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Obituary for Dr. Gilliam Swink "Doc" Hicks
Doc Hicks died peace- fully March 13, 2017 fol- lowing an illness. Visitation will be held at Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson on March 15th at 12:00 noon, with services follow- ing at Northminster at 2:00. Doc was born in Natchez, Mississippi, and attended Natchez Public Schools. He was a cum laude graduate of Millsaps College and a graduate of the University of Mississippi Medical School. Doc served at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, from 1978 – 1993,offering his medical and leadership skills as di- rector of the Diabetic Clinic, director of the Medical Consult Service, and chief of the Section of General Internal Medicine. Doc be- came a fulltime faculty mem- ber with the Department of Medicine at the University Of Mississippi School of Medicine in 1994, and spent the latter years of his career teaching, encourag- ing, and inspiring the next generation of physicians. An outstanding instructor, Doc was named Clinical Faculty Member of the Year in 2000, voted Teacher of the Year by the internal med- icine residents in 2001, and voted an Allstar Teacher by the internal medicine resi- dents in 2007. More than a teacher, Doc served as a friend and mentor. Many of his former students contin- ued to seek his wise counsel long after they graduated from medical school. In addi- tion to teaching, Doc served as medical director of the Department of Medicine Ambulatory Clinic and an attending physician in the Ambulatory Care Clinic at University of Mississippi Medical Center. Doc re- tired in 2015 and was be- stowed the title of Professor Emeritus. Doc and his wife of 32 years, Susan Upton Hicks, shared a life of love, laughter, and adven- ture. Doc and Susan trav- eled to Belgium, Canada, England, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain, and Turkey, as well as throughout the United States. The Hicks’ home in Madison reflected their love of art and culture, but was more notable for the warmth found within its doors. Together, Doc and Susan built a circle of close friends who looked forward to lively gatherings at the Hicks’ home featuring deli- cious meals and Doc’s sig- nature margaritas or mint juleps. Doc and Susan in- troduced their friends to one another, building a close-knit community of people who otherwise might never have met.Doc was a passionate supporter of conservation efforts. He was a member of the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy, and met his wife through a Sierra Club connection. (Doc’s fam- ily feels sure he would like to remind readers that global warming is happening and is not an alternative fact.) When he was not traveling with Susan, Doc enjoyed semi-annual hiking trips to the Smoky Mountains, Glacier National Park, points along the Appalachian Trail, and the wilderness areas of California. Doc returned from these adventures with a renewed commitment to protecting the wilderness he found so soothing and inspiring. The Clarion Ledger will not be the same with- out Doc’s insightful letters to the editor. His wry sense of humor and his jokes and commentaries on everything from politics to Ole Miss football to the latest book he enjoyed will be sorely missed. Doc is sur- vived by his wife and soul- mate, Susan Upton Hicks. Other survivors include his sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Bill Priester;sister Anne Marie Cossar;sisterin-law Lara Spell and her husband, Melvin;brotherin-law Mike Upton and his wife, Denise; mother-inlaw Frances Paley; nieces Connie Cossar and Shan Fite (Matt); nephews Harper Cossar (Heather), Brad Priester (Joanna), and Zach Spell; his great nieces and his nephews; and his beloved dog, Honey. Doc was preceded in death by his parents, Gilliam Swink Hicks, Sr. and Cornelia Williams Hicks, his neph- ew Bill Cossar, Jr., and his cherished pets, Greta, Dylan, Charlie, Aunt Bea, and Sophie. Memorials may be made to CARA Animal Shelter, 930 North Flag Chapel Road, Jackson, MS 39209. The family ex- tends a special thanks to the University of Mississippi Medical Center staff for pro- viding care that was not only professional, but was also loving and personal.