Who is Michael Earl Hicks?

Michael Earl Hicks1Mike was my cousin, the only son of my dad’s oldest sister.  He was born 27 May 1957 in Schurz, Mineral, Nevada.  My uncle and auntie adopted him from the Walker River Indian Reservation there.  His name was Rudy George.  (Nothing is known about his biological family… except that his mom’s name was Rose.)  My uncle and auntie lived in Garrison, Utah where they worked for the Utah Department of Transportation.  At first they lived in an old log cabin until a trailer house was provided.

Garrison, NV House1

Michael Earl Hicks2

I grew up with Mike, although I was a few years younger.  His family had moved to Beaver, Utah and my family lived in Nephi, Utah.  I knew him about as well as I knew my other male cousins… just from interactions at Kelsey family gatherings.  His adoptive father, my uncle, was James McKean Hicks.  James was Michael Earl Hicks3born 10 Jan 1921 in Spanish Fork, Utah to James Hicks and Dorathea McKean.  My uncle died unexpectedly on 3 Sep 1973 at his home in Beaver.  I remember attending the funeral and seeing my auntie weep.  Mike was only 16-years-old at the time.  His adoptive mother, my auntie, was Marcia Louise Kelsey.  Louise was born 21 Mar 1930 in Eureka, Utah to Arthur Franklin Kelsey and Myrtle Louise Skinner.  After JaMichael Earl Hicks4mes’ death, she married three more times and was widowed each time.  She had moved to Nephi and so had Mike to live in a trailer nearby.  Louise was diagnosed with cancer and eventually died on 2 Jul 2004 at her home in Nephi.  My mother had been helping Louise get to the doctor at times, and asked her who was the love of her life… Louise said it was James.

The picture below shows Louise’s surviving siblings and her son on the day of her funeral.  From left to right: De Kelsey, Ken Kelsey, Gary Kelsey, RaNae Hazel, Randy Kelsey, Ralph Kelsey, and Michael Hicks.

De, Ken, Gary, RaNae, Randy, Ralph, & Michael Hicks

Mike had a few girlfriends, but he never married or had children.  He struggled with alcohol and had difficulty keeping a job.  He inherited money at his mother’s death but it quickly disappeared, possibly into the hands of others that took advantage of his weakness.  When Mike expressed a desire to return to the reservation, a family member towed his trailer to a KOA near Reno, Nevada and dropped him off.  Before long he was in jail due to intoxication.  My father visited there a couple of times and retrieved the trailer for Mike to use.  Mike soon found family members on the reservation and begged for money… it was always spent on alcohol.  Mike eventually became so ill that he was taken to a health clinic.  Seeing the serious nature of his malnutrition, the doctor sent him to a hospital in Boise, Idaho where Mike suffered a heart attack and died on 15 Jul 2008.  His body was returned to the reservation where they held a funeral and buried him.  My parents received a letter from the Pastor that directed the services.  Mike is gone but not forgotten.

Mike Hicks Grave

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