WATERMAN — Joseph Robert Hickey, 71, died at his home in Waterman, on Saturday, April 15, 2017. Joe was the eldest son of Robert F. and Lois E. (Hart) Hickey born on Nov. 10, 1945 in DeKalb.
He graduated from Shabbona High School in 1963 and was salutatorian of his class. Joe received a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University. Joe then taught four years of junior high school math and coached junior high school basketball in the Wenona School District. He left education to work as a computer programmer for DeKalb Ag/Pfizer/Monsanto Seed Companies. He retired from Monsanto in 2003 as a senior systems analyst. In his retirement, Joe donated his time and energies to the NICE center in Lee, as well as, to several ministries at St. James Parish.
He was a kind, soft-spoken man who was always there with a smile to help family, friends, and those in need. He participated in sports as a young man, especially baseball and basketball. He enjoyed bowling for DeKalb leagues for many years. Joe liked to travel whether it was one-day excursions or extended visits to Ireland. He was a voracious reader and could remember the tiniest details for which his siblings appreciated. Joe had a droll sense of humor that will be missed at the family gatherings, particularly the card games. He was the epitome of what a big brother should be.
Survivors include nine brothers and sisters, Mary Goken of Rochelle, Charles (Linda) Hickey of Somonauk, William Hickey of Rochelle, Robert Hickey of Rochelle, Michael (Veronica) Hickey of Amboy, Ellen (Mark) Hazzard of Winnebago, Barbara (Homer) Whitesel of Rochelle, Lawrence (Jody) Hickey of Winnebago, and Patrick (Susan) Hickey of Chapin, S.C. Other survivors include numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and three aunts, Hazel Stryker, Marge Hart and Eleanor Hart.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Paul Goken; and niece, Brenna Hickey. His grandparents also preceded him death, as well as, several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22 at St. James Catholic Church in Lee, with Father Bonaventure Okoro officiating. Burial will be at St. James Calvary Cemetery, Lee. Friends may call from 4 – 7 p.m. Friday, April 21 at St. James Parish Center, Lee.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial is being established.
Arrangements were completed by Jacobson Funeral Home in Shabbona. Call 815-824-2618.