born January 13, 1930, in Kansas City, Kansas, the son of Harry Jay Hicks and Elsie Mae Elder Hicks. He married Jo Anne Deal, January 25, 1953, at Messiah Lutheran Church in Kansas City, Kansas. She preceded him in death. They resided in Lawrence where they were active members in the community for 60 years. Walter was beloved husband, father, grandfather and Opa. He was a long time active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, where he served as Council President and Property Committee chairman. Walter was a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Architecture. While at KU, he walked on and made the basketball team his freshman year. He was a 3-year letterman in baseball. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. After graduation, he served two years in the military. Walter practiced architecture for 39 years, including 26 in Lawrence through his firm, Hicks-Messick and Associates, now known as HMA Architects. As an architect, he designed many commercial and residential buildings, including the addition to Trinity Lutheran Church, renovations at Hoglund Ballpark, Men’s Locker Room at Allen Field House, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and USD 497, among a host of others. He retired from the firm in 1994. For 26 years, Walter served as Treasurer of the PiKA Alumni Assn. He joined the Lawrence Sertoma Club in 1967, served as President twice, and in 1996, was selected Sertoman of the Year.
Survivors include four children: Jan O’Neill, and her husband Vince, Edmond, OK; James Hicks, and his wife, Becky, Lawrence, KS; Jeffrey (J.D.) Hicks, and his wife, Carmen, Coppell, TX; and Jo Ellen Kasson, and her husband, Steve, Lawrence, KS; eight grandchildren: Kyle O’Neill; Daniel O’Neill, and wife, Kristen; and Anne O’Neill; Matthew and Aaron Hicks; Jon Hicks and wife, Lindsay; Courtney and Kelsey Kasson; and four great-grandchildren: Brenden O’Neill, Gabriel O’Neill, Hunter and Grayson Hicks; his sister, Mary Gensler, and husband, Bill and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his sister, Betty Hagerman and his grandson, Dustin Kasson.
Visitation will be held at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, Wednesday, March 1, from 7 PM to 9 PM. Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 2, 11:30 AM, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1245 New Hampshire St., Lawrence, KS. Interment at Mt. Sidney Cemetery, Linwood, KS, will follow after a reception at the church. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Douglas County Visiting Nurses Hospice or KU Endowment Association for the benefit of Baseball, and may be sent in care of the mortuary.