Lowell Ross Hicks, age 84, of East Bernard, Texas passed away on Wednesday, November 22, 2023. He was born in Paris, Tennessee and lived on a farm with his family until age nine when his dad died in a farm tractor accident and his mother moved to town where she was a nurse. He enlisted in the US Army at 16. On a three-year tour of duty in the Far East, he was assigned to the 24th Infantry Division, Company C, 499th Engineer Battalion in Korea as a Combat Construction Specialist located at the Imjin River, overseeing dams, bridges and river crossings in the combat zones.
When he returned to the states he was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia where he met his wife, Hazel Hicks at a square dance and soon after they were married. A few years later, with the encouragement and support of his wife he began to fulfill a childhood dream of flying airplanes. The fulfillment of that dream began in College Park, Georgia where he got his private pilot license and later moved his family to Orlando, Florida where he completed his commercial license and then on to Lubbock, Texas for Ag Training.
The work he loved took him and his family to Oklahoma, North Dakota, Louisiana, Georgia, Arizona, Texas, and Nicaragua. He flew Stearmans, Ag Cats and Pawnees. In July 1990 he was severely burned in a refueling accident and at Herman Burn Center in Houston, Texas he developed pneumonia and slipped into a coma until October. He was released in November with a medical assessment that he would never fly again. His can-do determination to continue doing what he loved proved his doctors wrong and he not only returned to flying, he also bought Pawnees and Ag Cats and that was the beginning of his own business, Double L Flying Service which he and his wife operated until 2016.
With over forty years in Agricultural Aviation, he has been a licensed pilot, a licensed instructor, and owner-operator. He has shown leadership in the industry by advising and helping develop young pilots, by holding office and receiving leadership awards including President of TAAA – Texas Agricultural Aviation Association, and through attendance at state and national levels and with generous donations.
He cherished his family. He loved his friends and always made the effort to keep in touch with everyone no matter the distance. He loved to travel and he and Hazel visited every US state and Canada, often in their RV. He is preceded in death by his father, Harry Bowen Hicks, his mother Edna B (Nash) Hicks and brother, Jesse Lee Hicks. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Hazel (Abner) Hicks, his daughter Wendy Thomson, his son, Jeff Hicks, his granddaughter Heather Thomson Lovallo, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be held at Eagle Lake Funeral Home on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 from 4 until 6 pm.
Funeral service will be 11:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2023 at First Baptist Church in Eagle Lake. Burial will follow at Lakeside Cemetery.