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Charles Allen Hicks, 98, of Kansas City, MO, passed away August 31, 2020. A family burial service was held on September 4, 2020. Public memorial services will be held Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. at Heartland Cremation and Burial Society, Raytown, MO. Masks required with social distancing. To watch Charles Hick’s memorial service live, click HERE.
Mr. Hicks was born July 5, 1922, in Kansas City, MO. He is preceded in death by his loving wife, Betty Marian and parents Barney Gibson Hicks and Effie Camille Rhodes Hicks. Survivors include daughters Janice O’Neal (Keith) of Lee’s Summit, MO, Kathy Zumwalt (Walter) of Lee’s Summit, MO, Shelah Hicks of Kansas City, MO, Becky Traeger (Bruce) of Cedarville, OH, and Betty Hamlin of Cumming, GA, and eleven grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
Charles graduated from Manual Technical High School with a specialty in electricity, graduating 12 out of a class of 275. He lettered two years in baseball, and was a member of Society of Debate and National Honor Society.
Charles enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942. He joined the Ninth Air Force as a bombardier/reconnaissance navigator and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant. On D-Day, Charles was with the first bomber group to land in France. When the Battle of the Bulge was fought in Belgium, Charles flew three missions on Christmas Day. After flying 35 missions and surviving two airplane crashes, he was discharged from active duty on February 4, 1946. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross when his plane’s Plexiglas was shot out but he continued dropping bombs on the bomb site. He also received an EAME Ribbon, 6th Cluster to Air Medal, American Theatre Ribbon and a WWII Victory Medal.
Charles used his electrical background as an electrician for Boese Hilburn Company in Kansas City, MO for 35 years before retiring in 1986.
Charles married the love of his life, Betty Schuetz, on June 24, 1947 at Phoenix Park Methodist Church. He met Betty briefly before he left for war, but after returning from war, on their first date he asked her to marry him. Together they reared five daughters.
In 1957, Charles was able to purchase a 40-acre farm near Noland Road and Highway 50 in Kansas City. Although he loved the farm life, he continued to work his job as an electrician.
A friend from church, Wood Reynolds, asked Charles to come to his home for a Bible study on the book of John. After completing the study, when he was alone he asked the Lord to come into his heart and take control of his life, which He surely did. He and his wife became active teaching in the Junior Department at the Kansas City Baptist Temple. Years later, they taught in the High School Department at Blue Ridge Baptist Temple and the College and Career Class at Tri-City Baptist Church.
Pallbearers: Keith O’Neal, Walter Zumwalt, Doug Vitt, Chad O’Neal, Chris O’Neal, Brent Zumwalt, Robert Payne, Austin Payne, Tyler O’Neal, Jacob Lewis, Travis Payne, Connor O’Neal, Tanner O’Neal, Jayden Zumwalt.