Beverly Belle Hicks, 2/18/37 – 7/3/16 Bev was born in Mill Creek, Indiana, to Cecil and Macaria Hostetler. She joined Janet and Calvin Hostetler, her brother and sister. Her younger sister, Georgia, followed 11 years later. She grew up working on the family farm, taking over the household when her mother died at a young age. During high school, Bev was a cheerleader prior to her graduation from Mill Creek High School. During this time she was involved in the church her family attended, Sauktown Christian Church. Following graduation from high school, she pursued a certificate Great Lakes Bible College, in Lansing, MI. There she met fellow student Harold Hicks, her future husband. One of their favorite stories was how Bev had worked hard to prepare a homemade coconut cream pie for Harold the first time she invited him over for supper. It turned out beautifully, in spite of the fact she didn’t have a rolling pin for the crust so had to make do with a glass. She was devastated when Harold thanked her politely but informed her he didn’t like coconut!!! Bev and Harold married Dec 19, 1959, in his home church in Buchanan, MI. Her flowers were red and white carnations, which remained her favorite. Harold accepted a preaching position at a church in St. Joseph, IN. While there, both their children were born. Gwen arrived first in the fall of 1960. Greg followed early in 1963. He was so anxious to join the family he was almost born in the car a friend was taking Bev to the hospital in! Harold became part of a gospel quartet while at Great Lakes Bible College. The quartet decided to move to Elkhart, IN, to help plant a church there. Bev worked with the children of the congregation. She taught Vacation Bible School classes, as well as lessons during the children’s services. She also filled in playing the piano during services. At night Bev worked at Miles Laboratories to help support the household. Gwen and Greg had an ongoing supply of Flintstone Vitamin rejects during this time because of that. So they were able to mix and match incomplete vitamins to get various flavor combinations as well as combining identifiable and unidentifiable parts of the various characters. Bev always laughed when the combinations were strange. When Harold accepted a promotional director position at a Christian children’s home in Crawfordsville, IN, the family accompanied him on the weekends when he presented the work to churches which supported the effort. Bev used focused on the children during these visits, since that was her gift. About 18 months later, the family moved to Lane, IL, where Harold became the minister of a small congregation. Bev was involved in the church helping wherever needed, and of course, worked with the children. While at Lane Bev and Harold believed God was leading them to become missionaries, to share the story of Christ. As part of the preparation for this, the family moved to Lincoln, IL, where Bev and Harold attended Lincoln Christian College to prepare for the mission work. The family moved to Zaragoza, Spain in 1974. Bev was immersed in a very different culture. She developed some ability to communicate in Spanish. The role of women was very different than she was used to in the US, including daily grocery shopping. Getting to the market involved either walking, sometimes multiple blocks, or taking the bus. Since Zaragoza was one of the larger cities in Spain, the family lived in a 7th floor apartment – another significant change from someone who grew up on a farm! When the family returned to the US in 1978, they settled in El Paso, TX. Bev focused on her gift with children and began to substitute teach. She and Harold decided to pursue teaching as new careers. They moved to Alpine, TX, to attend Sul Ross University. Upon completion of their Master’s degrees, they accepted jobs in Monahans, TX. Bev taught in the school system there focusing on the young children. Most of her time was in kindergarten. She used her ability to sew to make many stuffed figures as teaching aids. Her artistic ability had a great outlet with the little ones. She redecorated her room with the seasons and holidays. One of her visual aids was a Conestoga wagon model. It was about 2 feet long with miniature pans, shovels, and ropes attached. When it was time to talk about frontier days, she also pulled out a sun bonnet she made. Unfortunately, the teaching ended when Bev had her stroke at the young age of 54. She was no longer able to talk or use her right arm. Initially she was able to walk with the aid of a cane – a skill hard earned after many weeks of rehab. Over the years she lost more and more of her independence until she was unable to do more than stand and turn. Since she had been right handed, she learned to use her left hand to write and draw. Many times when Harold or other family members could not figure out what she wanted to communicate, the question to her would be “Can you draw it?” Most of the time that led to figuring out what Bev wanted to communicate. Often there was laughter in the process as some of the suggestions for what she was drawing were outrageous! But upon figuring out what she wanted to communicate, her clues and drawings always made sense – in hindsight. Harold had been diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1993. Incredibly, it was controlled for almost 2 decades. Finally the cancer began to spread, and in 2011, Harold lost his life. Bev lost her life partner, leading to another major change. She moved to Arizona to be near her daughter, Gwen, and extended family. In 2014, she moved in to Elmcroft Assisted Living near Gwen’s home. There she became known as a cheerful, smiling lady in a wheelchair. She would still sometimes work on sewing projects. At times Bev could be found in the courtyard giving plants TLC and removing dead leaves and blooms. Throughout all of this, Bev retained her sense of humor, smile, social engagement and ability to communicate. Although she wasn’t able to use words, her meaning was almost always clear. Her laugh was always ready and enjoyed by those with her. On July 3, 2016 Bev developed pain in her chest and stomach. She was transported to the hospital where she developed problems breathing. She passed away in the emergency room. She will be missed by her immediate family, her extended family, and her friends although the blessings she brought into the lives of others will continue.