Georgia Louise Ivey Hickes, 80, died peacefully on February 21, 2019, at Harris Regional Hospital. Born in Avera, Georgia, to George and Sara Pennington Ivey, she grew up in Thomasville, NC in a loving family.
Georgia graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in speech therapy and came to Jackson County where she worked in the Jackson County School System before becoming totally blind in 1969 at the age of twenty-nine. She and Jay Hickes were married in 1970. She loved animals and was active in the Jackson County Humane Society, serving as membership chairperson in the early days of the organization. She and Jay fostered many dogs and cats and she had horses, goats, a cockatiel, and many furry companions over the years.
Georgia loved life and she met her physical challenges with courage and optimism. Born with a genetic disease that causes joint deterioration and blindness, she had an indomitable spirit, willing herself to “paint a bright sun on a blackboard every morning.” Determined to retain her independence as much as possible, she invited college students into her home and taught them cooking and household management. Over the years she mentored many young women, teaching by example how to live compassionate and fruitful lives. She was beloved by all of them.
She was a faithful member of St. John’s Episcopal Church and an active participant in Episcopal Church Women and St. John’s Book Group. She was a member of the Democratic Women of Jackson County and belonged to a meditation group.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Jay Hickes and sisters Martha Dudley and Joan Turner. Left to cherish her memory are nieces and nephews Penny Youngblood, Patricia Keith, James Dudley and Timothy Turner along with several great nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 38 Spring St., on Saturday, March 9 at 2:00 o’clock with the Rev. Pattie Curtis officiating. Graveside services will be at a later date in Thomasville, NC.
Gifts in Georgia’s memory may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 175, Sylva, NC 28779, to The Jackson County Humane Society, PO Box 298, Sylva, NC 28779 or to the charity of your choice.