Denzel Niles Hickman, age 81, of Delano, passed away Monday, May 25, 2015.
Funeral services will take place Monday, June 1 2 p.m. at Cross Lutheran Church in Rockford, with Pastor Barlow officiating. Interment will follow at the Elmwood Cemetery in Rockford.
Visitation was Sunday, May 31 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Iten Funeral Home in Delano, and will continue Monday from 1 to 2 p.m. at the church, prior to the services.
The Iten Funeral Home in Delano is handling the arrangements.
Denzel was born Jan. 12, 1934, in Paynesville, a son of Millard Hickman and Alice (Clark) Hickman.
He entered the Air Force in October 1951, receiving an honorable discharge in November 1955.
Denzel was baptized as an adult April 11, 1954, at St Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Harlingen, TX.
He was united in marriage to Sylvia Wendroth Aug. 5, 1953, at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Eden Valley. This marriage was blessed with nine children. Denzel and Sylvia shared 54 years of marriage.
Denzel was most remembered for being a mechanic. He had a knack for looking at something and knowing what he could substitute or create to make it work. He could listen to an engine and tell you the problem with it, and many people came to him for advice on mechanical issues.
For many years, Denzel repaired cars in the evenings and weekends as a sideline which became a gathering time for friends and neighbors. This was the start of Hickman’s Service.
Denzel retired from the maintenance department at Lakewood Cemetery in 1999, after 24-and-one-half years of employment.
Denzel always had a story to tell, usually with a twinkle in his eye. He showed his love of family by gentle teasing and special “nicknames” for most everyone. Denzel could be found many evenings playing cards with his family and friends.
He was a member of Cross Lutheran Church in Rockford for 53 years.
Denzel is survived by daughter-in-law Teresa (Klayton) Schumm of Buffalo; daughters Marie (Dan) Williamson of Dassel; Carol (Les) Reinhart of Buffalo; Kim Anderson (Robert Lubitz) of New York Mills; sons Turk (Vicki) Hickman of Buffalo; Dennis (Chris) Hickman of Watertown; daughter Emma (Dan) Hanson of Delano; and sons Joe (April) Hickman of Montrose, and John (Amanda) Hickman of Corona, SD; as well as 30 grandchildren, Tad Hickman, Kurt Schumm, Kyle Schumm, Kraig Schumm, Robert Wendler, James (Lisa) Wendler, Melinda Wendler, Mark (Becky) Wendler, Christina (Bryan) Klaphake, Lee (Jessica) Reinhart, Lillian Reinhart, Jed Reinhart, Jolynn (Chris) Green, Annie (Dustin) Charette, Kelsi Anderson, Mychelle Dexter (and fiancé Ryan Fobbe), Niles (Jacie) Hickman, Neila (Travis) Spande, Jaylyn Hickman, Jerome Hickman, Tyler Hanson, Erin Hanson, Jacki Hanson, Josh Hickman, Cheyenne Hickman, Eli Hickman, Evan Hickman, Wyatt Hickman, Tucker Hickman, and Seth Hickman.
He is also survived by 30 great-grandchildren: Andrew Wendler, Alicia Wendler, Matthew Wendler, Jayden Hinman, Mason Hinman, Mariah Hinman, Madilyn Hinman, Karissa Smalls, Kasari Rowe, Devon Wendler, Kasean Nelson, Cory Wendler, Daniel Wendler, Dominick Wendler, Arianna Wendler, Makayla Wendler, Carson Wendler, Hannah Wendler, Owen Klapahke, Evan Klapahke, Hunter Reinhart, Evelyn Reinhart, Aurora Hairshine, Ayden Muscha, Paige Green, Drake Green, Breyson Charette, baby Charette expected in August, Maci Hickman and Alex Hickman; his brothers Frank, Mark and Lee Hickman; and sisters Alice Tolzman, Violet Hamilton, Elaine Robbins, Mavis Pung, Laurie Weber, Ava Hickman, and Loretta Foss.
Denzel was preceded in death by his wife, Sylvia; a son, Clark Hickman; son-in-law Martin Anderson; granddaughter Whitney Hickman; parents Millard and Alice Hickman; brothers Roscoe, George, Gene, Mike and Steve; sister Mayme Sandry; infant brother Dwayne and infant sister Marion.