In Memory

Dana Hicks

Dana Hicks

From brother David:  A group of Dana's family and friends joined together on Monday, February 25, 2002 and sent Dana on to his next adventure.  It's for sure that it won't be his last one.  We sent him in a style that he would like.  His cremated earthly remains were placed in a Harley Davidson travel case along with some pictures, a Duane Eddy CD, and two of his favorite novels.  A marker though will remain at the National (Veterans) Cemetery (Section 60 #72) in north Phoenix if you ever get that way.  Attached is a picture of Dana and also an obituary that some of you may already have. 

Thanks to all of you for being part of Dana's wonderful life.

Obituary for Dana Charles Hicks

Dana left this world at 3:15 AM on Saturday morning, February 16, 2002.  Who knows where he went?  But 3:15 AM was a time of day he was very familiar with. That was about the time he left many a party, saloon or young lady’s room to head home.  And if there’s a place with lots of women, and where lifelong naughty boys and the life-of-the party end up, that’s where he is.  Yeh, he’s there telling one of the thousands of stories or jokes he knew, or flashing a blue eye at a flirting lady.  Undoubtedly, he’s with Harper, Diane, and his Dad Chuck to name a few of the many running buddies who left this world before him.    

Dana never knew a stranger.  Rank, title, or social position meant nothing to him.   You might find him drinking a cup of coffee with a scraggly looking recluse who lived in the woods near the mountain retreat in Idyllwild, California or having a beer with a professional, suit wearing type at the San Pedro, California Elks Club.  And he knew all the old folks names at his mother’s retirement community in Peoria, Arizona as well as the art shop owners in Palm Springs.  He had a kinship with anyone riding a Harley whether they were a lawyer or had no obvious means of income.  He befriended them all.

His days as a boy growing up in Elwood, Indiana and Newton Kansas were as colorful as any Mark Twain novel.  He wandered the alleys and streets, and the nearby countryside of each town.  Creeks and ponds were there for swimming.  A locked door or no trespassing sign was an invitation to find out what someone was hiding.  And, on the days he decided to go, school was a place to have fun.  In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Newton High School was full of “hoods”.  With ducktails and a cigarette hanging from his lip, Dana was the “hoods” hood.  He spent many an evening standing in front of the hangout “Johnny’s”.   “Don’t hang out with that boy Dana” was the advice many of the other “hoods” got from their mothers.  If there was a case of beer stolen off of a Coors truck or a cherry bomb thrown in a toilet at school, teachers and local police went looking for Dana.  He laughed about the time the Newton Police took him and several buddies to jail on a Saturday night for a few hours just so they, the police, could have a peaceful evening.  And despite hours of after-school study hall, expulsions, and poor attendance, Newton High School’s principal Munzie figured the only way to get rid of Dana was to graduate him in 1962.  But when he left school, every teacher and student had a Dana story to tell.  Most shook their heads and laughed, but more than a few sighed and said thanks as their prayers had been answered.

Dana never met a woman he didn’t like.  No man ever loved women as much as Dana.  He liked something in each one he met.  His interest never stopped, even as he approached death.  At the hospital a few days before his demise, his physical pain would be eased for a few seconds as he caught sight of an approaching young lass.  He would sit up a little taller and say hello as they smiled at him.   The phrase “from age eight to eighty” probably originated with him.  He charmed them all, including the mothers of young girls who told their daughters to find a “nice boy”.  And while other guys saw flaws, he always was intrigued.  And while other guys went home dreaming, he went home with the girl.  

Dana was an extraordinary artist.  But his work rarely pleased himself.  Fortunately a few lucky people were given or bought the pieces he released.  He worked in the shipping business near Long Beach, California for many years and loved the memories of when he would taxi out to the foreign vessels and meet with the ship’s crews.

Anyone who knew Dana, realized marriage wasn’t for him.  He tried it once with a wonderful young lady who gave him a son Charles Loren.  He loved his son but the marriage didn’t last long.   He was close with his family and when death seemed likely, he went to be with his mother Betty for his final days.  His brother David and sisters Dianne and Debra will miss him, but like Dana’s many friends, they have plenty of stories of him so that he will always be with them.

Dana served in the United States Air Force for four years and will be buried at the Veterans Cemetery in north Phoenix, Arizona.  He would scoff at the idea of sending flowers to his grave.  Instead he’d prefer that his friends head down to a club or a local saloon for a round of drinks and a toast to him.





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08/13/13 11:43 AM #1    

Gini Coleman (Johnson)

This is one of the best and most warmly humorous tributes to a life I've ever read. What a colorful description of Dana's personality! When I die, I don't want a funeral; I am third generation Irish, and I want a party! Dana's story was a great read. Thanks for finding it and posting!

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