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October 29, 2013

Former county commission chairman J.W. Hicks dead at 68

After nearly 30 years as a fixture at the Cullman County Courthouse, there weren’t many people that former Cullman County Commission Chairman J.W. “Dub” Hicks didn’t know.

The longtime pastor of Anon Baptist Church made a lot of friends and acquaintances during his four-year term as commission chairman from 1985 to 1989 and later during the 23 years he worked as the Cullman County District Attorney Office’s victim services officer. Hicks passed away at his residence in the Jones Chapel community Saturday. He was 68.

The funeral will be noon today at Moss Service Funeral Home with burial to follow at Jones Chapel Cemetery. Visitation was Monday night at the funeral home. Hicks leaves behind a wife, three children and four grandchildren.

“J.W. was always kind and willing to help people. He had a big heart for people in need. He was a really good guy,” said Delwin Kilgo, a longtime friend who will be officiating Hicks’ funeral service. “We’ve been friends for 50 years or so. We both farmed, raising cows and cutting hay together.”

Born in Cullman, Hicks and wife, Sandra, made their home in the Jones Chapel community. After serving a four-year term as commission chairman, he took a job as victim services officer for the District Attorney’s Office in 1989. He retired from the position in 2012 after 23 years.

District Attorney Wilson Blaylock said as the victim services officer, Hicks was responsible for keeping victims of crimes informed of the status of their cases and making sure the proper restitution affidavits were filed so victims could be reimbursed for property loss.

“He had a real gift in talking to people and listening to them,” said Blaylock who worked with Hicks since 2000 when he was hired as an assistant district attorney. “People would come in complaining and upset with each other, and it wouldn’t be an active case yet, but after J.W. sat down and talked to them, they’d leave shaking hands. He was very good at playing mediator even before that became popular.”

“He was a real asset to me personally and to the office in general because he had such a way of dealing with people. He could smooth out some of the rough edges.”

Friends may sign the online guest register at www.mossservicefh.com.

Tiffeny Owens can be reached by email at towens@cullmantimes.com or by phone at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.

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